The final day in our trip was short but sweet…
The last place we got to discover in this amazing getaway, was Saint Paul de Vence.
I am ashamed to admit that I didn’t know about this place’s existence before, when it is actually, one of the most visited villages in all France!
Two eras collide
Our day started with a visit to the Fondation Maeght, the place that holds the second largest collection of Modern Art in France after the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.
We got to learn a bit about the history of the family who founded it, and their unconditional love for art.
The only way I can describe this foundation is as “a world of its own”; with incredible pieces of art scattered throughout the property, giving it a mystical aura.
It is just incredible to peek into the minds of outstanding artists through their creations, who seem to have a life of their own.
After the interesting visit, we headed to the center of the village for a walking tour.
I learned that there is a great love and support for arts in this place; you will find almost in every corner a sculpture or piece of art exhibited for everyone to see.
What I found most fascinating, was to see the contrast between the Medieval architecture and the pops of color and texture brought by the displays of modern art.
It is hard to walk through the slender cobblestone streets, without stopping every two steps trying to capture the beauty found in every detail.
Because of that, we were running late on our schedule, and our guide insisted we should visit the local Chapel…
La Chapelle des Pénitents Blancs was decorated and re-inaugurated by the Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon in 2005 and it is now one of the main attractions in the Village.
I was captivated by this place because the instant you enter you feel surrounded by joy, with the interiors all covered up in every color of the rainbow.
The walls are adorned by eight oil paintings, four on each side, done by the painter and restorer Michel Lefebvre.
At the top, there are four stained glass windows made by the master glazier Jaques Loire.
One in the center of the room in pink marble, entitled “The Source”; depicts a man wearing a hat, with his arm stretched.
The second one in bronze, placed at the altar and entitled “Who?’; depicts a large hand holding a man on his feet.
Finally, found at the rear wall, a stunning colorful mosaic depicts the village under a bright sun.
This is my favorite piece of them all. Not only because of the extraordinary work behind it (it is said that over 1 million tiles were used for this creation), but because their use of light and color.
We reluctantly left the chapel and continued wandering up and down until lunchtime at “Le Tilleul” where we had a delicious French meal and relaxed before heading off to the airport.
As much as we did and discovered so many things, that I share with you her, there’s still a never ending list of things to do and places to visit in the French Riviera.
- A visit the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.
- Making your own perfume in Grasse.
- Skiing at the Alpes-Maritimes.
- Seeing the red stairs from the Cannes Festival.
- Sailing and maybe even fishing in the Mediterranean Sea.
There’s a few that I really intend on doing in the coming months! Can’t wait to share that with you as well <3
A big thanks to the Côte d’Azur Tourism Board for hosting us!
Fondation Maeght 623 Chemin des Gardettes, 06570 Saint-Paul-de-Vence
Chapelle des Pénitents Blancs Place de l’église, 06570 Saint-Paul-de-Vence
Le Tilleul 2 Place des Tilleuls, 06570 Saint-Paul-de-Vence
This trip was done in collaboration with, and under the expense of Atout France for journalistic purposes.
All comments depicted in this article are a 100% authentic, based on my personal experience.