St Paul de Vence a beautiful French perched village

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My French Travel Book series and New book Off the Autoroute

St Paul de Vence is felt by many to be the loveliest of the perched villages in the south of France. Perhaps, but I do love Bonnieux! St Paul de Vence, an attractive, compact village became a magnet for artists and art lovers in the 1920’s, when a group of impressionist painters rediscovered this sleeping neglected village. Still, today it is very much a place that thrives on its artistic connections. Please take care of your wallet, unpriced art is displayed that way for a reason, so if you afraid to ask don’t go in. Even if you are not prepared to buy there is some stunning art on display and the village itself could be considered one whole work of art.

St Paul de Vence in the South of France – the famous fountain

The photo above was taken on our last visit to the village around 2014. Recently I was watching a BBC documentary about a painting by Sir Winston Churchill of this very scene. The object of the programme was to prove the authenticity of the painting and this they achieved to about 99% satisfaction of the experts. What was interesting was that it was established for certain that Churchill did paint from this very spot and was friends with the artist owner of the studio in this square. It was fascinating to lose yourself in the history of a place you knew well and will no doubt add to the enjoyment of our next visit.

Today the village is not only home to a large artist community but a favoured place of celebrities that have homes here. You may not see any but the locals will provide some names.

The village can be exceptionally busy but we have never found it overwhelmingly so. There are plenty of places to wander away from the main street and the views from the top of the village are spectacular.

Watch out for the locals though! We took a route down a narrow lane passing behind the church and away from any shops and in a quiet passageway we came across a small boy who was playing alone quite boisterously. As we got closer to him he made his move and strangely tried to take me prisoner in his weird game and was determined that he would not let me go. Eventually I wrestled my arms free from this crazy child and headed back up to the church very much to Niamh’s amusement. We carried on safely and went past many fine shops and artisans but once again they are exceptionally overpriced despite undoubted quality.

As in most villages in the South of France you can with care eat very well but also there are one or two tourist traps to avoid. On our last visit we had a lovely baguette and fruit tart for a light lunch by the village walls. Perfect.

Artist studio in a shady quiet square in St Paul de Vence

St Paul de Vence is one of the Cote d’Azur’s most famous and beautiful treasures, and one you should definitely visit.

Please enjoy my Travel books – LINK TO YOUR COUNTRY :

Alt="French travel book series and Collioure harbour photo"
My French Travel Book series and New book Off the Autoroute

Published by Neal Atherton

My passion is writing about travel and particularly French travel. I have traveled extensively in France and wine and food has always featured on my travels and now in my books. My friends always await our return from France with the latest new finds from the vineyards and I was more than happy to keep sampling. I am from Lancashire in the north of England but have now relocated to Somerset (nearer to France) and able to enjoy devoting my time to writing and new discoveries. France came late to me as a destination, in fact so conservative was my travel upbringing that it was a long time before I even ventured to Cornwall. I have more than made up for the slow start and have enjoyed helping many others with their travel plans to France and especially to Paris and Provence. I have written a series of four books on France - Three are now on Amazon:THE FIRST TIME WE SAW PARIS about our first steps in French Travel, THYME FOR PROVENCE our discovery of that glorious region and the people and places we met and discovered, A DREAM OF PARIS a personal memoir of our times in Paris with friends. France has been fun, we have been burgled on our very first arrival, we discovered the best cafe that changed our travel lives on the very next day, we learnt about French wine, we escaped from the most horrendous gite, we found the best of gites, B & B's and people, we laughed and cried with dear friends in Paris, I was hosed down by a crazy owner to cool me down in Provence, our breakfast in a remote village was served by the French army, we stepped totally out of our comfort zone and discovered the best of French culture. The experiences are varied and many and please come with me as I retell the stories and my footsteps are there to follow. I am also writing about ancestry and genealogy and my first book about our incredible family story themed around war and the military is now on Amazon - A BULLET FOR LIFE. I love the English game of cricket, golf, soccer, photography, walking and cooking. Oh, and travel of course.

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