No need for a gym pass for those who live in Villefranche-sur-Mer. Their gym has either a sea view or a view of sunlight old houses nestled close to each other. Those who work at the city hall have the pleasure of a light cardio exercise as they walk through the citadel and enter the sunny courtyards on top of the hill. Villefranche-sur-Mer’s little alleyways have always been so narrow. The town just grew organically around the little fishing harbor. Rumor is Jean Cocteau used the back streets for a haunting scene in a film. What is known for sure is that he loved the place so much he painted the insides of the fishermen’s chapel in a lovely Picassoesque style. Many other movies have been partially filmed here: a James Bond, a Hitchcock movie, and others. Somerset Maugham had an apartment here as he much preferred the quiet waterfront to the busy Nice boardwalk.
I can quite understand why. If I were to concentrate on writing a book, this is the atmosphere I’d prefer, too.
(Villefranche-sur-Mer, France; April 2018)