A Saint-Tropez, la luna si desta con te
E balla il twist
Contando le stelle in ciel
Ma la stella ancor più bella
Non è in cielo, è qui vicino a me
To those of you who aren’t Italian – the lyrics above are a classic. End of 😀
We woke up to a cloudy Saturday morning that brought a threat of rain, but my trusty weather app on the iPhone said that St.Tropez was gonna be just fine… so technology won over hatred of water that motorbikers usually have, and off we went.
As you’ve already understood, this whim that brought me to Côte d’Azur was induced by my never-ending fascination with the ’50s and ’60s, the golden era of glamour, movies, playboys, parties and true stars that walked the same streets. I also have a penchant for kitsch songs such as the one mentioned above (Peppino di Capri is certainly a classic, but a very funny one: however my irony is my best trait in my opinion, so I apply it to every segment of life) which is available on Spotify (it’s correct name is Saint-Tropez twist), so feel free to put that on and follow my tracks!
This is how Saint Tropez presented itself, after a charming 2 hours of coastal crowded road that nevertheless presented endless beauty in it’s beautiful architecture and Mediterranean maquis. (Differently from Monte Carlo, there’s no wild building here. No crazy glass constructions or skyscrapers, just beige/rosé villas and endless greenery. Well done, St Tropez and surrounding towns!)
The port is crowded as hell, brimming with activities and tourists. The first thing that caught my eye – aside from the usual share of boats – was the local market inside the old city walls. You can’t be a seaside-grown girl and not notice this!!
I swear this made me want to rent a flat immediately and start cooking! There’s nothing better than cooking sea goodies for friends and family: those are the perfumes of my childhood and teenager years, and they still never fail to make me feel home wherever I am.
Add the inevitable charm of a boulangerie and narrow french Riviera streets…
Saint Tropez today is nothing like a ’50s obsessed person such as moi would imagine. Sure, it’s charming and there’s definitely life there, but it’s very modern and consumer oriented too. There are numerous art galleries that unluckily provide little true art and too much Chinese produced trash, the quantity of shops that sell actually locally manufactured stuff is close to none, and all of the world known and relevant brands are there.
Weirdly enough I almost never shop when I’m outside Milan. There can be nothing that other shops can offer me that hasn’t been offered home already, and I have my people who go the extra mile for me – so I prefer all of it to be done there. Occasionally I find souvenirs (I confess husband and I have the kitsch and funny habit of buying fridge magnets: the more ridiculous the better!) but I spent a total of 10 minutes inside Chanel and Dior in Saint Tropez, resulting in zero purchases. However they are worth the visit: the Chanel boutique must be the most beautiful anywhere in the world, with an inside garden and a pool with a giant iron camellia in it’s centre. (they would not let me take pics: I am so over that ban, you have no idea. Get over yourselves, shops.)
The visit had to be cut short, as we only had two hours to stroll – we had to go back to Cannes for a special lunch with extremely special friends. (check Instagram for more)
But the cloudy sky turned out to be a friend, as it allowed us to walk without burning (which I however managed to do, looking like a truck driver with signs of yesterday’s t-shirt and today’s dress… what can I say, i don’t like to tan!) and to enjoy the pines’ perfume and the small breeze.
Some of the things I like: greenery on houses. Oh, how I like it!
I would have expected more mementos of BB in Saint Tropez, but except for the occasional picture here and there, or a bar bearing her name – there wasn’t much. The area has definitely moved on!
By midday I was parched, and needed to drink something fresh to keep going. Then my eyes lit up when I saw this: Dior Des Lices, the most beautiful Dior store ever, with a summer garden and a bar. If you go to St Tropez, please don’t miss it and make sure you have breakfast there: the location alone is worth it, and Dior never disappoints!
If I could give an advice to anyone traveling to this part of the world, that would be: enjoy the journey in it’s fullness. I loved the coastal panoramic road, the wind in my hair, the smell of the sea air mixed with fish grill from numerous restaurants, the lovely music, and the kindness of the locals whenever needed for an advice or road indications. Now I see why the Riviera is that loved: its’ not because of the yachts, or the super-cars parked in front of the hotels, or not even the celebrities. It’s a truly friendly place to be, with an extraordinary nature and magnificent and charming history.
I was definitely left wanting for more when we had to leave back to Cannes. St Tropez is worth a more lengthy stay, and I am certain that someday we will do just that. For now… au revoir 🙂 (dancing the twist!)