570km (354 miles) W of Paris; 205km (127 miles) NW of Rennes
Quimper, the town that pottery built, is the historic capital of Brittany’s most traditional region, La Cornouaille. It takes its name from the Breton word kemper, the meeting of two rivers—in this case the Odet and the Steir. There’s no better place to get a feel for southern Breton culture, whether during its annual festival or just trolling the vieux centre for Quimperware, the hand-painted faience that’s symbolized Brittany for centuries. Modern-day Quimper is somewhat bourgeois, home to some 67,000 Quimperois who walk narrow streets spared from World War II damage.