Susan Spano / Los Angeles Times
With a population of fewer than 500, a handful of restaurants and a couple of excellent bed-and-breakfast inns nearby, Lacoste is less touristy than such Provencal meccas as St. Remy and Fontaine de Vaucluse. There is also the chateau where the infamous Marquis de Sade took refuge after scandalizing Paris in the late 18th century. It's now owned by designer Pierre Cardin, who produces a summer music festival staged in the quarry that gave Lacoste its creamy stone. In this village, art appreciation is pretty much unavoidable.