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Saint-Tropez and the writers

Saint-Tropez the inspiration


Daughter of the sea“, this is how Guy de Maupassant already called her at the end of the 19th century. His journey in the Mediterranean and his arrival in the waters of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez aboard his legendary boat “Bel Ami” in April 1888, is told to us through his travel diaries in his book “On the water”.


Colette discovers the Mediterranean at the age of 34 and falls in love with Saint-Tropez thanks to her third husband, Maurice Goudeket, who visits the still relatively little known village. Conquered, she decides to buy a residence in 1925, and baptizes the small house “La Treille Muscate” where she will stay there as often as she can to escape her Parisian life. She wrote many essays and novels there such as The Birth of the Day, Bella Vista, Prisons et paradis, Journal à rebours … and notably met Joseph Kessel who would put down his trunks in Saint-Tropez in 1935, on his return from Spain.

Dinner at Sénéquier. Colette, Jean Cocteau, Maurice Goudeket, Joseph Kessel, Jean Marais and Serge Lifar.

In its wake, many writers, playwrights and entertainers discover the Provencal village. Very quickly, the whole of Montparnasse came to Saint-Tropez. This is what will make her leave the village in 1939 because for Colette, the village had lost its charm and its tranquility.


In the 1950s, Saint-Tropez was the navel of the world.

Illustrious artists and intellectuals discover the village, which has become the cradle of the New Wave with as HQ the Hôtel de la Ponche, a sort of summer branch of Saint-Germain des Prés, electrified by this current of modernity which awakens society, French, music, cinema and literature.

Paul Eluard, Boris Vian, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre … meet there happily.


Françoise Sagan, then a young literary prodigy, leader of the party and eccentricity in Paris transposes the party to Saint-Tropez where she arrives at the wheel of an old convertible Jaguar. At the Hôtel de La Ponche where she stayed and considered as a guesthouse, everyone adored Françoise whose conception of life was “the sun, the speed, the party and the humor”.

She will write her novel “Goodbye and Thank You” there and will keep from her Tropezian summers a unique and never-found sensation, a mixture of sleepless nights, drunkenness and freedom shared with her friends.


To those who asked her how she liked Saint-Tropez, she replied: “Saint-Tropez, a seaside town of indestructible beauty. A communion between the human soul and the countryside”.