A quaint fishing village turned celebrity hotspot, Saint Tropez is a sparkling gem on the French Riviera. It’s also one of my favorite places in France. Strolling through the old winding cobblestone streets, I am reminded of the town’s unassuming past. Today, the streets are full of international travelers and some crazy, if not downright obscene, super yachts. For the past five years I have been lucky enough to spend a warm summer week in this sweet seaside village.
My first trip was with my husband Philippe for our honeymoon and I immediately fell in love with “St Trop”. The city’s heartbeat consists of people with fabulous tans, drinking rose wine at outdoor restaurants while the world just floats by. Every night, men and women gather in the square to play petanque (the French lawn bowling game) and chat about life. But I don’t just come for the laid back vibe, this was the third year I attended the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Gala.
LDF is dedicated to the long term health and well-being of all the Earth’s inhabitants. In the last eight years the foundation has given away $60 million to innovation solutions in marine and wildlife conservation, protecting indigenous rights and fighting climate change. Philippe and I have raised over $1.2 Million for the foundation the past two years auctioning off once in a lifetime expeditions with us and we’re excited to be a part of the third year. Traveling, saving wildlife and adventure have been passions of mine my entire life and are what lead me to pursue my career as an entertainment journalist and television host. I strive everyday to live a sustainable life on and off the red carpet, always looking for eco luxury. My husband is the third generation of a family that has been dedicated to conservation and exploration for over 60 years. And we support people like Leo who use their fame to shine the spotlight on truly important issues facing our planet.
Leo and his amazing team once again pulled out all the stops. From vintage cars, to once in a lifetime experiences and jaw dropping art work (hello Picasso), the auction had it all. Not to mention the guest list: Bradley Cooper, Mariah Carey, Jonah Hill, Doutzen Kroes, Kate Hudson, HSH Prince Albert of Monaco….the scroll was stacked! It was a glorious evening mingling with the stars under the stars.
The Weeknd and Lana Del Rey both performed but the absolute highlight of the night was Andre Bocelli belting out Puccini’s Nessun Dorma. His incredible voice brought everyone in the house to their feet and into puddles of tears. Leo looked so proud at the end of the evening. All in all, the event raised a breathtaking $45 Million for the planet and the survivors of the Nice attacks.
A wonderful gala in a beautiful town for an even better purpose. See more posts from Ashlan Cousteau every month by subscribing to our newsletter.