Perigord presents seductive images: green countryside splashed with yellow sunflowers, white chalk cliffs, golden white wines, and plates of black truffles. The region has long been popular; first settled 150,000 years ago, the area around Les Eyzies-de-Tayac has produced more stone-age artifacts than anywhere on earth.


Rich with tradition and gourmet cuisine, the lovely old quarters of Perigueux (pop. 65,000) have preserved significant architecture from the city’s past, which goes back to Gallo-Roman times. The towering steeple and five massive cupolas of the Cathedrale St-Front dominate Perigueux from above the Isle river. Fifteen-hundred years of rebuilding, restoration, rethinking, and revision have produced the largest cathedral in southwestern France. (Open daily 8am-noon and 2:30-7pm.) Just down r. St-Front, the Musee du Perigord, 22 cours Tourny, houses one of France’s most important collections of prehistoric artifacts, including a set of 2m mammoth tusks. (Open Apr.-Sept. M and W-F 10:30am-6pm, Sa-Su l-6pm; Oct.-Mar. reduced hours. ‚4, stu-


Laure Pierre, 26, has been miming ever since she was old enough to walk. Following an unusually lengthy phase of The Terrible Twos, her parents packed her bags and sent her to the prestigious Ecole Internationale de Mimodrame Marcel Marceau in Paris to teach her the arts of silence, discipline, and finding the way out of an invisible box. She currently performs in Perigueux’s annual mime festival, Mimos.

LG: How did you become interested in miming?

A: [silence]

LG: What would you say is the relationship between miming and traditional French theater?

A: [silence]

LG: What’s the average day like in the life of a mime?

A: [motions incomprehensibly while jumping on one leg]

LG: How has the art of miming evolved since the great age of Marcel Marceau?

A: [scratches toe against ground, Iclucks, runs in circles with arms flapping]

LG: Who is your greatest influence?

A: [walks into an invisible wall]

LG: Do you get a lot of crap about being a professional mime?

A: [single tear runs down cheek]

dents ‚2. Under-18 free.) The Musee Gallo-Romaln, 20 r. du 26 Regiment d’lnfan-terie, has built an intricate walkway over the excavated ruins of the Domus de Vesone, once the home of a wealthy Roman merchant. (Open July-Aug. daily 10am-7pm; Sept.-June Su and Tu-Sa 10am-12:30pm and 2-6pm. ‚5.50.)

Trains leave r. Denis Papin for: Bordeaux (Vihr. 12 per day, ‚17); Paris (4-6hr. 12 per day, ‚57); and Toulouse (4hr. 8 per day, ‚33). The tourist office, 26 pi. Francheville, has free maps. From the station, turn right on r. Denis Papin, bear left on r. des Mobiles-de-Coulmierts, which becomes r. du President Wilson, and take the next right after the Monoprix; it will be on the left, (a 05 53 53 10 63; Open M-Sa 9am-lpm and 2-6pm.) Across from the train station, HStel des Voyageurs O, 26 r. Denis Papin, has clean, bright rooms. (fax 05 53 53 17 44. Breakfast ‚3.20. Singles ‚13; doubles ‚15, with shower ‚18.) H!Au Bien Bon , 15 r. Aubergerie, serves exceptional regional cuisine. (05 53 09 69 91. Menu ‚10-14. Open M 7:30-10pm, Tu-Sa noon-2pm and 7:30-10pm.) Monoprix supermarket is on pi. de la Republique. (Open M-Sa 8:30am-8pm.) Postal Code: 24070.


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