Biot is that rare thing of a Riviera hilltop town: as unassuming, authentic and unspoilt as you can expect any town in this part of the world to be The stretch between Antibes and Nice Airport is, without a doubt, the ugliest section of the Cote d’Azur: on the one side of the road and railway tracks, you have a straight and featureless coastline (largely lifeless, too, with only few scattered swimmers around, even in
… The Back Country Wins!
One more reason to hike up to this picturesque hilltop town: a street sculpture exhibition
VENUS DANS LE VIDE by Sasha Sosno
Street sculpture shows are very much in fashion. Over the last 20 years or so, many towns have hit upon the idea of hosting a festival by inviting artists or museums to exhibit some of their works on public squares and thoroughfares.
Such festivals generally provide good copy for the
… Monumental at Mougins
Picasso spent the last 12 years of his life here, but there are many other reasons to visit this hilltop village north of Cannes If the French Riviera is not exclusively famous for being a playground of people with more money than sense – from 19th century Russian aristocrats via eccentric East Coast heiresses during the “Jazz Age” to the oligarchs of today – it owes this to the great modern artists who chose to
… Mougins is Worth the Climb
The Saint Hospice promontory – hermits, shepherds and gazillionaires – is always worth a return visit It was just a question of time before such a thing would happen, and then, last week, it finally did.
She said so: It was St Jean Cap Ferrat all over again
“We have been here before.” Mrs. Easy Hiker said. “There,” she pointed to a spot in the distance just before the
… St Jean Cap Ferrat All Over Again
Elsewhere in the world, the word may be that “the Russians are coming”; in the coastal region between Nice and Sanremo, they have arrived long ago and been part of the local communities for well over 150 years Once upon a time, before the advent of satellite TV dishes and the world-wide web, immigrants, even the very richest ones, felt the need to huddle together in the cold environment of an alien culture. What they
… Russian Churches on the Riviera
200 years after the event, we followed the Emperor and his army on the first stage of their walk back to Paris and to Waterloo On 1 March 1815, the recently deposed Emperor Napoleon landed with a small band of 1000 loyal soldiers in Golfe Juan near Cannes, arriving from his exile in Elba to reclaim the French throne. Exactly two hundred years later, the municipal administration of what is now a small but lively
… Springtime for Napoleon
On the basis of the evidence, it feels safe to say that the Empire’s troops did not come here to enjoy the beautiful beaches The history of the Riviera, if we are honest, begins in the 17th century when its oldest towns were built, and it really picks up 200 years later with the invention of tourism.
Anything that happened before is irrelevant for the modern-day resort towns that are lining the coast.
… The Remains of the Romans in the Riviera
The capital of the French Riviera was the great love in the life of one of the 20th century’s greatest artists The list of famous painters who have been claimed as the genius loci of one Riviera town or the other is long: Cagnes-sur-Mer has Renoir, St Paul de Vence has Chagall, Menton has Jean Cocteau, Vallauris and Antibes share Picasso (but there is a lot to share, Picasso being “vast and containing multitudes”). Even
… The Nice of Henri Matisse
With its long history and a strong presence of the modern arts, Vence is the perfect destination for a walk through the Provencal countryside It would be silly to say that if you have seen one Riviera hilltop town, you have seen them all. No, worse than silly: unfair and, above all, ungrateful for the treasures they hold in store for their visitors. At the same time, however, it would be equally silly to deny
… A Busy Hilltop Town for 2000 Years
Walks in the South of France On a country walk from St Paul-de-Vence to Vence, you can experience three different flavours of the fabled French “South” One of the French things that foreigners often struggle with is the fine distinction between the different regions in “the South”, a large area sometimes misunderstood as a single cultural unit where old men play boule between the ruins of Roman temples and lavender fields that were once painted
… A Taste of Provence