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The Cannes Film Festival – a Rendezvous with Culture and Glamour

For twelve days, from 13 to 24 May, producers, film-makers and film stars come together in the city of Cannes to compete for the coveted Palme d’Or. The Cannes Festival is one of the most prestigious cinema festivals in the world. That is why, year after year, it draws great stars from the world of cinema, while millions of film enthusiasts the world over await the awards ceremony with baited breath.

Under the presidency of Louis Lumière, regarded as the father of cinema, the festival was first inaugurated on 1 September 1939, fatefully just one day before the outbreak of World War Two, which led to its cancellation until it was reinstated in 1946. The idea of the festival was to rival the Venice Film Festival, the oldest in the world. It was a way of expressing displeasure over the fact that the Italians had excluded some French gems from their festival, in favour of certain titles of a political and nationalistic character.

Showcase of the Famous

While the festival itself is for professionals, Cannes is inundated with hoards of film enthusiasts and onlookers eager to get a glimpse of their idols. If you’d like to see them all together, you’ll have to stake out a viewing spot during the opening ceremony at the entrance to the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès. The moment of greatest expectation is when the stars ascend the famous red carpet of 24 steps, comparable to the Oscar award-winning ceremony in Hollywood.

How to Enjoy the Festival

The major screenings are held in the Palais des Festivals and, as we intimated, they are generally reserved for professionals. You can, however, opt to view the open-air screenings, which are free of charge, in the Cinéma de la Plage, located on Plage Macé, where a film is shown every night as part of a themed programme. During the festival, Cannes throngs with art and culture and activities are staged all over the place. A week before it opens, the Cannes Festival website will be publishing its 2015 Official Selection of activities, which include master classes or film cycles, among other things.

What to Do in Cannes?

Cannes is a privileged city, located in the very heart of the French Riviera and just 27 kilometres from Nice airport. It is surrounded by picturesque villages, including Le Cannet, La Roquette-Sur-Siagne, Mougins and Vallauris, while the idyllic beaches of the French Riviera lie south of the city.

Discover the Old Town – Le Suquet

Set a top a hill lies the oldest quarter in Cannes, Le Suquet, a maze of alleyways and stairways running between the Riviera’s typical Provençal houses. This is a good area for having a meal as it is packed with bistros and restaurants, and also features one of the best views over the bay, the harbour and the Lérins Islands.

The Promenade de la Croisette

The Promenade de la Croisette is a palm-tree-lined esplanade that stretches for three kilometres, from Casino Palm Beach to the Palais des Festivals. Next to the palace is a promenade with Hollywood-style fame for the over 400 handprints it bears of such film stars as Charlie Chaplin, Julie Andrews, Sylvester Stallone, Catherine Deneuve, Liza Minelli and Meryl Streep.

Take a Tour of its Paradisiacal Islands

The Lérins Islands lie within easy reach of Cannes harbour.  They comprise an archipelago which lies opposite the city’s bay and are made up of four islands, of which only two – Île Sainte-Marguerite and Île Saint-Honorat – are inhabited. The first of these is the most visited, with its pleasant, forested areas. Here stands the Fort Royal, where the Man in the Iron Mask was once held prisoner for over ten years. The life of this mysterious character was the subject of a film by Leonardo di Caprio.

Surround Yourself with Luxury – Visit the Grand Villas of Cannes

Wrap yourself in luxury with a visit to the Villa Rothschild in the district of Croix des Gardes. The villa, in neoclassical style with magnificent gardens, was once home to Lord Brougham. His influence over the nobility of the period prompted other residences to be built, turning Cannes into the prosperous city it is today. Another one worth visiting is the Villa Domergue, designed by Jean-Gabriel Domergue and inspired by Venetian palaces. Its gardens are adorned with statues of the owner’s wife.

Text by Scanner FM

Images by Pedro Szekely, Titem, Pietro Izzo, Pierre Le Bigot, Sam2907, Mathieu Lebreton

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Touring the French Riviera With Matisse

The French Riviera was a sanctuary and source of inspiration for many artists in the first half of the 20th century. Seduced by its light, and also its good climate and the magic of the Mediterranean, they succumbed to its charm. One of these was Henri Matisse, who arrived in Nice in 1917 seeking a cure for his bronchitis and remained there until his death in 1954. It was in Nice that he found the peace of mind and the light that would accompany him throughout his mature art period. He also used to visit other artists in the area who, like him, had moved their studio to this spot on the calm waters of the Mediterranean, whether in Nice itself or in neighbouring villages. Here, then, is a tour which retraces the footsteps of that fantastic artist of the Côte d’Azur.


