||Normandy is a vast region of open country and woodland, stretching from the limestone plateau of the Pays de Caux in the northeast to Mont-St-Michel and the Cotentin peninsula in the west, where the villages anticipate the sturdy architecture of Brittany, and to the hills of the Perche Normand in the south, a famous horse-breeding region. It is also a coastal land of towering cliffs and sandy beaches, imbued with a poignant sense of momentous historical events and punctuated by delicious villages—some fashionable resorts, others still working fishing communities like Barfleur, the most beautiful of which are illustrated in this book. The land is crossed by rivers along the banks of which stand many gems of villages, such as the exquisite Bagnoles-de-l'Orne in the south, and Clécy in Calvados at the heart of the Suisse Normande. Normandy is also famous for the good things in life: a varied vernacular architecture, a rich cuisine derived from local produce (this is Camembert and Calvados country), and strong associations with the arts. Claude Monet created his famous garden in the village of Giverny in the valley of the Seine. The village of Lyons-la-Forêt, known for its traditional half-timbered houses, was home to Maurice Ravel. And no survey of the beautiful villages of Normandy would be complete without coastal Étretat, surrounded by towering cliffs and associated with Monet, de Maupassant, and Courbet.|In addition to the accounts of over thirty of the most picturesque villages of Normandy, this beautiful book also includes special sections on the churches, châteaux, harbors, and coastline. An essential addition to the best-selling Most Beautiful Villages series, it is completed by a guide to the most important sights, markets, hotels, and restaurants. 200 color illustrations and photographs.