On our final day in Cannes, we decided to visit a beautiful village that Laura and Paul had been to before and really enjoyed called, Éze. Situated inbetween Nice and Cannes, Éze is a medieval village, that sits upon a large hill-top overlooking the Mediterranean sea and yes, it really is as stunning as it sounds! Understandably, this historical location is very popular with Tourists, (myself included) and that was highly evident during our day visit there – so, if you’re looking for somewhere quite and isolated, I wouldn’t suggest visiting in peak time.
Although the hill walk up to Éze itself isn’t exactly pleasant in the scorching heat, there are plenty of places to stop and have a wonder around. There are many gift shops within the town, which are perfect for finding unique presents and original art too. Plus, if shopping isn’t your thing then fear not, there are plenty of restaurants to visit and enjoy.
The two big tourist attractions within Éze are it’s Church, Notré-Dame de l’Assumption and it’s Gardens, Jardin botanique d’Éze. The Church was built between 1764-1778 and although still very beautiful, is sadly very run down and in need of refurbishment, so donations are much appreciated. However, it is definitely one of the prettiest sights to see in Éze and a hugely important historical building. The Gardens are situated right at the top of Éze and once you’re standing up there, you finally realize how truly high up you are! Everything below you looks so small in comparison to the gardens, which feature a variety of cactus especially.
My favourite thing to see within Jardin botanique d’Éze has to be the Earth Goddesses, which were created by Artists, Jean-Philippe Richard. They are placed around the gardens and each have a name and a small poem, I found them to be truly capturing and awe inspiring. Large information boards are situated around the gardens and it was so wonderful to learn the meanings and history behind the many places in Éze.
If you’re a movie lover like myself, you may know, The French Riviera has been extremely popular with Film Directors over the years and after having the pleasure to experience the wonders of Cannes, it’s not hard to see why. Alfred Hitchcock chose to shoot the location scenes for To Catch A Thief on the very roads you look upon, whilst at the top of the Éze Gardens!
As the final post in my Cannes Series comes to an end, all that’s left to say is I hope you enjoyed learning about the many beauties of the South of France as much as I did!
As someone who is a huge fan of Classic Cinema and Blonde Bombshells, one place that I simply had to visit during my stay in Cannes was the stunning,Saint Tropez. This beautiful place was made famous by French’s most famous Film Star, Brigitte Bardot and has also been her home for almost sixty years!
Sadly, I may not have had the pleasure of seeing BB herself, but, it’s very clear how loved and respected she is by the people of Saint Tropez – her beautiful face is everywhere! One of my favourite French Films is probably Brigitte’s most famous and iconic one; And God Created Woman (1956) and as it was pretty much all shot in Saint Tropez, it was a pretty incredible experience to literally walk in the Sex Kitten’s iconic footsteps. I bet when Roger Vadim and Brigitte were making this movie over sixty years ago, they had no idea of the huge impact they were going to have on this small little fishing village!
One of the things I really wanted to see whilst in Brigitte’s chosen home was the Musée De La Gendarmerie Et Du Cinema, also known as The Gendarmerie and Cinema Museum. Currently showing there until January 2018 is the,Brigitte Bardot; Myth Of Saint Tropez, which is a whole photography exhibition dedicated to BB herself. This was an amazing experience for me to witness and it also featured a few of Brigitte’s actual film clothing, an original portrait and autographs! My only criticism was I wish it had been bigger – the more BB the better! Sadly, I realized after visiting that there was a second floor in the building which also featured a permanent Brigitte section with other French Actresses. Therefore, I may just have to return!
Walking around Saint Tropez in the beautiful sunshine was such a wonderful memory for me, it was truly like a treasure trove, with so many amazing spots to discover. Whilst exploring the streets of Saint Tropez, I stumbled across this incredible Artist, known as Cserg, with most of his work featuring Brigitte and autographed by the lady herself! Sadly, his shop was closed and I didn’t get to meet him, but you should definitely visit hiswebsiteand appreciated his incredible work.
However, even if you’re not a BB Fan like myself, Saint Tropez is so aesthetically pleasing and perfect for photographers or scenery lovers. Ultimately, I only wish I’d have been able to have spent more time there as I don’t feel I got to appreciate 100% of what Saint Tropez has to offer. Although, I did see so many amazing things in one afternoon – so, there is a silver lining!
Overall, I was most definitely impressed with this beautiful village and it without doubt met all of my expectations. It’s truly so heartwarming to see how over half a century later, the citizens recognize how much Brigitte has done for their home and without doubt made it a household name. On Brigitte’s 83rd Birthday, Saint Tropez will be unveiling their sculpture of their Blonde Bombshell, which will reside outside The Gendarmerie and Cinema Museum – a beautiful tribute for a beautiful legend.
