Beaumes-de-Venise, Provençal from 'Caves of Venaissin,' rests against the Dentelles de Montmirail.The narrow alleys of the old town wind and criss-cross up the slope of a foothill crowned by the ruins of a mediæval castle; behind it rises the narrow Courens plateau with its chapel.
The village's church looks small from the front, but that impression is deceiving. It's quite long – and tall, at least from outside, owing to its foundation extending two floors downhill to even out the elevation difference.
Outside of the core of the village its dense layout dissolves into tiny “suburbs” and vinyards. Unfortunately the road south out of town isn't pedestrian-friendly.
Uphill, at the edge of the old town, there is a faux-antique amphitheatre (a popular meeting spot for the many stray cats) surrounding some of the genuinely antique eponymous caves. In prehistoric times used as a shelter, millstones were quarried from the rock in later ages.
I didn't get around to climbing up to the castle ruins before I left.