Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Villefranche Sur Mer

Villefranche Sur Mer,  Cote d'Azur

When the sun shines around here for the first truly warm days of 
Winter ( March 2 was 19C, 66.2F ), it changes everyone.

 Young people venture out in shorts,  old guys smile at me sweetly,   and the colors of buildings seem to vibrate..... making me joyful that the towns of the south have designated color choices...... subtle, glowing earth tones that mature nicely after seasons in the sun.   

"trompe l'oeil " shutters, cat in window and
 pigeons beside real windows. Villefranche sur Mer

Sienna, burnt orange, terra cotta....
what can we call these colors? Villefrance sur Mer

Yesterday I met up with my two good pals , Colette and June, both world travelers that always entice me with their stories of Bali, Singapore, The Bahamas,  Laos , Vietnam etc.  

 We decided to meet together in Villefranche sur Mer in the one week Colette was here from Bali on her way to other people, other places, other dreams.   

I used a one euro bus ticket ( card of ten) to go from my house to Villefranche sur Mer (the next town over from Nice) changing buses at the port of Nice. 

 What other town in the western world only charges the equivalent of a euro for a bus ride of that distance?      And Villefranche is really one of the most attractive of all of our seaside villages because of its intimate size, its overall livability and its proximity to Nice. 

Shadows and alleyways , Villefranche

 Jean Cocteau Fishermen's chapel, Villefranche

Some wonder if I ever get tired of the hundreds of sleepy towns of France?  Well...  perhaps....sometimes ( mostly on a cold, rainy, grumpy day). 

But on a day like yesterday with the sea "as blue as blue".... and the easy way of the natives having informal lunch on a sunny terrace above the sea...... and friends to see....

Looking down from "moyen piste" of the village , Villefranche

Restaurants taking advantage of the seaside dining at Villefranche sur Mer

City sanitation crew member with his traditional "balai bamboo" for hand sweeping a street...Villefranche sur Mer

Boats: Villefranche sur Mer

Colette and June in the square at Villefranche sur Mer

  the answer is NO. 


  1. Oh, my! How beautiful!. I loved what I saw of France in two visits. This surely is a special place. In the name, I think sur Mer means 'By the sea", doesn't it? What does the Villefranche mean, and how is it pronounced? I am guessing it is French Village By the Sea". ??

    These pictures stir my longing for freedom. I am intrigued by the women. What do they do for a living that they can travel and be free so much?
    Love, Iris

  2. Iris: I think you are exactly right. Villefranche means French Village by the Sea. I will tell you more about the rest when I get permission.

  3. Love this, Mary! I've been here and I would love to go back. Beautiful photography!

  4. "A "true" city on the sea" One of my favorites, kept it's old provincial charm, unlike Cannes and Monte Carlo with their high rise modern apt. buildings.


  5. You're right, Richard, This town hasn't been "tarted up" at all and still remains authentic and village-like.

  6. Great blog Mary & the photos of Villefranche are stunning xx


  7. Iris, To answer your question......Colette is a fitness, yoga and ayurvedic teacher and June has raised her family after traveling extensively and has now settled in France.