© Nico Gomez

Port Grimaud

twinned with Venice?

Is the Little Venice of Provence actually twinned with the Floating City? The architect François Spoerry and the residents of Port Grimaud planned an evening to celebrate the twinning, but what actually happened?

François Spoerry

the joker

Port Grimaud and Venice – twin towns? François Spoerry, the architect, would clearly have loved this dream to come true, and he imagined a star-studded evening to celebrate.

As a publicity stunt, the best possible advert for his creation, François Spoerry and all of Port Grimaud’s residents put together this theatrical event and he even persuaded the French singer-songwriter Michel Polnareff to come along.

To top it all off, the residents came in disguise, Venetian gondolas were chartered for the occasion and a representative from the Floating City was hastily shipped in to officiate at the twinning ceremony.

Eddy Barclay

François Spoerry had big ideas for the evening. Horse-drawn carriages were organised for the special guests to join the party.

However, this didn’t take account of the slopes on the bridges that prevented the horses from pulling the carriages to their destination.

Eddy Barclay, the doyen of French record producers, and his wife Béatrice had a lucky escape when one of the harnesses became detached and the carriage lurched backwards.
After the initial shock, they were able to laugh about it. The guests continued on foot to join what turned out to be an amazing party.

Venice and Port Grimaud are not twinned, but the coastal town in Var is certainly, in many respects, a distant cousin.