November 14th, 2007 – by: sissanoel
Entrace to St Paul village.
Day 4 was a fabulous day, we took the bus up to the hilltop village of St Paul, near Vence - glorious old terrace houses along wonky, cobbled streets and built in the Middle Ages, so full of character and charm. It was a magnet for artists and actors in the middle of last century, so lots of name dropping as to who lived in which house. Marc Chagall is buried here, so he ended up staying permanently (!) and Yves Montand and Simone Signoret were married and lived here. We arrived at about 9am and went into the tourist info first for some info, and ended up taking a fantastic personal guided tour - we were the only customers so we went straight away (and at only 5 euros each, a bargain to boot).
Noel was amazed at how quiet the place was - the weather was glorious, but hardly any people - he had visited before in Summer and apparently you could barely move for the crowds. The town winds around the top of the hill, all cobblestones and ironwork - very rustic French. Also very expensive, but that's what you get for being a popular tourist spot. We bought lunch from the local bakery and sat eating it on the wall, looking back towards Cannes. In the afternoon we walked up a tiny residential road to the Fondation Maeght, a private gallery showing works by Miro, Giacometti, Chagall, Leger etc.. They were setting up a special exhibition so some of the inside areas were closed, but the sculptures and statues in the garden were brilliant - Noel got lots of ideas for our garden! We then caught the bus back to Nice and had a wander around the Old Town again (everything was open this time, being late afternoon) before walking down to the antique/flea market near the old port. There wasn't much there (it was closing up), so had a look around the Confiserie Florien for sweets and preserves before heading home.
Noel & Melissa on the top wall of ST Paul, part of the French Alps behind us.