Parthenay The Essential
Renowned for its international toy festival and involvement in new technologies, the capital of the Pays de Gâtine was according to legend founded by the mythical Mélusine. It is a pleasure to wander through its narrow streets bordered by wood-fronted houses redolent of its rich past. Follow the walls, with the looping River Thouet on one side and the roofs of the old town on the other. From the Pont-Neuf, the view takes you back nine centuries, in the footsteps of the Compostella pilgrims.