August 10, 2017


After a morning spent touring Grasse, the perfume capital of the world, we moved on to visit some of France's famed perched villages. Of the many hill towns scattered throughout Provence and the Côte d'Azur, picturesque St-Paul-de-Vence is one of the most popular. The medieval town also attracted many of the twentieth century's most notable artists.

St-Paul-de-Vence, France

It was here at La Colombe d'Or that struggling artists like Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall traded paintings for their meals. These valuable works are still displayed on the restaurant's walls. Today the narrow lanes of St-Paul-de-Vence are lined with shops and art galleries catering to the town's many visitors.

La Colombe d'Or Restaurant

Place de la Grande Fontaine

Marc Chagall lived in St-Paul-de-Vence for almost twenty years and he is buried in the town cemetery.

St-Paul-de-Vence Cemetery

Marc Chagall's Grave

There's not much else to see in St-Paul-de-Vence, other than charming cobbled lanes, sleepy squares and jasmine-covered walls. If you like that sort of thing.

La Placette Fountain

Wall Covered in Jasmine

Before leaving town our guide treated us to ice cream at Le Glacier de la Fontaine, next to the old fountain on the site of the town's weekly seventeenth century market.  I chose the flavour violette because I'd just had lunch in another perched village, Tourrettes-sur-Loup, which is known for the cultivation of violets and celebrates an annual Fêtes de Violettes, Violet Festival, in March. 

Le Glacier de la Fontaine

Violet Flavoured Ice Cream

The Violet Village, Tourrettes-sur-Loup

Lunch in Tourrettes-sur-Loup came as a welcome break from the heat –  along with a delicious salade au fromage and glass of rosé on the terrace of L'Epicerie. In fact, we lingered so long in the shade that we had no time left to tour the village before our departure to St-Paul-de-Vence. But I consider a leisurely lunch an important (and very pleasant) strategy for coping with the high temperatures of summertime in Provence.

L'Epicerie, Tourrettes-sur-Loup

Salade au Fromage

Related Post:
Chagall Museum, Nice


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