Cathedrals are the main appeal of the region of Picardy,
it was here that the Gothic style evolved, its pinnacle being
in the capital Amiens, the magnificent Cathedrale Notre-Dame.
Further south are the achievements at Beauvais, Noyon, Senlis
and Laon, while closer to Paris are the sumptuous chateaux of
Chantill and Compiegne. The distinctive local cuisine includes
"ficelle picarde", "flamiche aux poireaux"
and "tarte au maroilles". The region stretches from
the long sandy beaches of the Somme estuary in the west to the
vast forests and pastoral scenery of the Thiérache in
the east and down to the vineyards on the border with Champagne
to the south.