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REASONS TO DISCOVER FRENCH RIVIERA
A legend pretends that when God distributed his castles, he started by the Loire Valley. Leaving the area, his bag burst over the Dordogne River and the Perigord region will be eternally thankful for his clumsiness!
Dordogne is known as the ‘cradle of mankind’ because of the numerous prehistoric sites, which have been found in the area.
During Roman Times, the province of Aquitania extended almost as far north as the Loire River. Later on, the area became an English possession when Eleanor of Aquitaine, daughter of the last duke of Aquitaine married to the throne of England’s heir in 1152. It remained English until the 15th century and the end of the Hundred Year’s War when it was then annexed by France.
More than its world famous movie festivals, Cannes offers us wonderful architecture, from the historic structures of Le Suquet to modern buildings on La Croisette. It also offers us the possibility to degustate local food with a great selection of seafood restaurants and lovely food markets, as the Marché Forville. The beaches there are really appreciated as well by tourists, a nice way to discover the french riviera.
Spinning around in the picturesque medieval streets of the wonderfully pretty town of Grasse, you will challenge and develop your sense of smell. In fact, Grasse is the birthplace of many fragrances, and you will be able to visit an international perfume museum or farms where sweet-smelling flowers are harvested for fragrances. If it’s not enough, make your own perfume in a private perfume workshop.
The sea resort of Saint Rapaël is a treasure of little streets in the old town where a calm walk is well appreciated. For archaeological fans, Saint Raphael also offers a museum focused on the underwater. Everything is surrounded by the Guet tower where you will enjoy all the bay.
When Saint Tropez comes to mind, celebrities, glamour and yachts are the thoughts, and it have it all. It became famous around the 1950s for its beaches thanks to Brigitte Bardot who became the star resident. Beside this well-known side, Saint tropez has a real art culture with designer boutiques and the Annonciade museum which take place in a chapel. It is interesting to notice too a truly spectacular and quite wild coastal path where a walk can be really appreciated.
A Roman city with an 11th century cathedral in the center of town, walls were built around the town in the Middle Ages with five gates still standing. Vence is known as a market town with its enormous Friday-morning market filled with fish, Provencal herbs and spices, cheese, wine, and fruits and vegetables. Walking around town, you will notice fountains everywhere! To some, Vence is known as “the city of water.”
French Riviera is famous for its salads. What’s better to eat a Salad Niçoise on a sunny terrace? This speciality was originally composed of three main ingredients : tomatoes, anchovies and olive oil. All ingredients are supposed to be raw products or at least fermented as olives and anchovies, but above all not cooked. However, it is now accepted that the salad niçoise contains hard-boiled eggs and tuna for more pleasure.
Hot or cold, the French Riviera is well known for its “Ratatouille”. Recently in the spotlight with the animated movie, this meal is proposed everywhere in France during the summer. Peppers, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes : these sun vegetables simmer in olive oil for more than an hour to reveal all their flavours in order to awaken our taste buds.
French Riviera is located in the southeast of France, at the border of Italy and Monaco, and it has some selling points. In fact, This areas is composed of mountains with the alpes, beaches with the mediteraean coast, attractive cities such as Nice (the bigger one) and the Mercantour National Park. It is why it can be easily compared to an even when we are riding a bike during the summer or skiing in winter.
With its 300 sunny days per year, you are guaranteed to enjoy, as much as possible, all this elements.
British, during 2 centuries, were really close to annexing the french riviera in creating a true parallel society. Queen Victoria went 7 winters consecutive before her death enjoying Hyères or Nice. Menton was very famous too, due to its climate, so british doctors prescribed a trip for less than a cough.
After that, in 1860, some conflicts appeared with the winter tourism development and revolutions, and Nice county became french.
Another turning point came around the 50s when the massive tourism generated an adaption for the french riviera with new stations (ski or sea resort) able to receive a lot of tourists.