The South of France is known for being the second home to many of the world’s rich and famous. But when the rest of the world sees photos of celebrities walking the red carpet at Cannes or partying at Paloma Beach Club, they assume that those of us who live here spend our days knee-deep in movie stars, industry moguls and rock icons.
But their paths don’t cross with those of mere mortals as often as people seem to think. And when they do, it’s not a big deal the way such an encounter might have been back home, as pointed out in a recent article in Australia’s Daily Telegraph: “It’s perhaps not difficult to understand why the filthy rich and famous flock to the South of France for the season – the French are generally so cool and low key, it is one place on earth where they can be left in peace.”
Case in point, everyone who lives here knows that Jack Nicholson moors his yacht in St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and that his forays onto dry land usually include a stop at his favourite restaurant, The African Queen, but nobody goes so far as to stalk him there.
Occasionally there is a rumour that Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp has been spotted in some village outside the ones where they live peaceful, chaos-free lives. The alleged appearance causes a ripple of excitement that races through the populace and makes the locals swell with pride that someone so famous might grace them with their presence. But at no point does the rumour involve a tale of Johnny being mobbed by fans at the boulangerie or Brad fleeing from paparazzi outside the maison de la presse, because such a thing is just not done here.