"Cote d'Azur" Top 5 Page for this destination Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur by Goner
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Travel Guide: 6,948 reviews and 17,977 photos
My first glimpse of the Riviera was from the plane before it landed in Nice. Even from the plane you can see something special is coming up with the bright blue water, the waffled coastline and mountains peaks in the distance. The Cote d'Azur or the French Riviera runs along the Southern coast of France for many miles. The beaches are are the playground for the rich and famous, but you don't have to be rich and famous to visit here and enjoy this magnificient coastline and it's spectacular beaches.
The first civilization here seems to date from the second century BC, when today's movie-star playground was a Ligurian outpost inhabited by the Oxybian tribe. Eventually the Romans found their way here.
Fourteenth-century Cannes survived the Plague and a plethora of pirates, but the Plague struck again in the sixteenth century, more deadly than the first time. Beginning with this period, Cannes's history blends into the history of Provence, and the annexation by France. The seventeenth and eighteen centuries saw various invaders come and go and sea commerce began to occupy a more important place in the little town's economy.
Besides Napoleon's stopping here in 1815 after his exile on the isle of Elba', the major event of the nineteenth century was the arrival of Lord Brougham in 1834, who took refuge from the cholera outbreak and decided to winter at Nice - but ended up near Cannes. The legend has it that his decision to stay on was clinched by a hearty bouillabaisse and a comfortable bed. Lord Brougham decided to settle here permanently. Soon a wave of British expatriates flooded to Cannes attracted by a moderate climate and natural beauty.
Soon Cannes was no longer a peaceful fishing village. The town was visited by some famous personalities such as Oscar Wilde, Baron Haussmann, the Rothschilds, and even the King of Prussia. Every winter, an international elite disembarked here in search of peace and good weather; their presence encouraged the development of the Croisette, where they would stroll along the waterfront, By the 1930s, Cannes's place became a fashionable destination and has re mained a favorite among the rich and famous.
Nice was settled 400,000 years ago, you can see the evidence at the prehistoric site of Terra Amata and the Musee Terra Amata. In the 4th Century BC the Greeks from Marseille named Nice “Nikaia” and it became an important Greek commercial trading post. The Roman occupation came in 14BC, they built their town on Cimiez hill where they left evidence of ruined amphitheaters and Roman baths you can see at the Musee archaeological de Cimiez. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the lower part of the town became part of the French empire continuing the importance of its port.
In the ensuing centuries, Nice was overrun by various civilizations. In 1543 when the Turks came to sack the town, as the legend goes a washerwoman, Catherine Segurane, made them flee by using carpet beaters and showing her behind (:(:.
In the 17th Century Baroque Art came to Nice, the facades were painted with red and yellow oxides, with ochers or Sienese earthy reds; the doorways contrasted strongly and the woodwork was painted in cold colors, greens or blues. The restoration of the facades over the last few decades have returned Nice to her former Baroque glory. The best examples of this artistic tradition are the churches of the old town such as the Cathedral Sainte-Réparate.
It was the 24th March 1860, that Nice became France for good, then a remarkable economic boom ensued; roads were built, the railway arrived, the population exploded and tourism began.
- Pros:Changing Blue Waters, Sun-drenched beaches, Fabulous Hotels
- In a nutshell:Playground not just for the Rich and Famous
A man stole a lady's purse in a nearby restaurant and this could probaly have been avoided if had been more careful.... more travel advice
A small car rental in Nice came with our travel package. We picked it up at the airport and wandered around the streets... more travel advice
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