Just down the Ruelle du Marché steps below my window there’s a live band rocking out universal classics; a few steps more, the distinct hum of revelers spilling out of the restaurants lining the foreshore. People are sprawled on the stairs leaning into each other, smoking, laughing and singing along in predominantly French and English accents. They’re totally ‘in the moment’.

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20130822-190227.jpg I might be in the old town’ where history connects with ancient fortifications, in this case The Citadel, but that’s where ‘old’ ends. Villefranche, an extension of Nice on the Côte d’Azur or ‘French Riviera’ is not only quaint, it’s abuzz with activity. Similar to the Cinque Terra in terms of architectural influence. Tall houses in the same faded patna of terra cotta, pink, yellow and cream with moss green shutters, trompe l’oeil facades and pots of Bougainvillea crowding less narrow enterprise lined lane ways. But that’s where the similarities end.

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20130822-185742.jpgThe locals smile a friendly ‘Bonjour!’ They happily relieve you of your strangled french and enjoy testing their english.

‘Arretez! Vous tues langue notre!’

Stop! You are killing our language!  And they work hard at making you feel welcome. It’s refreshing, rejuvenating and spirited and you know what? It’s working.
Sparkling, azure blue ocean dotted with yachts, bay cruisers and speed boats; a balmy 32 degrees, the best bread in Europe, chilled G&T’s and a cozy, albeit tiny abode to retreat to right in the beating heart of this dear little village.

 

 

 

20130822-185613.jpg20130822-185850.jpg Stay tuned for local highlights, the low down on retail therapy in Nice and a desperately needed hair style update (lest I be labelled a Wookie)

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