Throughout all my travels, I will always have a sweet spot for France. Their history, gastronomy, and grandiose museums make it impossible to not find something interesting to do, eat or discover… which is probably why I love visiting so much.
One of the things I particularly enjoy doing in “La France” is discovering the historic little towns located outside the cities. These villages are often well preserved and make you feel like you’ve gone back in time: the architecture is intact, and you become fully immersed in a cultural experience like no other.
If I had to pick a favorite, I’d say it has to be the medieval village of Saint-Paul de Vence. It’s a tiny community near Nice, Cagnes-sur-Mer, and Vence, that you could probably tour in about 1.5 hours. But that’s only if you aren’t hungry or interested in the art and history of this landmark town.
Don’t do that.
Saint-Paul de Vence is a mecca for artists. It’s a muse city that has provided a few of the most creative minds in history the inspiration to make some of the greatest works ever known to mankind. The list is massive, but to name a few: Picasso, Dufy, Matisse, and Marc Chagall, were all hosted by this hilltop village.
Here are a few must do’s:
- Grimaldi Castle Museum– You’re on top of a hill in rural France. You need to know why. The Grimaldi castle very intricately showcases Sant Paul’s lush history from its inception, to how it became such an iconic location for several artists throughout history.
- Eat at Au Jardin de la Vague- A Michelin-star restaurant in the corner of this tiny town? Absolutely. The dining room is modern, light, and airy, making the experience very refreshing. It features a very concise yet tempting menu with a slight Asian touch. The wine list is absurdly well picked.
- Walk – It’s pretty self-explanatory. Time seems to have slowed down, there’s a light breeze so it never gets too hot, and taking a moment to relish in the details of the architecture of medieval France is a once in a lifetime moment.
One thing I can’t stress enough is — you go, you will end up begging to return. Saint-Paul de Vence is what I like to call “one of those” places that can really win its way into your heart and have you telling all your friends how badly they should visit.
Or maybe you end up liking it enough to write a blog post about it…