We are big fans of getting out in the countryside and discovering Europe's rural life. Our home in the Lunigiana is a treasure because of what we've discovered about the good life in Italy's rural villages and hamlets.
But what if you want to plan at least part of your vacation in French villages of fewer then 2000 people? You'd want them to be near a few protected sites or monuments, and you'd hope they didn't turn into tourism Disneylands before you had a chance to see them.
Well, such are a few of the objectives behind Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, The Most Beautiful Villages of France.
The website linked above links to villages by themes you might be interested in, from Abbeys and churches to Gastronomy to Unusual Sites. You can also pick your destination from a map or by geographic area. It's very well done.