St Paul de Vence in the South of France is one of the best preserved and prettiest medieval villages in all of Europe. In this episode will take you on a walk through the village in the late afternoon and early evening when the lighting is at its most beguiling with the soft glow of twilight, and it’s very quiet. The shops are closed and there’s just a few people walking about, there is one main Lane in the village of Morgan a walk you along its entire length from one fun into the other, and then back again. We have another episode where we’ve taken you through through St Paul during the daytime and charges in many art galleries in the shops and cafés. In the evening the village takes on a different character altogether.
It’s more tranquil, with hardly any visitors, especially now in the off-season, and you really get a chance to take in the physical beauty of St Paul de Vence. There’s no graffiti. There is no trash. Nothings broken here. Everything is sparkling. Even the paving on the lanes is precise and beautiful. Even the dogs have to be careful where they go. They keep the place spic and span, so if you want to see an old medieval village, go visit St Paul de Vence.
As we walk around this beautiful village we’re going to share with you some information that was provided on the tourist information office website. They have a very helpful tourist information office in the village, and of course you can look online at their website as well and learned a lot more.
The Place de la Grand Fontaine stands in the very center of town. Redesigned in the 17th and again in the 19th century, this square has always been the busiest spot in the village.
One of the features of the tourist information office is walking tour: there are 10 different guided walks that you can take with a local guide. One of them, them is called “history and heritage”. They say that they that every block of stone in St Paul de Vence has a story to tell. The walls, the ramparts, houses and the towers have plenty to say about the villages rich past. Numerous narrow lanes branch off from they one little Main Street and descend by steps and arcades down to the road which runs around the walls. St Paul de Vence is quite small, just 400 m long and about 100 m wide, and yet, within this small space you’re going to find that practically every square inch is worth looking at carefully.
It is just beautifully put together. The population lives within the walls is only 300 people, and yet each year it gets 2 1/2 million visitors, so it can get quite crowded, especially during the busy season, say from April through September.
If you can it’s better to come here in the off-season: November, December, January are really quite lovely. And you’ll find the shops and galleries are open throughout the year. The town is quiet in clean, spotless, scrubbed, so clean, no hint of graffiti. It’s full of picturesque lanes of quaint corners and odd passages. The main Street, and all the side alleys are of the continuations of the original mule paths of the old days, interrupted here and there with steps in way too narrow to admit a car of any kind.
Certainly you could spend just an hour or two or three hours visiting St Paul de Vence, walk around and enjoy its charms, but you might find that you’d like to spend a night or two here and use it as a base for exploring some of the surrounding countryside. And if you’d like to do that, you have some overnight accommodations. Outside the walls of the town, there are seven hotels located nearby and inside the walls are actually two lovely hotels. In the 20th century, some Paul was discovered by actors and poets and writers the 1950s and 60s were the villages Golden age, when St Paul became an amazing film set hosting French and foreign movie stars drawn to the French Riviera by the Victorine film studios in Nice and by the Cannes Film Festival. First cobbles were laid on village streets in the 1950s. Today you’ll notice the streets are immaculately paved in what looks like first-class work of mosaic art.
Cobblestone lanes here are among the finest that you’ll ever see. St Paul appears so unlike our modern workaday world of hotels, houses and shops that one can hardly believe that this place is real and we’re not seeing them in some happy dream.
It is very real, however — it has its modern life of births, deaths and marriages and ancient history, dating as far back as the ninth century. Well it’s finally time to depart St Paul, walking over to the bus stop. The buses come about every hour — the last one out is at in the evening. You need to leave time quality lesser spending the night there. It’s easy to find them. Just walk out the main gate through the little Park, across the basketball and another block On the corner and you will find the bus stop to catch a bus back. Denise takes about one hour..
As found on Youtube