Besse s/Issole

Besse’s origins as a burg go back to the 12th century, when the village was no more than a handful of houses huddled on the Issole plain, overlooked by the Thèmes, St Quinis and Agus hills with their slopes still covered in oaks and pine.
Besse sur Isole owes its fame to a highway robber, Gaspard Bouis, known as Gaspard de Besse, born in 1757. This ‘gentleman thief’ attacked and robbed stagecoaches, but legend has it that he had spared the poor and respected women. He was betrayed and then broken on the wheel in Aix-en-Provence on 25 October 1781. Gaspard was mourned by the people; like most gang leaders of the time, he had revolted against a life of poverty and, in his own way, heralded the revolution.
Sheltered by its castle, Bresse still has its maze of old streets, some leading to a small lake, which make this village on the plains a very pleasant place to stroll to the sound of the water flowing from its fountains.