The first place we ventured out of Cannes for was a very well known country called, Monaco! Known to most as the home for many years of Hollywood Icon turned Princess, Grace Kelly – Monaco is visited by thousands of tourists every year and home to some of the most rich and glamourous. As soon as I discovered Grace, through my love of Classic Hollywood, I’ve always dreamt of visiting this magical place and this year in July, I finally got the chance to do this!
Monaco is around an hour away in the car from Cannes, so thankfully not too far and he majority of it can be seen in a day, although I’d definitely like to spend more time there. As soon as you arrive in Monaco, it’s almost as if you can feel the change in the air, it’s so aesthetically beautiful and without doubt the perfect home for a Royal Family. Once you enter Monaco and leave the car park, you definitely should prepare for a lot of uphill walking, as the country is situated on a huge hill. Although all the walking isn’t always pleasant in the hot weather, it’s definitely worth it, plus, there’s so many beautiful sculptures and flowers to witness during the journey. Furthermore, there’s lots of places to rest if you need a mini rest, just definitely make sure you bring sunglasses and lots of water.
Once you walk up the hill you venture through the wonderful streets of Monaco and see the beautiful architecture of the buildings, many restaurants and a lots of gift shops featuring the beautiful Grimaldi Family. I could definitely spend hours looking in and out of each shop and building, but alas, one day is not enough! However, the most important place to visit in Monaco is of course, the incrediblePrince’s Palace of Monaco, which for just €8, (!) you can go inside! I can honestly say, this was a huge dream come true for me personally, as not only is the Prince’s Palace beyond beautiful, it’s a huge part of Grace’s life and Monaco History. Of course, privacy has to be respected and no photos are allowed inside, so sadly there won’t be any here in my post. However, the fact that everyone is welcome to visit the insides of this incredible building is so kind and thoughtful as ultimately, it is Prince Albert and Princess Charlene’s home!
After wondering through the beautiful Palace, we ventured into the official Monaco Gift Shop – my dream store! It was so wonderful to see a whole stand of photos dedicated to stunning photo prints of Princess Grace, I’m sure she would truly be so touched by all the love she receives over thirty years after she tragically left us.
Throughout Monaco and Monte Carlo, there is a special Grace photo trail, documenting twenty five significant moments during her lifetime! I wish I could have taken the time to find every one of these photo stops, but sadly I only had the chance to witness three. However, hopefully one day I can complete this wonderful tribute to Grace’s legacy! It’s such a unique idea, not only enjoyable for tourists and fans but also a huge aid in educating people on Monaco’s History.
The other important place to visit is of course, the Monaco Cathedral, which is both joyous for uniting Grace and Rainier in marriage and poignant for being their final resting places. The building itself is simply breathtaking, not only in size but in architecture too. We were slightly delayed in visiting the Cathedral as a Wedding was taking place the first time we tried to enter. It sounds silly, but it’s easy to forget that Monaco isn’t just the home of the Prince and Princess, it has many citizens too! Thankfully, when we checked back, the Cathedral was back open to the public and I could visit Grace and pay my respects to her.
It was so surreal to walk around this beautiful Cathedral and think that over sixty years ago Grace married Prince Rainier and became a Princess. I tried to focus on this historical moment and picture the beautiful Bride but in reality I was preparing to spend a few moments with Grace. I’d seen her resting place in photos before and it was easily recognizable by the multiple bouquets of flowers all placed on this one spot. Placed above her grave is the most beautiful painting of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier on their Wedding Day, which is poetically fitting as their lives together both started and ended here. As you can imagine, the Princess’s grave is the most popular and it can get quite crowded, plus, the area is fairly small so sadly you can’t stay for a long period of time. However, I definitely made the most of the minutes I had with Grace and of course paid my respects to Rainier then headed for the exit.
Before you leave the Cathedral there’s actually a small sign stating that tourists cannot visit the Princess during Wedding Ceremonies, which almost brought a tear to my eye as this shows how loved and respected she is by so many people. The fact that a sign was needed to inform the thousands of visitors about this without doubt confirms this and it warmed my little heart. I hope wherever you are, beautiful Grace, you know how thankful the people of Monaco are for your incredible contribution to the Grimaldi Family Legacy and that you’re still so adored by millions of people worldwide who visit you each year.
Before leaving Monaco, it was incredibly important for me to visits thePrincess Grace Rose Garden, which was created in honour of the Princess after her untimely death. I absolutely love flowers and roses also happen to be my favourite, so this was something I really wanted to see whilst visiting Monaco. The garden is filled with over 8000 rose bushes and features a variety of over 300. A beautiful sculpture of Grace is placed at the top of the garden, with a fountain running throughout, creating a peaceful and calm atmosphere. Also, Grace’s Royal Emblem is adorned on the gates of the garden, with another sculpture featuring a quote by the Princess on her love of roses. This is such a wonderful tribute to Grace and I’m sure she would visit often if she was still with us.
