The Medieval Pearl of Saint Paul de Vence


Once in Southern France, we dropped in to the picturesque little village of Saint Paul de Vence, high on the hilltop and having magnificent views on the surrounding area. The village of artists, like it’s frequently called and pictured in numerous movies, as a lot of famous artists, from Renoir to Chagall, were frequent visitors and even residents of the village due to its charm and magnificent light. Marc Chagall has also found his final resting place in the calmness of the cemetery of Saint Paul de Vence.

Wandering its maze of narrow streets takes you back to the 16th century, admiring the beautiful facades of buildings, pressing yourself from time to time (if really curious) through so small openings that one would wish not to have had the overly rich supper the previous day and discovering a set of small tables and chairs in the least expected corners, asking you for a little cooling drink, a glass of cider or wine or for some homemade French pancakes (crêpes and galettes).

You can easily walk through the entire village, from Porte Royale to Porte Sud, with no possibility – unless you really want – to get lost. About in the middle of your way is the local little cemetery with the last resting place of Chagall, should you like to go to pay your respects.

Saint Paul de Vence is a perfect destination when you feel that for this particular day it’s enough from beaching and crowds and you are in a mood for some wandering around and art admiring, as the place is full of little wonderful art galleries, one after another. And of course, you won’t miss plenty of little shops selling local products and little restaurants and cafés, from more simple to 5-star luxury ones.

A final look at some of the village’s ancient fountains, a postcard to keep a memory and you are well set to wave your goodbyes to this one of the most beautiful villages of Southern France and to continue your journey in the greenness of its hilltops.

How to get there:

It’s a wonderful daytrip (or even half a day) from Nice, for example, where it’s easily accessible by car, taxi/Uber or, most commonly, by public transport, as it leaves you free to enjoy your little glass of wine with no need to drive later. Take Bus no 400 from one of its stops on Promenade des Anglais or in the corner of hotel Le Méridien and you are well set. About 1-1,5 h (depending on the traffic) and you are there, bus ticket costing 1.5 EUR that can be obtained from the driver.

Until next time!

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