One of my favourite cities in the south of France is Toulouse. The city centre is small enough and calm enough to be manageable, but big enough to always have something new to discover.
It always seems to be a modern active city, while keeping one eye carefully on the past and the important architectural heritage it contains.
Many of the buildings in Toulouse are constructed from the local bricks – small red bricks, left ‘on show’ (ie not covered over with mortar). Very attractive it is too, and distinctive to Toulouse and a few other towns in the region.
Perhaps the ‘problem’ (advantage?) for Toulouse is that while it is a lovely city in its own right it isn’t especially close to other attractions. A bit too far east to visit from the Dordogne, a bit too far west from Provence, which perhaps helps it avoid the ‘over-touristic’ feel that some cities have.
Anyway, despite this geographical ‘shortcoming’ I highly recommend you take a flight to Toulouse and spend a long week-end exploring the city as soon as you can.