Houses of Saint-Tropez

Marie Bariller, Author, Thomas Dhellemmes, Photographer Stewart, Tabori, & Chang $45 (232p) ISBN 978-1-58479-388-5
Before Saint Tropez became a playground for the rich and famous, it was better known as a center for fishing and shipping, then as a summer retreat for post-WWII bohemians in search of cheap, pretty lodgings on the French Riviera. Bariller manages to capture several facets of the port town's history in her soothing photo-survey of Saint Tropez homes. There are sections on rustic country retreats, elegant townhouses, luxurious villas, legendary residences and even one chapter on a famous boat--the Karenita, which belonged to Errol Flynn in the 1930s. None of these residences is exactly modest--even the boat is furnished with exquisitely carved mahogany--but Bariller's deep affection for and knowledge of the town gives her book an intimate, behind-the-scenes feeling that will be appreciated by readers with an affinity for the relaxed Provencal lifestyle. And if her prose occasionally turns excessively poetic (i.e.,""you Mediterranean, temperamental, warm and sensual sea ... you cradle visions of eternity and the infinite""), readers can always seek refuge in Dhellemmes's cheerful color photos. This is not a practical home design book by any stretch--there are no clear explanations of what constitutes Saint Tropez style, nor any real analysis of layouts--but readers who enjoy cozy talk about who bought which home and why will delight in Bariller's stories about Paul Signac, Romy Schneider, Colette and many other anonymous homeowners.
Reviewed on: 10/18/2004
Release date: 10/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
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