Being the capital of the Natural Regional Park of the Alpilles, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence undoubtedly has an authentic charm thanks to its boulevards in the shade of plane trees, which surround an old centre with narrow streets and squares brightened by fountains. With 300 days of sunshine a year, the atmosphere is joyful, especially on market days and during holidays and festivals, which are part of its cultural life. Saint-Rémy-de-Provence has also become one of the major destinations of artistic creation in the South of France. Nearly a hundred artists have permanent studios there, not to mention the numerous art galleries in this city of 11,000 inhabitants. The fame of Saint-Rémy attracts celebrities from the movie, music and television industry and politics. Celebrities as well as everyone love to meet on its terrace cafés or art, fashion and decoration boutiques. As for real estate, the Provencal mas and charming country houses, typical of authentic Provence, are only rivaled by the splendor of the vineyards surrounding Saint-Rémy.
Life in Saint-Rémy is renowned for its softness, but the image of the city owes much to a man with a tragic destiny: On May, 8, 1889 arrives from Arles a tall, red-haired and blue-eyed character known as Vincent van Gogh, who stayed there until May 16, 1890 and died two months later in Auvers-sur-Oise. He was considered mad because of the epileptic seizures overcoming him, and was interned at the Saint Paul de Maussole Hospital at Saint-Rémy. There, he knew the most productive period of his life as a painter, achieving in one year more than 150 paintings among the best known (Starry Night, The First Steps, The Meridian, The Cornfield and the Cypress, etc.). One has to visit the Saint Paul de Maussole Hospital, "Cultural and Touristic Centre of Van Gogh" and its beautiful Romanesque cloister with a wing devoted to the artist’s stay!
Saint-Rémy-de-Provence’s geographical location makes it famous. Marseille Provence Airport is only 45 minutes away, and Avignon private airport and Avignon TGV station only 15 minutes away. The TGV allows the inhabitants of Saint-Rémy to travel to Paris in 2h40, placing Saint-Rémy next to major European capitals, London, Brussels and Geneva first!
It is often said that it is difficult to put into words the magnetic appeal of Saint-Rémy de Provence. It is also often said that new visitors immediately fall in love with the city to the point that they do not want to leave anymore!