In Provence, one has the feeling of entering a contest, waiting to see what the next prize is. First I see something magnificent, and now something even more so ... something even more beautiful now. Something cannot be so beautiful, so perfect, it is too much ;). Another place I stumbled on by luck during my week in Provençal: Saint Rémy de Provence. Upon arrival and because of the time, it was full of people, with cameras in hand, immortalizing each picturesque corner of this charming city. To find the hidden soul of this small town, take the streets, listening to the people, walk, enjoy the architecture, its history, and suddenly discover a poem, a poet, a visionary , a new language, some flags that you hadn't encountered previously, different aromas, another country. Saint Rémy is Frederi Mistral, is Mireio is Nostradamus, pure Occitan. In Saint Rémy feel the Occitania and understand the wonderful culture of medieval times, the troubadours, the langue d'oc, that have been forgotten, crushed by the yoke of the Frankish kings and their desire to annex the country ahead of its time and incorporate it into his kingdom. The forgotten history of France, is reborn in every corner of this charming villa. Also known as the resting place of Van Gogh, of which nearly 150 canvases came after his "exile" of Arles. Craft stores at every step, cute bistros, beautiful restaurants, Provencal facades, Occitan streets, a perfect cocktail to intoxicate the senses. No wonder Van Gogh was "moved", such beauty stuns. I begin to understand that how Provence is so exquisitely French Mediterranean.
On the outskirts of Saint Remy de Provence is a surprise: the triumphal arch and mausoleum of July, historical monuments since the year 1840, and worth a visit. For more than sixteen centuries the only visible element was the Glanum Greco-Roman city. There is a hospital on the other side of the street where you can park for free. I realized later: (
The famous painter Van Gogh suffered mental problems that forced him into seclusion in mental hospitals. One of them was in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, close to the remains of the Roman city of Glanum. Outside of the hospital, we found olive trees, which inspired him to paint works such as "Alpilles with Olive Trees in the foreground", "Olive" and "Collection of the Olive ".
After a visiting the French region of Provence for 10 days, the finishing touch was the small town of Saint Remy de Provence, the birthplace of Nostradamus. It has lovely places and a cathedral with a beautiful exterior and a dark interior, but very cared for.
Saint-Remy-Provence is known for many things: Its beautiful, old medieval town, which is where Van Gogh was a recluse because of the remains of Galum. But this place is mostly known for being the birthplace of history's greatest visionary: Nostradamus. It's interesting that there's a museum about his life in another city (Salon de Provence), but in his hometown there's no more than a plaque commemorating his birth, along with a beautiful portrait and one of the most beautiful fountains in the town. We were engrossed as we walked through the pedestrian streets. There was a pretty amazing store that caught my attention and suddenly, a small sign with an arrow indicating: "Maison birthplace of Nostradamus". What??? This is what happens to me when I don't plan trips. Sometimes these little places escape me. The rue Hoche runs parallel to the remains of the wall of the fifteenth century, but its real charm lies in being the birthplace of one of the most recognized worldwide. Then you realize that there are streets, shops, restaurants, hotels and fonts with your name and suddenly fall. How many secrets in store for us this amazing province?
We found this calm and relaxing boulevard where we stopped along the way. We left the maze of streets in old town of St Remy before continuing the ride to continue discovering this beautiful city. The street is full of flirty Mirabeau terraces, bistros, hotels and restaurants with all types of different food. We decided on a lovely terrace that allows the coming and going of people, while we relaxed and ate some tasty ice cream and drink a nice cold beer and talked about stories of the trip. A place with lots of atmosphere and of course, as in all of Provence, it was very trendy and chic..
Although the name suggests that this street is very large and full of trees, like the streest in the rest of the city, the Boulevard Victor Hugo is a small pedestrian street that leading to the old town and shopping district. It's filled with beautiful restaurants that invite you to sit on their multicoloured and fresh terraces. With delicious stores, artisan "ateliers", unmistakable Provencal style houses, good atmosphere, the cheerful Mediterranean lifestyle, this is one of the most interesting and enjoyable cities. As always, the smell of lavender and a sense of well-being follow us along the path, while the joy of life accompanies you, making you drunk with such beauty and poise.
One of the things that caught my attention in this city was the fact that the streets had two names each. One is the French name, and the other is the provencal name. As I walked, I discovered a plaque dedicated to Frederic Mistral, the poet who won the Nobel Prize and reached his greatest success with the poem Mireio (Mireia or Mireille in French). Although she was not a native of this city, Saint Rémy have kept her figure. During the second half of the nineteenth century there was a revival of the language and culture of Provence, particularly traditional rural values, at the head of this movement was the poet Frederic Mistral. There is a tremendous amount of culture, history and art to be found in this serene and beautiful city. Look for the poem, is really beautiful.
Lose yourself in the streets of Saint Remy, and discover the real town that comes together behind the beautiful Provence features. Dine on the terrace and see street performances, their markets, houses ...