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Adept when it comes to showcasing the bonhomie and goodtime spirit that southwest France has become famed for, rugby-loving Brive also acts as a set-off point for exploring the wide open landscapes of the Dordogne Valley. The food’s rich, as is the history, and as somewhere from which to enjoy a classic French road trip it’s pretty much perfect. The commune’s full name is Brive-la-Gaillarde, and when you learn that gaillarde translates as ‘lusty’, it gives an insight into the regional propensity for living life to the full.