Painting Tours: France – Mediterranean Villages

Discover the calmness of these villages, so different from the frenetic pace of the Cote d’Azur (although only a few 20 miles away). If you are looking for authenticity, you will definitely be charmed by the patina of age on the old stones, the shade of the narrow streets full of flowers and local artists’ studios. You will be fascinated and inspired like Monet, Renoir, Picasso, Chagalle, Bonnard and Matisse before you.

The villages we will visit are the most quiet and non touristy villages from all the places we visit on any tour.

Day 1: Welcome to Vence


The meeting place is at our hotel in Vence. Upon your arrival at our hotel, take time to settle in, have a drink in the garden, enjoy the view, before our welcome meeting.

In the evening, you will enjoy a gourmet dinner in the lovely medieval town of Vence.

Days 2-3: Hills and the Medieval Town of Vence

day2-terraceVence is jewel which, by good fortune or skill, has never losts its character. A sort of magic, a timeless grace inhabits this charming and priviliged place.

A pure jewel that has always preserved its authenticity. Surrounded by its13th century rampart, Vence combines both the nobility of a historic town and the charm of a city of light that has become the city of painters. It is recognized as one of the last secrets of the Cote d’Azur.
We will start the day painting from the garden of our hotel, taking advantage of the beautiful morning sun.

day3-venceWe will then spend the afternoon in the historical old town of Vence. Its richness of medieval treasures such as the walled circle of medieval buildings, stone walls, narrow streets and as well as modern art is a paradise for painters.

Vence is a town of artists with painters, sculptors and writers of many nationalities living there. The town is therefore full of galleries but also terrace cafes, restaurants and shops.

Day 4: Painting in Renoir Garden


The Renoir Museum stands in the heart of a magnificent estate with centuries-old olive trees and citrus with a superb panorama all the way to Cap d’Antibes.

The estate was the retreat and final home of the impressionist artist who spent the last 12 years of his life there. The museum contains 14 of his original paintings, sculptures, furniture and his studio.

Painting the same olive trees than Renoir painted will be an emotional and unique experience!

Day 5: Painting by the Sea and Picasso Museum in Antibes

day5-antibesPicasso once wrote: “If you want to see Picassos from Antibes, you have to see them in Antibes”.

Spectacularly positioned overlooking the sea, 14th-century chateau Grimaldi served as Picasso’s studio in 1946. In less than 2 months, Picasso created 44 drawings and 23 paintings that he left to the museum. In addition the museum also houses the master’s lithographs and ceramics, as well as photographic record of the artist at work.

We will spend the entire day in Antibes. The natural beauty remains in the historical old town within the ramparts along the sea and the long, arched protective wall along the port.

It has retained much of its character with quaint cobbled streets, a Provencal market, lots of restaurants, street cafes and bars.

Day 6: My Secret Medieval Village and Shopping in St Paul de Vence

day6-Stpaulday6-Stpaul.2jpgThere are many non touristy and not known medieval villages around Vence. We will spend the morning panting in my favorite one. There won’t be any other tourist but us!!.

At the end of the day, we will go to St Paul de Vence, after all tourists have left. This is the oldest medieval towns on the French Riviera. A source of inspiration for talented artists throughout the ages, today it is well-known for for its art museums and galleries such as Foundation Maeght. You can also find the cemetery where Chagalle is buried.

Shopping might be on your to do list today: from artwork, to jewelry, local gourmet delicacies, olive oils, wine, Provencal fabrics, you can find it all.

Day 7: Grimaldi Castle

day7-castleday7-dinnerHaut-de-Cagnes is a small hilltop village that has succesfully preserved its medieval character and authentic provencal charm.

Surrounded by ramparts and dotted with small shady squares nestled among the sinuous alleysways, it invites you to unwind and will give you so much inspiration.

The views out to the sea and rising hills of the backcountry are stunning.

The village surrounds the 14th century Grimaldi castle, now a museum.

In the afternoon, back home, we will do a little “vernissage”with everyone’s paintings of the week before our farewell dinner together.

Day 8: Departure

It is time to say: “au revoir” but not “adieu” because you will be back. We just know it.

After our last breakfast together, we’ll drive you to Nice airport.

You will be well taken care of from day 1 till  your drop off at Nice airport the end of your stay.

Every day, we will drive you in a comfortable A/C mini van to different painting locations.

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French Escapade LLC | 2389 Blackpool Place | San Leandro, CA 94577 | 510-483-5713 |
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