St Tropez is a beautiful, star-studded city in the heart of the French Riviera. Known for its affiliation with the finer things in life, it may come as no surprise that this destination is a haven for the rich and famous, who flock to the area for the favourable weather, luxury lifestyle and fine wine and dining opportunities. However, that’s not to say you have to be rich or famous to enjoy your time in St Tropez, and whether you’re relaxing on the beach, exploring the maze of narrow, winding paths or treating yourself to some designer clothes; there’s something to suit everyone here. For those that are looking forward to a stay in our Luxury villas in South of France, we’ve put together 23 of the most fascinating facts about this city, from its long and turbulent history to the wealth of famous visitors it has welcomed over the years, and everything in between!
- In 1954, actress and singer Bridgette Bardot was filmed by Roger Vadim in the film And God Created Women. Known for her hedonistic lifestyle, this iconic moment in film continues to have an effect on those that frequent the city today.
- Popular rock band Pink Floyd wrote a song named San Tropez after the town.
- There are various A-listers that call this beautiful town home – or at least one of them! Whether they live there permanently or they take their holidays there in between red-carpet appearances and shows, there are certainly a few familiar faces to keep an eye out for. These include Victoria and David Beckham, Leonardo Di Caprio, Beyonce and Jay-Z, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Kate Moss and Neil Patrick Harris to name a few.
- The picturesque backdrop provided by St Tropez has caused it to be the filming location of choice for many of the world’s top directors. Famous movies that have scenes in St Tropez include Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Dom Hemingway and The Transporter.
- St-Tropez is located in the Var department if the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, approximately 100km west of Nice, where the Cote d’Azur Airport is situated.
- There are 40 different beaches, or 20km of sand, in and around St Tropez, with the sandy haven Pampelonne being an undisputed favourite amidst visitors.
- The town has a population of permanent residents of around 6,000, although this increases significantly during the warmer months as many choose to spend their summers under the glorious south of France sunshine. St Tropez welcomes approximately 6 million visitors every year.
- The St Tropez vineyards represent approximately 300 hectares and generates around 27,000 hectoliters of wine per year. This makes it a fantastic spot for wine-tasting!
- The town of St Tropez is located on the very end of a peninsula, which perhaps, in part, can explain the plethora of beautiful beaches in the area.
- The city was first inhabited by Greeks, and then Romans, which is why it is often said to have a Roman connection.
- In the beginning, St Tropez was a modest, small fishing village and a military stronghold. It is only after the second World War that people began to visit the city as a seaside destination.
- The town was taken over by various groups throughout the Middle Ages, including those from Marseille, Suffrens and Castellanes.
- St Tropez was rebuilt in the 1400s by wealthy Genoese families, leading it to expand at a gradual pace. It was during this time that the town developed its reputation of building some of the finest ships that were available at the time.
- During the 1700s, St Tropez experienced several attacks from countries all over the world, but notably Turkish and Spanish forces. It was during this time that the town invested in various defences to deter and prevent enemies, including the Citadel, which can still be visited and explored today.
- Paul Signac is credited for “discovering” the town when he sheltered there during a period of particularly bad weather. He went on to build a house here and entertained many high-flying guests including Matisse.
- It wasn’t until around the 1920s that St Tropez became so popular with the likes of Coco Chanel and other acclaimed fashion designers.
- The port of the town, and the rich history that came along with it, we destroyed in 1944 but was soon rebuilt to be the port that stands on the seafront today.
- St Tropez was the first town to be liberated on the French Riviera coast during World War Two as a result of Operation Dragoon.
- St Tropez has its own elegant and handmade sandals that are made of genuine French leather and treated to resist salt water in a reflection of the city’s seaside location. They are better known locally by ‘Sandales tropéziennes’ and were made popular by the various celebrities that have worn them.
- An old legend states that in 68 AD, Torpes, a Roman Officer, was beheaded by the order of Emperor Nero. According to legend, his body then washed up on the beaches of St Tropez alongside that of a rooster and that of a dog. It was then that the villages decided to adopt the martyr, as their patron saint. This, in part, explains why it is called St Tropez, after Saint Torpes.
- Inhabitants of this city are known colloquially as Tropézians.
- Despite its modest, working-class roots, tourism is the main economic resource for the town.
- The old port in town is known as Vieux Port, and is one of the most visited and iconic landmarks in St Tropez.
That concludes our list of fascinating facts about the luxurious French seaside town of St Tropez. If you would like any more inspiration on visiting the area, check out our recent blog posts including Child-Friendly Activities in St Tropez and A Couples’ Guide to St Tropez.
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