My family and I recently returned from a month (November '05) in France, Spain and Italy. We saw and did many unique and wondrous things but Avignon (old city center) wasn't one of them. We unfortunately made internet reservations for the Hotel du Blauvac only to find that this place wasn't fit for human habitation (stinks with mold and appears unsafe being down a dark unlit alley -- see my Blauvac review). I noticed in addition to the hotel being a tourist trap that the town itself gives a definite feeling of being unsafe. There are numerous street beggars, (as can be seen in many other tourist orieted towns in these 3 countries) but these guys were especially aggressive. There were also some guys roaming around after dark that street-sense tells me were up to some no good criminal activities). Even though we got lucky and just missed the car-burnings in November, we (my family included) we noted that unlike most French cities and towns we saw, the local residents of Avignon seem to give over the streets to the criminal elements when night falls. I've seen decent well-dressed women walk safely alone on the streets of Paris at 3 o'clock in the morning (can't even do that in America) but not even the men go out at night in Avignon. This observation speaks for itself as to the safety of this place. As with most towns and cities in France, they do a good job of cleaning the streets but don't be fooled, this isn't a safe place. Even the sidewalk cafe in the city center had nothing but a large number of shady looking characters as customers. We were so grossed-out that we altered our vacation plans and left that entire region early and wen't to Aix en Provence (a very nice town) on our way to Cannes.