The Spirit of Auvergne by Catherine Pinchetti

The true heartlands of France may not receive as much attention as the exotic sunny coastal departments, but Auvergne has a unique claim to being the true centre of the nation- once its administrative centre- and this slim volume covers so much of the area’s charm; but that it barely skims the surface of Auvergne’s appeal is down to the richness of the region’s history and culture, rather than any failing on Pinchetti’s part.

The home of France’s greatest hero, Vercingetorix, the hammer of the Romans, Auvergne’s other greatest claim to international fame is the region’s unique range of volcanic mountains, instantly recognisable the globe over from every bottle of Volvic mineral water. There’s a Celtic magic in the area that this guidebook effortlessly conveys, with an engrossing style backed up by up-to-date facts and figures. It’s just light enough reading that you can suck up every word on a visit, without missing the experience of really being there.

The Spirit of Auvergne, by Catherine Pinchetti. Packard Publishing. List price £9.99. Read an exclusive excerpt here.

From France Today magazine