After leaving Monaco we took the short drive into Monte Carlo, the place that truly lives life in the fast lane. Famous for hosting the Grand Prix, Monte Carlo is hugely popular with car lovers and gambling, owning arguably the most famous Casino of all time; theCasino de Monte Carlo. This building has been featured in many films and is visited by thousands of tourists each year, even if you’re not into gambling the architecture alone is worth viewing it for. In all honesty, there’s not much to do in Monte Carlo if you’re not extremely wealthy – a bottle of still water cost us a staggering €4, (!) but if you’re in Monaco – it’s definitely worth visiting.
During my stay in France, Monaco is definitely my favourite place we visited and I really hope I will be able to go back one day and spend more time there! Stay tuned for the next post in my Cannes series, which will be all about the incredible, Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild!
If someone had told me a year ago, that I’d be travelling to France and staying in Cannes for almost a week, I’d have never believed it in a million years. However, thanks to my amazing friends, Laura and Paul, that dream became a reality and in July 2017, I visited France for the first time in nineteen years!
As someone who adores Old Hollywood – I’m sure that’s not new information, Cannes is a filled with history from the Golden Age of Cinema. Films like To Catch A Thief (1955) and Stars like Brigitte Bardot are instantly linked to the beautiful French Rivera with the Cannes Film Festival still being one of the hottest events in the world of Movies. Therefore, getting to visit such an incredible place was simply beyond amazement and you guessed it, I became the ultimate Tourist, which is great if you’re a Blogger like myself, or you appreciate Amateur Photography.
For the six full days we were there, we stayed in Cannes and used it for our home base for when we weren’t travelling around seeing other amazing locations. If you know anything about the French Rivera, you’ll be aware that there’s a so many places to visit and let’s just say we definitely made the most of our short but sweet Holiday! I shall be writing a mini series of posts on the places we visited during our time in France, with each one focusing on a specific destination. So of course, it’s only natural that I start the first chapter with the beauty that is Cannes!
We stayed in a lovely apartment in a huge hotel that was only a fairly short walk away from the main attraction – La Croisette. This street is home to many designer stores, beautiful bakeries and of course, just a hugely famous place called the InterContinental Carlton Hotel, which you may have heard of. As you can probably guess, it’s most definitely aimed at the rich and famous, but don’t be deterred if you can’t buy anything – window shopping is always free and pretty fun!
There are so many unique and incredible sights to see at the main tourist attraction in Cannes, La Croisette. Not only is there an absolutely stunning beach, well actually, there’s multiple – the Carlton does have it’s own private beach where a 19 year old Brigitte Bardot caused a huge sensation in 1953. However, the public one which I experienced, is very appealing also. Furthermore, just a few yards away from the beach is where the iconic Cannes Film Festival is held each year at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrés, an admittedly fairly mundane building for such a grand event. Sadly, the Festival is held earlier in the Summer, so I didn’t see any Celebrities. However, the building features many hand prints and signatures of huge stars, all on the floor around the building – so, major silver lining!
If you continue walking right to the end of La Croisette, you get to admire arguably one of the most incredible murals I’ve personally been fortunate enough to witness. Unfortunately the name of this hugely talented Artist is unknown, as is the name of this very famous work, so Hollywood Film Legends shall have to do. Being that Cannes is known for it’s world famous Film Festival, it’s only fitting that the town is full of amazing murals, scattered around in the most random of places! The Hollywood Film Legends piece resides opposite a handful of Bus Stops, yes, you really did just read that! This beautiful work truly leaves you in a state of awe and amazement, so many of my favourites feature; Marilyn, Jessica Rabbit, Cyd Charrise, Fred Astaire, Lauren Bacall and Humprhey Bogart – you name it and they’re on it!
Although this mural is without doubt, one of my favourite artworks I’ve ever seen, the one I was most looking forward to witnessing and have truly loved for many years, is of course The Marilyn Mural. Featured on the Cannes Riveria Hotel, I think it’s fair to say this is a hugely iconic feature in the French Riviera and the photos simply do not do it justice. As someone who is hugely fussy with Marilyn Artworks, I can hand on my heart confirm that this one simply has no flaws – it is beyond perfect and one hundred percent does Marilyn justice.
Having Cannes as our home for six days was simply a dream come true and I can’t wait to share with you all the incredible places we got to visit during our stay in the idyllic French Riviera!