Emily In Paris Traded St. Tropez For This Small Harbor Town And It's Perfect
Photo Credit: Fraser Hall

Photo Credit: Fraser Hall

Emily In Paris Traded St. Tropez For This Small Harbor Town And It's Perfect

Paris , France
Amara Amaryah
Amara Amaryah Jan 3, 2022

‘Emily in Paris’ returned for a second season of immaculate French backdrops and mood-board worthy aesthetics except, this time, looking beyond the chic streets of Paris. The Netflix show saw Emily trading the glamour of St. Tropez for one of France’s quaintest harbor towns, Villefranche-sur-Mer.

To escape the romantic complications in her Parisian life, Emily makes for the warm and romantic scenes of France’s beloved destination for luxury, sunshine and international socialites— St. Tropez. However, careful attention will show that the fictional representation of St. Tropez lacks some well-known spots of the luxurious coastal town. The show substituted the casual French glamour of St. Tropez for the quiet charm of Villefranche-sur-Mer, and unsurprisingly prompted wanderlust amongst viewers in the process. 

Emily, joined by Camille and Mindy, embark on an unforgettable girls’ weekend in the so-called St. Tropez, being wooed by the provincial charm and unstated glamour of what has to be an unparalleled paradise on the French coast.

But why did producers choose to film these scenes in the charming winding streets of Villefranche-sur-Mer rather than in the much loved yacht-lined bays of St. Tropez? 

Production designer, Anne Seibel, was said to be attracted to the cozy, lesser known harbor town because of the casual though romantic feel that effortlessly spills out of every sunlit aspect, which is perhaps the opposite of the show-off and highly glamorous air of St. Tropez.

Seibel added, “There are some very expensive hotels around St. Tropez, but I didn’t think they had that Riviera feel”. 

The location certainly speaks for itself, as intimate as it is timelessly stunning, it truly illuminates the beauty of seaside towns on this stretch of the French Riviera.

“I like to include beautiful sets and, for the particular scene, it was accurate: so small and unique—and very French,” said Seibel whilst discussing the decision to include the Chapelle Saint-Pierre. 

Amongst the romantic narrow cobbled streets and the crystalline waters that we glimpse in the series, the town has much more to offer. For wanderers drawn to water, gathering by the harbor front, enjoying the slow paced rhythm and sounds of the town while the local fishermen handle their daily selection of fresh fish is a choice way to spend the warm afternoon. Equally, the main beach ‘Plage des Marinières’ with its 1 km stretch of coastal beauty is one to add to the list. 

Credit: Angelina Herbert

It is also absolutely worth visiting the world-renowned citadel, Chapelle Saint-Pierre, to marvel at its very French grandeur. Chapelle Saint-Pierre is steeped in history dating back to the 14th century, and the later transformations by painter Jean Cocteau give it an appropriate air of mysticism for the romantic town.

Follow in Emily’s steps and stay in the Grand-Hotel-du-Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel basking in the old-school glamour and relaxed elegance of the hotel, the true Villefranche way. Lastly, enjoy the surrounding region, the old-town and the harbor-front restaurants, as strategically donned in ‘Emily in Paris’.

The great appeal of the small town is the picturesque nature of the area, come day and night. Soak up the candle lit ocean-side view and enjoy a meal at Les garçons, a restaurant complete with Mediterranean charm. 

The colorful and unpretentious glamour of Villefranche-sur-Mer is a welcome contender in the endless list of breathtaking French beach towns and through the recommendation of ‘Emily in Paris’, we’re ready to indulge in the splendor.  

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