Roman in origin and the region’s nerve centre, you would be hard pressed not to be enthralled by the charms of Nice. It is a pleasure in itself to just stroll along the streets in the old quarter in search of the Cours Saleya, a bustling square and site of both the popular flower market and the fruit and vegetable market. If you also take the chance to taste some of the local culinary specialities in one of the magnificent eateries in the area, a rewarding experience is guaranteed. Above all, make sure you try socca, a grilled chickpea-flour pasty, the perfect snack for a long sightseeing day.

The Promenade des Anglais is another of Nice’s popular landmarks. This elegant seaside promenade with its stylish period hotels and iconic palm trees inevitably transports you to a bygone era, a time when the first tourists started to frequent the city.

Matisse eventually took up permanent residence and set up his studio in the classy, aristocratic Cimiez Quarter after trying out other areas in the city. This quarter is home to the Matisse Museum, housed in a 17th-century villa, where visitors can delight in the artworks donated to the city by both Matisse himself and his heirs. Nearby is the Hotel Regina, where he actually lived during much of his stay in Nice. And, not far from there is the spot where he was buried, the cemetery of the Monastery Of Our Lady Of Cimiez.


This medieval village overlooking the Mediterranean is possibly one of the most picturesque in France, with the permission of Mont Saint Michel and Vézelay. Perched on a hilltop and ringed by a fortified wall, it preserves all the charm of the period when it was built. When strolling through its streets lined with old stone houses, it becomes clear how Matisse must have been captivated by its magic. But, he was not alone in falling prey to its allure, as so too did Picasso, Chagall, Renoir, Miró, Yves Montand and Cocteau. The passage of so many artists through the village led to a good number of art galleries springing up in its narrow streets. The finishing touch to any visit here is provided by the Maeght Foundation which houses one of the finest collections of 20th-century art, that of Marguerite and Aimé Maeght. The building, which was designed by the Spanish architect, Josep Lluís Sert, houses works by Pierre Bonnard, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Fernand Léger, Alberto Giacometti, Marc Chagall, Alexander Calder, Joan Miró, Wassily Kandinsky and Raoul Ubac, among others.


Matisse arrived in Vence in 1941, during one of the worst moments of World War II. Apart from sanctuary, he was seeking a place to heal, as he was ill. It was here that he found the right spot to recuperate, as well as inspiration. His stay in this small town yielded the creation of the Chapel of the Rosary, also known as the “Matisse Chapel”, where the artist once stated: “Despite all its imperfections, I regard this as my masterpiece”. Here, Matisse took charge of the whole project as he designed the building, the stained glass windows, the wall decoration, the furniture and even the liturgical accoutrements.


Auguste Renoir spent the last few years of his life in this coastal town. He settled in the villa known as Les Collettes, now converted into the Renoir Museum, where Matisse visited him on several occasions and learned from the Impressionist master how to perceive the colours of the “Midi”. Among the standout features of this small town on the French Riviera is Haut-de-Cagnes, a quarter listed as a historic interest site, where the most prominent landmark is Grimaldi Castle.

As Matisse said: “Most people come here for the light. Being from the north, what attracted me were the radiant colours and the luminosity of daylight”. Now it’s your turn to discover it, so get your Vueling and let yourself be inspired.


Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS

Images by Irene Grassi, r.g-s, m-louis .®, piet theisohn, Jumilla



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Cannes – Cinema and Much More

Cinema, glamour and luxury could well define this wonderful city on the French Riviera. Any mention of the name Cannes conjures up some of the media highlights of the year, like their film festival, when the city is decked out in all its finery and peopled with the most famous faces of the seventh art, as well as many a socialite eager not to miss such a worthy spectacle. But, cinema is not everything and Cannes is much more than film stars and millionaires to be gawked at. We urge you to discover both facets of this fantastic city.

Strolling Along the Promenade de la Croisette is De Rigeur

This boulevard, once known as the Chemin de la Petite Croix (Road of the Little Cross), as it had – and still has – a small cross, could well be rechristened the “Promenade of the Stars”. Replete with haute couture stores, luxury restaurants and fantastic hotels, and thronging with all kinds of celebrities, it is the perfect place for wandering about and soaking up the glitter of everything that’s going on. On your walk you will come across such iconic hotels as the InterContinental Carlton, housed in an elegant palace dating from 1911, the Art Deco Hôtel Martinez and the Majestic, before finally reaching the legendary Palais des Festivals et des Congrès. As you may have guessed, this is where the Cannes Film Festival is held each year. Those eager to see the facilities where such a prodigious event is hosted can satiate their curiosity by booking a guided tour of the premises. Another classic on La Croisette is theChemin des Étoiles,located opposite the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, which features the handprints of numerous great film stars, directors and other prominent figures from the world of cinema.

