french riviera antique & secondhand shops

i just liked the sound of that and figured it was a good time to stop by.

hi all, i hope you’re having a ball this june weekend. i spent the morning at the ocean and got my groove back. now i’m home, focused on researching my upcoming job in nice. i want to nail down our itinerary toute de suite. like today cause the trip is June 21. i’ll post what turns up!


i just had to post a couple cute pics that jumped out first thing. this antique store is in grasse, apparently an ancient perfume-making town that inspired the book ‘perfume‘…

but i digress. first thing is getting the lay of the land. the region is officially called Provence-Alps-Côte D’Azur.

there are regions within regions. we’re looking at the 06 (although below it’s called by another name, guess it’s a french thing)

it’s such a dense country with so many villages, towns and history! this could take a lifetime to explore.

this may be sort of dull if you’re not going this year but if you ever decide to, hopefully this can be a reference. i want to get out of nice and up into the less traveled areas but there’s so much front and center!

in all today’s research the most obvious data is that the people of southern france, like parisians, enjoy a good brocante, vide grenier and their antique foires.  call it what you will, they’ve been buying, selling and trading the same gems for 200 years.

googling around i stumbled on an article that gave a little backstory on the area:

‘As Gastou tells it, the mid-sixties, was the golden age of the French antiques business. “In those days a merchant could still buy, at one stroke, the entire contents of a château,” he recalls. “As a kid I was dazzled by getting into so many places and seeing such valuable things. In 1968 French priests lost the right to dispose of works of art, but before then provincial curés were permitted to sell them for certain purposes—to repair a church, for instance. Old charitable institutions and hospices, some dating back to Louis XIV, were emptying their attics and cellars.

The best antiques, like major pieces in the Louis styles, went to Paris—or perhaps to America—by the trainload. The next-best material went to the antiques dealers on the Côte d’Azur’.  hmmmmm, so that’s a good sign…

anyway i have about a million notes and links to go through. i have a friend in nice who offered to take us around and all the girls (vicki, mel and corey) are on board too. whew!

well i hope you get some sunshine in these next few hours and enjoy the rest of your weekend! more soon~

June 3, 2012. Antique Shopping, flea markets, Fleamarkets, France, Nice.


  1. Dawn-Hydrangea Home replied:

    Sounds like a dream job! Looking forward to seeing pics. Enjoy!


  2. The Paris Apartment replied:

    hi dawn thanks for the encouragement! the grunt work should reap the reward of pretty pics at least!


  3. Nikon replied:

    What a great job of researching the area! The maps are wonderful.
    I love that second photo – it has great clarity and it’s razor sharp!


  4. Connie replied:

    You are going to have so much fun. Wish I could hide away in your suitcase.


  5. Mary Kate replied:

    A French acquaintance told me last year to be sure and see Eze. It hadn’t been on our list but I thought “Why not?” It’s stunning! You can take the bus for a euro and then hop off and walk up the winding hill to the garden at the top. The garden and its view is a breath-taking-not-to-be-missed spot. You can do it quick too if you’re pressed for time. The bus from Nice to Monaco (also just a euro) gives you a great view when you sit on the right side heading there. If you get one afternoon to sit on the beach and chill, I would chose Villefranche-sur-Mer. When I returned home, I spent a month looking for long-term rental property there—until reality returned me to my senses. The flea market Villefranche-sur-Mer on Sunday did not wow me though and on Monday in Nice I recognized most of the vendors also showed there.


  6. Tonya replied:

    Maybe you should do a tour! I’ll come along!


  7. sally leonard replied:

    How I envy you! The South of France is one of my favorite spots in all the world. Please do not miss a visit to VILLEFRANCHE .I’ve been 3 times and still would go back. There’s not really a good hotel but there are several spots for a wonderful lunch right by the sea.
    Also not to be missed is BEAULIEU. Scrape together your last dime and spend a night a LA RESERVE. It’s a magical hotel and has seen many an old-time celebrity. Cary Grant had stayed in the room my husband and I were lucky enough to be given.
    EZE is also a jewel. Be sure to have lunch at Chateau EZA and be amazed at the view of the Mediterranean.
    Have a wonderful trip!


    • The Paris Apartment replied:

      perfect. i will definitely hit eze and two of you guys recommend it along with villefranche and beauliu.


  8. vintageandart. replied:

    Those antique shops are so quaint and the pics lovely….visiting the French Riviera….it has a nice (pun intended) ring to it….hehe!!


  9. ddivna replied:

    So beatiful, I want to be there!


  10. Peggy Braswell replied:

    How blessed you are? Don’t we have the best careers in the world! adore all your research + you are sooo smart + Pictures, Please.


  11. Heidi replied:

    Someday……I think this would be a trip to go on with the girls and leave the men at home…


  12. Paris Rendez-vous replied:

    Make sure you go to St Paul de-Vence (just behind Nice)..and have lunch in the courtyard at the Column d’Or…you won’t regret it!


  13. Nancy replied:

    Lovely! Its on my bucket list!


  14. Carla Coulson replied:

    Claudia how much fun are you going to have..I can see the smile on your beautiful face from here!
    Carla x
    Great post lovely


  15. Karen Albert replied:

    Oh My Claudia, the “stuff that dreams are made of!”

    So excited to hear more of your South of France Journeys!!


    Art by Karena


  16. ARod replied:

    cant wait to keep reading all about it ;)


  17. Merillion replied:

    Hi Claudia,
    I’m definitely keeping this post for reference for later on. I love just looking at maps anyway, & it’s fun to see more clearly where all the towns are.
    Very interesting post!


  18. Wonderful Links and Musings on Photography | Carla Loves Photography replied:

    […] fab Claudia at Paris Apartment takes you on a trip not only to the French riviera but she generously hands out her favourite maps […]


  19. coulsoncarla replied:

    Claudia, linked your blog in my post today.
    Have a lovely weekend
    Carla x


  20. Pamela replied:

    Have a wonderful trip. The local brocantes are all great fun. Have always enjoyed the Nice market and come away with pretty things. Have also found a few interesting little pieces at Villefranche-sur-Mer in the past, but it’s true, many of the stall holders from one set up at other regional markets. About two weeks ago at the weekly Antibes brocante found a very pretty heartshaped Saxe porcelain box, fairly old, and a wonderful Napoleon III ebonised wooden box studded with lovely delicate pieces of brass or bronze metal, with cameo and other images and a little bunch of grapes – I plan to us it as a trinket box. Rather beautiful and have never seen anything quite like it before. The women running the stall were interesting and so nice.

    Yes, agree that you should go to St Paul de Vence – La Colombe d’Or is a fabulous place for lunch, and do ask to see the indoor dining room too, it’s full of great works by famous late 19th/early 20th century artists who paid for their board and meals with their paintings and sculpture (in addition, the Scott Fitzgeralds dined there in their day, as did Isadora Duncan, Yves Montand and Simone Signoret and the British actor Dirk Bogard, among many others). There’s a marvellous Calder by the pool. Also, up on the hill is the wonderful Maeght museum with a great 20th century collection. The bus will take you further on to Vence (maybe ten minutes away) where you can see the beautiful chapel decorated by Matisse (check opening times first). Beaulieu-sur-Mer is also a lovely place – visit the Villa Kerylos if you have time, a Belle Epoque period villa designed along the lines of an Ancient Greek house. Also, a few minutes away by car on Cap Ferat is the beautiful Villa Ephrussi Rothschild and its wonderful garden. Best wishes and have a great trip! Pamela


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