St Paul de Vence on the French Riviera

Many tourists are in awe of this beautiful little town on the Côte d’Azur in the Provence region. The old border post of St Paul de Vence , located between France and Savoy, is currently one of the medieval pearls of this region of southern Gallic. A walled town that oozes art with more than 60 galleries spread out through its historic streets.

St Paul de Vence surprises us in every corner. If we look outside, we see stunning views of the cypress fields and its red-roofed villages with pools and tropical palm trees. While if we take a look inside the restored medieval town , we are amazed by the works of art displayed by the squares, winding streets and its historic buildings.

One of those most visited buildings is " La Colombe d’Or ", it was also very frequented by Pablo Picasso when he visited the area. Since he never had a home in this little town, he stayed at this famous hostel when he was touring the Riviera. It was common then to pay for the room and food with paintings, so today two works by Picasso and Matisse can be admired in the dining room, a restaurant only within reach of the most exquisite pockets.

This town currently inhabited by 3,000 people, became a prosperous medieval town due to its varied trade in figs, olives and oranges. Walking the ramparts, the Rue Grande or the Grand Fontaine (1850), located in a charming medieval square, allows you to see how many of the old buildings of the 16th and 17th centuries maintain their charm, despite the fact that many of them house boutiques , souvenir shops or art galleries.

The Collegiate Church and the Chapel of the White Penitents can complete the visit of the town that only keeps two hotels within the walls. The chapel was once an ancient temple dedicated to charity, decorated by the artist Folon with an immense mosaic of more than a million small pieces, stained glass windows, paintings and sculptures.

Outside the medieval enclosure, we recommend you go to the Maeght and Aimé Maeght Foundation (1964). The fruit of a collaboration between various artists and the architect Josep Lluis Sert, it displays 9,000 works of modern and contemporary art in the midst of exuberant nature. Only five hundred meters from the foundation is the 17th century Chapel of St. Charles and Saint Claude. Your visit is absolutely essential. From its old walls you can enjoy the most fascinating panoramic view of St Paul de Vence, an unforgettable place in the heart of the Côte d’Azur .