Old Village

Address: Le Vieux Village, St Tropez, 83990, France

- Free


A dog, a cockerel and a headless body: the heart and soul of St Tropez.

Behind the port, narrow ochre streets wriggle up and down through a past of sailors and fishermen, a present of art galleries, estate agencies, yacht brokers and, here and there, original residents eyeing it all with aloofness.

This is the fascinating heart of St Tropez. It has soaked up the artiness, the decadence, the wealth and glamour and yet remained intact as a recognisable old Provençal village thrown together by the hazards of history.

The wandering is wonderful, not least because most visitors don’t stray this far (even though it’s only a few yards from the port). At some stage, you’ll bump into the parish church. Do pop in, and have a look at the bust of St Tropez himself. It may come as a surprise that there really was a chap called ‘Tropez’ (or ‘Torpetius in the original Latin).

A senior Roman soldier, he was decapitated for embracing Christianity. Though his head remained in Italy, his body was put in a boat – alongside a dog and a cockerel – and launched into the Med.

It apparently fetched up at what is now St Tropez in May AD68. The bust, plus representations of the dog, cockerel and boat, can be seen to the left of the altar. They may help you put the boisterousness of St Tropez in a slightly different context.

Value for money

Price advice

The wandering costs nothing.

Expert tips

Recommended for

  • Couples
  • First-time travellers
  • Mature travellers
  • Seasoned travellers
  • Singles
  • Sightseeing
  • History