In addition to the foregoing, remember that this promenade runs along the seafront, so be sure to visit the beaches and delight in the panoramic views of the bay – it is well worth seeing. What you should know, however, is that most of the beaches lining the promenade are private; that is, the space is taken up by deck chairs belonging to luxury hotels, although you can of course rent them. There is also a small public beach near the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès.

Discover the “Other Cannes” in the Vieux Port and Le Suquet

As we intimated in the introduction, apart from the cinema scene, Cannes offers a lot to see and do that will surprise you, albeit on a far grander scale. To this end you should head for the Vieux Port where, in addition to big luxury yachts, you will come across the locals going about their daily business. From here, we recommend venturing into Le Suquet, the city’s old quarter, characterised by narrow streets and charming public squares. One of the best views of Cannes is to be had in this area, from the vantage point of the Castre Museum, located in the Place de la Castre. You will not regret the climb to the top when you see the panoramic view of La Croisette and the Palais des Festivals stretching out at your feet.

Book your Vueling to Nice, which lies just 33 kilometres from Cannes, and discover one of the most glamourous cities in the Mediterranean.

Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS

Images by Daniel70mi Falciola

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Must-visit Four-star Restaurants for Gourmets in Monaco

If you plan to visit the French Côte d'Azur, be sure to stop over at Monaco. Luxury also spills out onto the table on that small rock, with its endless array of starred restaurants. These are our favourites venues.

Restaurant Joël Robuchon Monte-Carlo

Suitably attired in your finery, make for the Restaurant Joël Robuchon Monte-Carlo. Inaugurated in 2004, it was the French chef’s first restaurant in the Principality, subsequently followed by the no less famous Yoshi (Japanese cuisine) and Odyssey (Mediterranean cuisine). The Restaurant Joël Robuchon Monte-Carlo, for its part, with its modern, inviting aesthetic, conveys a feeling of zen refinement. The open kitchen in full view enables guests to appreciate the choreography of chefs and pastry cooks as they display their art over the fires – a veritable top-drawer gastronomic experience. Also worth bearing in mind is that the French chef has added vegetarian and gluten-free menus to cater for even the most sensitive palates.

Le Vistamar

If, apart from a good table, you’re eager to enjoy one of the best views of Monte Carlo, opt for Le Vistamar (in the splendid Hôtel Hermitage Monte Carlo), where chef Benoît Witz orchestrates a culinary concept which has earned him a Michelin star. Here, the spotlight is on enhancing the products with the finest Mediterranean flavours, while the deliciously original dishes respond to the theme of “a fish, a vegetable and a cooking”, within the framework of different tasting menu options – the perfect harmony between sophistication and simplicity. Worth mentioning is the centrepiece of the house – blue lobster with peas, caramelised shallots and a fine foam infused with smoked duck. To accompany the food, the establishment proffers its striking wine list with exclusive wines from around the world. Among the finest in Monaco.

Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse

Le Louis XV, featuring the acclaimedFrench chef Alain Ducasse, is a fantasy world of modern elegance sited in the Hôtel Paris of Monte Carlo. And, according to the leading international critics, a restaurant which has achieved culinary perfection. The interior design – including a fascinating chandelier with over 800 uniquely different pieces of crystal – is a display of exquisite luxury paying tribute to the “dolce vita” of the Riviera, a place for which Ducasse has always confessed his passion. And, he reiterates that homage through his cuisine, in which the products, flavours and colours of the Côte d’Azur converge. Their fish is fresh from the dockside auction, while the herbs, spices and vegetables are sourced locally and in season. This traditional approach to the product is offset by the avant-garde technique, endowing dishes with freshness and modernity.


Contemporary flavours from the French Riviera crafted with local, seasonal produce (the menu changes each season) which is, first and foremost, organically produced, a fact which led the establishment to become the first restaurant with a 100% bio certificate in accordance with European standards. A Michelin one-star, Elsa has earned its place among the culinary elite thanks to the talent and creativity of chef Paolo Sari. Three different tasting menus are available.

Book your Vueling to Nice, just half an hour away from Monaco, and bring out your gourmet streak in one of these excellent restaurants.

Text by Laia Zieger of Gastronomistas.com



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