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Le Layet Bay and Beach near Le Lavandou, Var, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, France

Le Lavandou, France

This pretty little town in the Var department of the Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur region of France has spawned two interesting apocryphal stories. Everyone agrees that this is where the popular song A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square was written and first performed in 1939. It was sung in a bar by its composer, with saxophone accompaniment. But nobody can agree in which bar it happened. The other is the fact that the mayor of the town passed an unusual bylaw making it illegal for anyone to die in the town, after a court in Nice denied them a permit to create a new cemetery to augment the one that was already full. It’s that sort of place. The town’s name is even subject to some dispute. Some contend it refers to the lavender that blooms in the Provencal countryside. Others claim it springs from the old Provencal world for laundry. If you get the chance, a short journey to nearby Bormes-les-Mimosas is recommended. It has been adjudged one of France’s loveliest towns.