Saint Tropez was the fourth port of call on our most recent cruise aboard Oceania’s Riviera visiting the Italian and French Riviera
You must use a tender at this port which was not a problem as it allowed us to view the beautiful bay and the approach to the old rustic fishing harbour.
The town is named after a Roman soldier from Pisa who was killed after declaring his Christian faith. His well-preserved body floated ashore and many pilgrims came to pay homage to his burial site which was given the name Saint-Tropez.
This sleepy seaside town with a rich maritime history achieved celebrity status in the late 50s and 60s with Brigitte Bardot’s film ‘And God Created Woman’ filmed in the area. Saint Tropez is a haven for Bohemian artists and chic jetsetters. I found it rather ironic walking round the harbour and seeing multimillion power and sailing yachts docked side by side with old local fishing vessels. The town does have numerous old streets and buildings but the very busy road traffic particularly round the harbour did spoil things a bit.
Museums and Topless Tanning
Among the many Museums in the town is the Musee de L’Annonciade which has a fine collection of works by Bonnard, Ronault, Devian and others. The 16th century Citadelle and the Naval Museum within it was closed for renovations. There are evidently many fine beaches not far from the town although we did not have time to explore them. One of them Tahiti Plage is where topless sun tanning started!
Most of the stylish shops are tucked away in various parts of the old town along the Rue De La Ponche, or near the water on Quai Jean Jaures or Quai Suffren. Designer beachwear, sunglasses and the famous Saint Tropez Gladiator-style sandals are available in abundance.
Multi Million New Museum Planned for 2015
The former police station is being turned into a museum costing two million euros dedicated to the history of the local Gendarmerie and cinema in the region – due to open in 2015. The station was made famous in 1964 when it formed the set for the cult movie Le Gendarme De Saint Tropez.
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Photo: Saint-Tropez Harbour (RG) 155