SAINT PAUL-DE-VENCE: THE PERFET MEDIEVAL HILLTOWN NEAR THE COTE D’AZUR

A small dog dressed in his best suit greets visitors on the piazza. An old man hangs his head out his window to greet his neighbor in the street below. The narrow cobblestone lanes seem to go on forever with plants in Pompeiian pots that adorn doorways and windowsills while plush vines climb up the walls to provide a refreshing green layer to the limestone facades.  A wall relief depicts 3 nude maidens exposing their derrieres.  Wrought iron signs hang off storefront walls.

This is Saint Paul-de-Vence, the perfect medieval hill-town in the hills above Nice on the cote d’Azur . Like its sister hill-town Vence only a few miles away, Saint Paul-de-Vence is a well preserved medieval enclave perched meticulously on the top of a high hill overlooking the valleys below, however, Saint Paul is the more famous and most visited, and therefore the most crowded with tourists. Still, this village is well worth a visit to experience the old medieval character and the clean, fresh air. The main sights are a few museums and the town church with its baroque chapel, and a grand cemetery with fantastic panoramic views to the surrounding countryside.

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For connoisseurs of art there are numerous artist studios and galleries. For everyone else there are a plethora of gift shops and boutiques as well as a good number restaurants and cafes. The best way to enjoy this hilltop paradise is to slowly stroll the scenic lanes absorbing the sights and sounds and storing them in a safe place in your memories.

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