I am bewitched by the beauty around me; I want to record it.

This year is the 28th annual Grand Prix de Peinture du Castellet sponsored by the Rotary Club de Saint-Cyr Vallee de Saint Come.

The exposition opened on Friday the 8th of September and the exhibit will be up through the 16th of September. This will be the second time I have exhibited. The first time I won first prize!

The feudal village, as described below, is to me, one of the most charming villages in the south of France, overlooking the Cote d’Azur, and very close to where they make one of the best rose wines I’ve ever tasted… the Bandol winery. If you happen to be in the neighborhood, drop by and enjoy the charm of Castellet and some excellent art.

We took advantage of attending, then doing a bit of sightseeing and having dinner at a restaurant overlooking an incredible view of the valley below… beautiful domaines with their neat, never ending rows of rich green vineyards and the contrasting patterns of the grey green orchards of olive trees.

Add to that visual pleasure, we had, fresh from the Mediterranean, sole meuniere cooked to rival that served in Paris. All in all, a great side trip.

About Le Castellet

Situated 20km. from Toulon by highway A50 or route N8. Population : 3.839 h - Surface: 4.477ha - Altitude : 300 m.

The village of Castellet is one of the Var region's top tourist attractions. This superb little feudal village perched on the tip of its promontory will enchant you with its typical Provencal picturesque setting. Not to mention its small squares lined with beautiful old houses that have been carefully restored with taste highlighting the old stonework.

You can enter Castellet via 2 fortified gateways then just let yourself wander along the small streets, past the potter's and the leather craftsman's workshops, the perfumed candles, ceramics, and jewellery alongside the art galleries and ice-cream sellers. You will really enjoy your stroll through these small sloping streets, even if at certain times of the year you may have difficulty getting through the craftwork stalls, etc. although this well-meaning clutter takes nothing away from the village's charm for all of that!

From one street to another, you will be able to admire the stonework walls covered with bunches of wisteria and bougainvillea, their red, orange, fuchsia and violet intertwining with the ivy that grows in every part of the village. And if you happen to visit the village around lunch time or dinner time, you are bound to succumb to the delicate aromas of Provencal cooking wafting through the open windows. Tomatoes, garlic, herbs of Provencal simmering in olive oil, you will easily recognise them and will have a difficult time resisting the call of the pleasant shaded restaurant terraces that you come across on your stroll!

The Castellet is proud to have been the set for the cult film "La femme du boulanger" (The Baker's Wife) starring Raimu directed by the famous writer/director Marcel Pagnol. The Castellet is also famous for its Formula One racetrack (a few miles from the village) that hosts major car races and motor bike grand prix.

From the esplanade of the 15th century château, that currently houses the town hall, you will have an exceptional panoramic view of the Sainte Baume massif as well as the vines and the vineyards that are below the village: the excellent and famous wines of AOC Bandol... Wine lovers take note!

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