On my recent trip to France, my daughter and I passed through the enchanting village of Saint Tropez. This little town by the sea is full of history, incredible culture, nightlife, and the center for a secret society of Petanque players. Here is a little information about this must-see village and one of its most famous past times.
The seaside resort town Saint Tropez
is still very popular with the tourists, although the jet set and the
in-crowd have long since claimed it for their own. Set on the lovely blue water of
the Bay of Saint-Tropez, this modern version of a medieval town is most
popular for the line of yachets
along the quay, and the facing line of terrace cafes. This little fishing village grew up around a port founded by the Greeks of Marseille, which
was destroyed by the Saracens in 739 and finally fortified in the late
Middle Ages. Its sole distinction from the myriad of other fishing villages
along this coast was its inaccessibility. This unique place is home to
stunning beaches, a relaxing atmosphere and ample recreational
Cobblestone streets lead to alleys housing some of the most stylish shops, galleries, hotels, and restaurants. You can shop from a collection of high end stores such as Chanel, Gucci, Prada, and Hermes, all of which carry only the current season's exclusive collection of fashion. Every Saturday morning, you
can visit the market to find local products from Provence and other regions of France. Tour the Mediterranean Sea on one of the many Rivas or visit one of the forty private beaches. Extraordinary views of the Citadel and the surrounding mountains can be enjoyed from almost any point in the area. Celebrity-watching can also prove interesting in St. Tropez with stars such as Oprah
Winfrey, Quincy Jones, Barbra Streisand, Jack Nicholson,
Robert DeNiro and Elton John all making regular appearances (I even met Bridget Bardot at the post office!)
All the Glitz and Glamor is hard to miss in the little fishing town of St. Tropez, but when you arrive at "Place des Lices", you can only play Petanque!
Petanque is a national french sport played with two "boules" and a "cochonnet" or piglet on hard dirt. The game of Petanque can be compared to the American game of Bauche Ball. The game requires a minimum of 2 players or 2 teams with many players. First, one player throws the piglet to a distance of 3 to 4 meters, from there they draw a circle in the dirt around there feet. Each player throws one "boule" to the piglet with his feet firmly planted in the circle. After both players or teams have thrown their "boules" the closest "boule" to the piglet is the winner.
In many cases the game is won by the measurement to the millimeter which takes more time, allows for more comments, and sparks a theatrical ambiance. Petanque is always a good way to socialize, relax and enjoy "le soleil du midi" the south of France.
This little fishing town with its high society spirit is a must-see place for any traveler. We hope for the chance to visit there soon, but for now we can enjoy the memories of our trip during our own games of Petanque right in our Georgian back yard.
xo, Isabelle & Kate
Petanque sets are now available at The Paris Market for a limited time.
Swing by and grab one for your next summer soiree and be sure to share the story of this popular french past time with your guests!