Occitan is spoken on a territory which corresponds roughly to the southern third of France. In this wide area, only Corsica, Roussillon (Catalan speaking) and the Basque Country do not speak Occitan. Moreover, the Val d'Aran in Spain and the 12 southernmost alpine valleys in Italian Piemonte also speak Occitan.

At the scale of French "Regions", Occitan covers

  • Limousin
  • Auvergne, (except the northernmost two-thirds of the Allier departement).
  • Midi-Pyrénées
  • Languedoc-Roussillon (except the major part of the Pyrénées orientales departement, Catalan speaking).
  • Aquitaine except 

  • - the westernmost part of the Pyrénées atlantiques departement where Basque is spoken
    - the northernmost part of Gironde departement where the Poitevine French dialect is spoken.
  • Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
  • The departements of Ardèche, of Drome and the southernmost part of Isère in the Rhône-Alpes region. 
Outside France
  • The twelve valleys in the Italian Piemonte southern Alps
  • The upper valley of the Garonne river that is the Val d'Aran in the Spanish Pyrenees.
Click on the icon to see a map of 
the Occitan cultural domain with 
the Occitan name of its major towns.

Occitan cities

As a consequence, the main Occitan cities are

  • Nice, 
  • Marseilles
  • Montpellier
  • Clermont-Ferrand
  • Limoges
  • Toulouse
  • Pau 
  • Bordeaux. 

Detailed linguistic limits

At a finer scale, the limit between Occitan and its neighboring languages are well know.

  • The northern limit, between Occitan and French lies between the following towns
  • francés Occitan French Occitan French Occitan
    Blaye Bourg sur Gironde Engolême Montbron Pontarion Guéret
    Guîtres Libourne Civray Confolens Jarnages Châtelus-Malvaleix
    Coutras Montpont Le Dorat Bellac Eveaux Chambon de Voueize
    Chalais Riberac Benevent La Souterraine Gannat Escurolles

  • The limit between Occitan and Francoprovencal dialects is then between:
  • Francoprovençal Occitan Francoprovençal Occitan Francoprovençal Occitan
    Châteldon Cusset St Vallier Tournon Laffrey La Mure
    Roanne Thièrs Bourg de Péage Chabeuil Bourg d'Oisans Valbonnais
    St Etienne St Roman Pont en Royans St Jean en Royans Giaglione (Itàlia) Chiomonte (Itàlia)
    Serrières Anonnay Vif Lo Monestier

  • In Italy, the Cluson, San Germano, San Martino,  Angrogna, Torre-Pellice, Oncin, San Peire, Elva, Castèl Magno, Demonte, Entracque and Vinadio Valleys are Occitan speaking. On the contrary, the French villages Tende, Saorge, Breil and Sospel have definitely Italian (Ligurian) dialects.

  • The southernmost limit, between Occitan and Basque is between : 
  • basc occitan basc occitan basc occitan basc occitan
    Bidart Biàrritz La B.Clairence La Bastida-bilingue Charrite de bas Charra Barcus Feas
    Bassussary Anglet Ilharre Vièlanava Angous Sus Tardets Montòri
    Bardos Urt Osserain Arboet l'Hôpital Prechac Val. du Saison Val de Barlanés
    Guiche Bidacha Etcharri Riba Hauta  Esquiule Momor Val. d'Uhaytea Val d'Areta

  • Between Occitan and Aragonese, the linguistic limit just follows the political border from mount Posets to the Pic d'Ania. 

  • With Catalan, the limit goes between the Occitan Val d'Aran (in Spain) and the comarques of  Ribagorça and Pallars Sobiran (catalan). In the upper valley of the  Noguera Pallaresa, the old Montgarri vilage is the only Occitan locality south the Pyrenees. One can mention that the Catalan dialects of Benasque and Pallars have strong Occitan influences. Going then eastward, the linguitic limit correspond to the politica boundary till the Puymorens pass. There, le Occitan/Catalan limit enters the French territory, and is given by the last Catalan speaking localities : Porte, Riutòrt, Formiguères, Odello de Puigbalador, Mosset, molitg, Eus-i-Comes, Arbossols, Vinçà, Rodès, Illa, Nefiac, Montner, Estagel, Tautaüll, Opol e Salses.

  • Now theses limits are given, one should mention colonies and enclaves :

    • The Petite Gavacherie : a French colony (populations came from Saintonge from 1456 on) at the east of the Gironde departement, around the Montsegur village.
    • Monaco, Biot, Val Lauris, Mons and Escragnolles Ligurian colonies on the Provençal coast.
    • Guardia Piemontese, Occitan colony in Calabria (southern Italy) dating from the XV century religious persecutions.
    • Ste Eutrope, Occitan colony in Saintonge, between Angoulême and Ribérac.
    • La Bastide Clarence, Occitan enclave in the Pays Basque. Probably the Basque local population converted to Occitan as did the whole population of Gascony.
    • Pigüe, in Argentina, was populated by inmigrants from Aveyron. Occitan there seems extinct.
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