Cannes France, is one of the best-known cities of the French Riviera, a busy tourist destination and host of the annual Cannes Film Festival. The population was 70,400 as of the 2007 census. Cannes is the home of numerous gated communities. The city is also famous for its various luxury shops, restaurants, and hotels.
Cannes: the name
In the 10th century the town was known as Canua. The name may derive from „canna“, a reed. Canua was probably the site oof a small Ligurian port, and later a Roman outpost on Le Suquet hill, suggested by Roman tombs discovered here. Le Suquet housed an 11th-century tower which overlooked swamps where the city now stands. Most of the ancient activity, especially protection, was on the Lérins islands and the history of Cannes is the history of the islands.
With the 20th century came new luxury hotels such as the Miramar and the Martinez. The city was modernised with a sports centre, sstreet cars, a post office, and schools. There were fewer British and German tourists after the First World War but more Americans. Winter tourism gave way to summer tourism and the summer casino at the Palm Beach was constructed.
The city ccouncil had the idea of an international film festival shortly before World War II. The first opened on 20 September 1946, held in the Casino Municipal.
La Croisette is the waterfront avenue with palm trees. La Croisette is known for picturesque beaches and for restaurants, cafés and boutiques. La Suquet, the old town, provides a good view of La Croisette. The fortified tower and Chapel of St Anne house the Musée de la Castre. The Man in the Iron Mask was imprisoned on the Île Sainte-Marguerite.
Île Sainte-Marguerite (St Marguerite Island)
It took „The Man in the Iron Mask“ 11 years to leave this tiny, forested island. The mysterious individual was believed to be of noble blood, but his identity has never been pproven. His cell can be visited in the Fort of St Marguerite, now renamed the Musée de la Mer (Museum of the Sea). This museum also houses discoveries from shipwrecks off the island, including Roman (first century BC) and Saracen (10th century AD) ceramics.
The Côte d’Azur has a Mediterranean climate, with sunny, hot, dry summers and mild winters. Winter temperatures are moderated by the Mediterranean; days of frost are rare, and in summer the maximum rarely exceeds 30º. Micro-climates exist iin these coastal regions, and there can be great differences in the weather between various locations. Strong winds such as the Mistral, a cold dry wind from the northwest or from the east, are another characteristic, particularly in the winter.
Nice and the Alpes-Maritimes
Nice and the Alpes-Maritimes département are sheltered by the Alps, and are the most protected part of the Mediterranean coast. The winds are usually gentle, from the sea to the land, though sometimes the Mistral blows strongly from the north-west, or, turned by the mountains, from the east. In 1956 a Mistral from the north-west reached 180kmh at Nice airport. Sometimes, in summer, the Sirocco brings high temperatures and reddish desert sand from Africa. (See Winds of Provence.)
Rain is rare but can be torrential, particularly in September when storms and rain are caused by the difference between the colder air inland and the warm Mediterranean water temperature (20°C-24°C). The average annual rainfall in Nice is 767mm, more than in Paris, though it rains an average of just 63 days a year.
Snow is rare, falling once every ten years. 1956 was exceptional, when 20 cm blanketed the coast. In January 1985 the coast between Cannes and Menton received 30 tto 40 cm. In the mountains, snow is present from November to May.
Nice has an average of 2694 hours of sunshine, about 61% of the annual possible sunshine. The average maximum daily temperature in Nice in August is 28°C, while the average minimum daily temperature in January is 6°C.
The Côte d’Azur, often known in English as the French Riviera, is the Mediterranean coastline of the south eastern corner of France, extending from Menton near the Italian border in the east to either Hyères or Cassis in the west.
This coastline was one of the first modern resort areas. It began as a winter health resort for the British upper class at the end of the 18th century. With the arrival of the railway in the mid-19th century, it became the playground and vacation spot of British, Russian, and other aristocrats, such as Queen Victoria and King Edward VII, when he was Prince of Wales. In the first half of the 20th century it was frequented by artists and writers, including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Edith Wharton, Somerset Maugham and Aldous Huxley, as well as wealthy Americans and Europeans. After World War II it became a popular tourist destination and convention ssite. Many celebrities, such as Elton John and Brigitte Bardot, have homes in the region. Officially, the Côte d’Azur is home to 163 nationalities with 83,962 foreign residents, although estimates of the number of non-French nationals living in the area are often much higher.
Its largest city is Nice, which has a population of 347,060 (2006). The city is the center of a communauté urbaine – Nice-Côte d’Azur – bringing together 24 communes and over 500,000 inhabitants.
Nice is home to Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, France’s second-busiest airport (after Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport), which is on an area of partially reclaimed coastal land at the western end of the Promenade des Anglais. A second airport at Mandelieu was once the region’s commercial airport, but is now mainly used by private and business aircraft. The A8 autoroute runs through the region, as does the old main road generally known as the Route nationale 7. Trains serve the coastal region and inland to Grasse, with the TGV Sud Est service reaching Nice-Ville station in six hours from Paris.
The French Riviera also contains the seaside resorts of Cannes, Antibes, Juan-les-Pins, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Cap-d’Ail, Fréjus, Saint-Raphaël, and Saint-Tropez, and surrounds the principality of Monaco, with a
total population of over two million. It is also home to a high-tech/science park or technopole at Sophia-Antipolis and a research and technology center at the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis – the region has 35,000 students, of whom 25% are working towards a doctorate.
The French Riviera is a major yachting centre, with marinas along its coast. According to the Côte d’Azur Economic Development Agency, each year the Riviera hosts 50% of the world’s superyacht fleet, with 90% of all superyachts vvisiting the region’s coast at least once in their lifetime.
As a tourist centre it benefits from 300 days of sunshine per year, 115 km of coastline and beaches, 18 golf courses, 14 ski resorts and 3,000 restaurants.
Places on the Côte d’Azur (following the broadest definition), following the coast from south-west to north-east, include:
• La Ciotat
• Hyères and the Îles d’Hyères (Porquerolles, Port-Cros and Île du Levant)
• Le Lavandou
• Inland – Grimaud, with Port-Grimaud on the coast
• Fréjus and Saint-Raphaël
• Inland – Fayence
• Mandelieu and La Napoule
• Inland – GGrasse
• Inland – Mougins
• the Îles de Lérins – Île Sainte-Marguerite and Île Saint-Honorat
• Inland – Vallauris
• Inland – Valbonne
• Inland – Sophia-Antipolis
• Inland – Biot
• Inland – Vence
• Inland – Saint-Paul-de-Vence
• Inland – Saint-Jeannet
• Cap d’Ail
• Monaco (including Monte-Carlo)
The Musée d’Art et d’Histoire de Provence houses artifacts from prehistoric to ppresent, in an 18th century mansion. The Musée de la Castre has objects from the Pacific Atolls, Peruvian relics and Mayan pottery. Other venues include the Musée de la Marine, Musée de la Mer, Musée de la Photographie and Musée International de la Parfumerie
Paul Signac, The Port of Saint-Tropez, oil on canvas, 1901.
The climate and vivid colours of the Mediterranean attracted many famous artists during the 19th and 20th centuries. They included:
• Pierre ...
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