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I sometimes dream of a hilltop village in France and renting a pied-a-terre overlooking the Mediterranean sea.


I see myself spending a couple of months there soaking up the local life.


Waking early, I would head out for my morning caffeine hit in the busiest cafe where I  would eavesdrop on the latest news and gossip.


Maybe even joining in the conversation as my presence becomes more familiar, and then return to the apartment and to my desk to write for the day.


Writing for a full two months with few interruptions, in a room with a view, is my idea of heaven.



Looking south from the top of the village of Ramatuelle with the Catholic church on the left/Hilltop Village in France



France’s medieval villages like Ramatuelle have always inspired that dream in me.


Ramatuelle* is a commune in the Var department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southeastern France, near St. Tropez. The Moors (of Muslim descent) settled there in the ninth and tenth centuries, finding a hill the best defence against their enemies although they were eventually defeated and sent packing.


A Ramatuelle passageway/Hilltop Village in France


Nowadays, there are about three thousand full-time inhabitants, but the locals assured me that the town and its restaurants swell to many times that number in the summer months.


Ramatuelle is a delightful little town, easy to visit on a day trip along the Riviera much like St. Paul de Vence (gorgeous, near Nice) and Eze (just west of Monte Carlo).


Rooftops of the houses in Ramatuelle (Google image)/Hilltop Village in France


There is that one café that everyone seems to frequent, and my party of friends and I headed there first thing early one morning.


Double espressos, freshly baked croissants and other decadent pastries were consumed to prime us to take a walk through the village.


Like in all of these little villages, there are the cobblestone streets, narrow passageways, pastel facades, shutters, and doors,  and those beautiful little touches of colour with flowers or plants that give you pause.


Love the narrow passageways/Hilltop Village in France


Doorway/Hilltop Village in France


Little touches of flowers everywhere/Hilltop Village in France



Of course, there are the churches and chapels, the most prominent with its oblong tower being Notre Dame De l’Assomption, along with galleries, shops and restaurants.


Most were not open on the spring day I visited the town.  It was very quiet and serene.


I would imagine right now however that it is bustling with tourists and summer inhabitants.


It would be great fun to visit it again like that.


Picturesque view from the Hilltop Village in France


It certainly did feed that little dream of enjoying a few months in a similar village, and making more time for just “being.”


How are doing some of that this season?


* Ramatuelle was known in the Middle Ages as Ramatuella (derived from the Arabic Rahmatollah  meaning ‘the mercy of God’)


One of those special touches in Ramatuelle/Hilltop Village in France


My Summer Break

As I do every year, I am taking a break to enjoy the good weather.

Summer goes by so quickly, doesn’t it?


I am actually heading up into Canada’s north to spend a week on a houseboat!

Those of you who know me well might be surprised as I am a Paris girl,

and in fact, have never even been camping. No, not even once in my life.

My boatmates laughed when I asked how I plug in my hair dryer.

No electricity you see.


No Chanel No. 5 perfume on this trip either, they also told me.

Substitute? Bug spray.


No WIFI or internet.

No restaurants, stores or cafés.


Ok, it is a bit out of my comfort zone.

But in this chapter of my life, I have decided to embrace new experiences

and this one will be an adventure.

While it is not Paris, do you think it might warrant a blog when I get back?


Love to hear from you as always.

I will be back in this spot on August 28th!

See you all then, and happy travels.  Stay well and stay safe!


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  1. Kelly on July 17, 2022 at 8:06 am

    I hope you will share your experiences houseboating! My best advice for these types of adventures is to have some really great hats (bucket, straw, baseball cap) since there are no hair appliances, and everything else will be fine. Have a great time!

    • Christine Kowal on July 17, 2022 at 11:04 am

      That is such a beautiful place. It’s almost fairytale-risqué. Thank you for showing it to me. And of course I want to know about the house boat. What an adventure.

  2. Gretchen Greene O'Brien on July 17, 2022 at 11:42 am

    Living for a few months in a French hilltop village sounds ideal – should squeeze out a few more ounces of creativity (as if you needed a boost!!!). I’d say – Go For It!!!
    Enjoy brunch today with your BFF before you go houseboating. A new experience – living on the water for a period of time. A few years ago, I did the same – in the Trent waterway system …. lots of locks to navigate (and the unforgiving Canadian Shield lurking just below the surface)!!! Have fun!

    • Diana Bishop on July 19, 2022 at 11:57 am

      Thanks Gretchen, had a lovely time with Shardie! And now houseboat here I come! Keep you posted. Enjoy the summer, Diana

  3. Shardie Stevenson on July 17, 2022 at 4:46 pm

    This was such a gorgeous little town ! Around each corner was another oooh aaaah moment!!

    Diana ….. I will be dying to hear all about your houseboat adventure !! ❤️😎

  4. Laura R Campbell on July 17, 2022 at 4:59 pm

    Yes, Diana, definitely want to learning about your adventures “Canada’s north”. How north is north for a ” Woman of a Certain Age in Paris”? 🙂 Looking forward to it!

    • Diana Bishop on July 19, 2022 at 11:56 am

      Hi Laura, Not too far north — Lake Temagami north of North Bay. That’s north enough for me! I will keep you posted and thank you for reaching out.

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