The LATITUDE Cultural Center:

Holidays in the countryside of southwest France, near Cahors

La Toulzanie 46330 ST MARTIN LABOUVAL

Latitude in a nutshell...
                                                            ...en un mot

WHAT IS LATITUDE? Latitude is a unique cultural center located in one of the world's most idyllic places: the never-industrialized, unspoiled Lot Valley in SW France, near Cahors.  Latitude, a nonprofit association, has a multinational Board of Directors, all of whom live at least part-time in the Lot Valley. 

To view some photos of the "campus" and the individual bedrooms, please take a photo tour of  the hangar or the pool & grounds.

From 2000-2010, week-long, summer courses were offered at Latitude..

CONFERENCES, EVENTS  A series of evening conferences and events-- free and open to the public-- are held evey summer, normally in Latitude's converted tobacco hangar.  They begin at 9:15p.m. sharp! (To see the agenda, please click on the Conferences page at the left .) 
Note: All conferences are in French but All travelors and visitors to the area are encouraged to attend, if they understand French! (The musical event, in mid-August is beyond language, so all are welcome!)

 For a soupçon of Things to Do in the area, please visit This website is full of tips!

Reading--a few favorites

Among the gazillions of books about France, here are a few of our favorites:

about the Department of the Lot: 
the U.S.'s  former poet laureate (and former Lotois resident), W.S.
Merwin, The Lost Upland: Stories of Southwest France (1993)
Michael S. Sanders, From Here You Can't See Paris (2002) and  Families of the Vine (2005)
Graham Robb, The Discovery of France: A Historical Geography (2008);
Irène Némirovsky,
Suite Française
(tr. into English, 2006; written during WWII)
and, in a class by itself if you're touring.... and it's a paperback for easy packing! Ina Caro, The Road from the Past: Traveling through History in France (1996). She is the wife of Robert Caro, who has devoted his professional career to the historical biography of Lyndon Baines Johnson.--and a fine writer in her own right! The dedication,to her husband, is outstanding!

And to the right, a poem by Kathryn Ridall (published in The Way of Stones, 2009), written after her stay in the mill:


From my kitchen window,
I could see
Cenévières Bridge,

its repeating stone arches,

earth lifting with heavy grace
into the lavender morning

air, and below on the still
river, the reflection, arcs

inverted like scallops in the
green water,

  and I, burning with delight,

shooting like an arrow of fire

 through that unbroken circle.

 Everything breathed together—
for just that moment, the four

elements in fleeting balance.