Cannes is probably the most urban of all the Riviera resorts. When not lounging on terraces overlooking the water (the quintessential Cannes accommodation is a rented apartment with a sea or pool view), experienced visitors spend a lot of time "en promenade." Before lunch on La Croisette is the traditional time and place to stroll, window shop, see and be seen. For aficionados of "old towns," the area known as Le Suquet around Cannes' oldest harbor is where what little remains of the city's pre-19th century history can be found. A medieval castle atop the old city, the views over La Croisette, the Bay of Cannes and the Iles de Lérins make it clear why the first defensive structures of ancient Canoïs were built here. The castle now standing was built at the end of the 11th century. The keep, the Romanesque Chapel of Sainte Anne, and the cisterns date from the original structure. I discovered that I loved Antibes on my first trip to the South of France. Maybe that is why it has remained my favorite town on the Riviera ever since. In the ruelles of the Vielle Ville, every house seemed bursting with flowers. Geraniums, oleanders, bougainvilla, grape vines, palms and yucca plants framed windows, tumbled out of pots and covered golden stone walls. Rounding a bend we would be surprised by a sudden view of one of the ports, of the ramparts and fort. Or a market table loaded with oranges and lemons, their fragrance saturating the air. Or a shady square. Or the tiny shop where I bought needles in paper packets, embroidery silk, brightly printed Provençal fabrics and armloads of fresh flowers. Some afternoons we chilled, drinking menthe et l'eau or Ricard along the front at Juan les Pins, watching women in high heels and gold bikinis shop the designer stores while my friend hummed Music to Watch Girls By. At nights, we watched fireworks, set to music, over the harbor, listened to fabulous jazz in Juan les Pins or tried our luck at the casino. American millionaires discovered Antibes-Juan les Pins at the beginning of the 20th century. They built enormous mansions on the Cap d'Antibes or took over ones built half a century earlier, like Eilenroc, designed by Charles Garnier in the the 1860s. By the 1920s and 30s, the era the French call l'age du pyjama, they had turned it into a winter resort on their social schedule of Europe. Everything you need to know is in this remarkable guide: the history, what to see and do, the culture, the activities, the restaurants,and all the hotels. Filled with maps and photographs. The author lives near the areas that she writes about and visits them often.
Read alsoProvence & the Cote d'Azur Adventure Guide
The author draws from her many years of experience living in the south of France to tell you about the people, their culture and the way of life. Covering every town, village and city in the region, this book takes you sightseeing in Avignon, shopping in Marseilles, to the best beaches at Cap d'Antibes and along the French Riviera to places like…