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Hotel Belles Rives, Juan-les-pins, France
In 1926, F. Scott Fitzgerald rented the Villa Saint-Louis in Juan-les-Pins to work on Tender is the Night. Three years later, hotelier Boma Estène transformed the villa into the Côte d'Azur's first hotel on the water's edge. Built on the edge of a small inlet on Cap d'Antibes, facing the Lérins islands, the cream-coloured Hôtel Belles Rives is a mini-palace with 43 rooms. There is a charming library stocked with Fitzgerald memorabilia, and the Estène family has taken great care to preserve the hotel's 1930s style with Art Deco furniture, cubist paintings, the fumoir (dating from the hotel's days as the Villa Saint-Louis) and the Bar Fitzgerald, a stylish corner of the salon in polished oak and lemon-wood. Room 78, on the top floor, is painted pale blue and yellow and is one of six with magnificent bow windows. Room 50, in apricot, is smaller but has a private terrace, while room 95 is a pink-and-black boudoir with a silky bedspread and lovely balcony. All the rooms have marble bathrooms. The Belles Rives has hosted a steady stream of illustrious guests since 1929, including the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Ella Fitzgerald and Cab Calloway. The hotel has a private beach (with a waterskiing school) and a relaxed waterfront restaurant on the sprawling white deck. Guests should splash out on at least one dinner at La Passagère, the hotel's gastronomic restaurant: the southern French cuisine is superb, served on a candle-lit terrace with impossibly romantic sea views. Highlights include macaroni stuffed with violet artichokes and topped with rocket and truffle dressing, roast sea bass with honey, shank of Sisteron lamb with vegetables and garlic gnocchi, and desserts such as a cubist-inspired, geometrical white-and-dark chocolate cake, and spiced mango and violet figs with candied-ginger ice cream.
Translated By Ken Kinlock at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Located at the foot of the Vallauris hills, Golfe-Juan is in the centre of a large natural harbour stretching from Cap d’Antibes to the East, to the Cap de la Croisette to the West, on the outskirts of Cannes. It boasts roughly 1km of narrow sandy beach extending in a shallow curve and lined with tall elegant palms.
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Antibes, Ancient Neighbor of Nice
Antibes was a Greek fortified town named Antipolis in the 5th century BC, and
later a Roman town, and always an active port for trading along the
Mediterranean. Today it's an attractive and
active town, popular with "foreigners" from Paris and the north
of France, with non-French, and with the local population.
The natural beauty remains in the vieille ville (old town), with the ramparts along the sea and the long, arched protective wall along the port. There are plenty of little streets for exploring, restaurants of all types and prices, and lots of shops, from authentic little hardware/general-stores to tourist gift shops.
ANTIBES - JUAN-LES-PINS
Antibes is the proper name of this ancient town, but it's commonly
referred to as Antibes - Juan-les-Pins.
The Juan-les-Pins part is a seaside resort and night-life
area of sandy beaches, boutiques, night clubs and casino.
The two places are close together, a good walk or short drive
over the hill of the narrow part of the peninsula, or a longer
and lovely drive around the coastline of the Cap d'Antibes.
Plage de La Garoupe (La Garoupe Beach), on the Cap d'Antibes, used to be the favourite beach of Fitzgerald and Murphy. The Cap d'Antibes, marked by the lighthouse at the highest point, is a lush setting of some very large and very expensive estates, even by "French Riviera" standards. It also has the hotel of choice for some famous people, such as Madonna, who prefer to avoid the bright lights and bussel of the Croissette in Cannes during their short stays on the Côte d'Azur.
Antibes (Provençal Occitan: Antíbol in classical norm or Antibo in
Mistralian norm) is a resort town of southeastern France,
on the Mediterranean Sea in the Côte d'Azur, located between
Cannes and Nice. It is c. 20 km by rail southwest of Nice,
and is situated on the east side of the Garoupe peninsula.
It was formerly fortified, but all the ramparts (save the Fort Carré, built by Vauban, and the ramparts along the sea coast), were demolished in the 1860s. A new town then rose outside the former defenses.
Antibes has one of the largest yacht marinas on the Côte d'Azur, built in the 1960s on the site of a Roman harbor. There is still a local fishing industry, much diminished from its size a century ago. It was formerly a site of perfume distilling; the surrounding country once produced an abundance of flowers. Perfume distillation is still carried out on a commercial scale in nearby Grasse.
COMPOSITION OF ANTIBES
Antibes is a commune of the Alpes-Maritimes département (formerly in that of the Var,
but transferred after the Alpes-Maritimes
department was formed in 1860 out of the county of Nice).
It covers a number of distinct areas, including:
Antibes proper (which includes Vieux Antibes, or Old Town, the medieval village of stone masonry)
Port Vauban and the Yacht Club d'Antibes, a huge marina with a separate section devoted to sumptuous mega-yachts
Cap d'Antibes (an exclusive residential area containing several magnificent chateaux)
Juan-les-Pins (Unlike the Spanish name, the J in Juan is pronounced like the S in treasure)
the southern parts of Sophia Antipolis (the northern parts belonging to Biot and Valbonne)
In prehistory, the area around Antibes was inhabited by the
Deciates (?e???ta?), a tribe of the
Ligurians (Smith, entry on Deciátes; Cosson, pp.20-23).
The border with the Ligurian Oxybii (???ß???) being to the
west of Antibes and east of Frejus (Smith, entry on Oxybii).
The Deciates had a town in the area, oppidum Deciatum but this
was not Antibes itself (Pliny the Elder, Chorographia, 2.69):
In litoribus aliquot sunt cum aliquis nominibus loca: ceterum rarae urbes quia rari portus, et omnis plaga austro atque africo exposita est. Nicaea tangit Alpes, tangit oppidum Deciatum, tangit Antipolis.
Antibes was the ancient Antipolis (Stabo, Geography 4.1.9). It was founded as a colony of Massallia (Marseilles), in the 6th century BCE, across the bay from Nikea (Nice); the name in Greek means literally "city across" or "city opposite," Anti polis, and is mentioned in the Geography of Strabo. Although no traces of the Greek port remain, wrecks of sunken ships (such as a 6th century BCE Etruscan ship) attest to the importance of this early port.
Polybius (Histories, 33.7) relates that in 155 BCE the Ligurians attacked Massallia, Antipolis and Nikea and in consequence, Massallia appealed to the Romans for help because of a treaty between Massallia and Rome. The resulting defeat of the Deciates and Oxybii also led to greater Roman involvement in the region, culminating in the battle of Aquae Sextiae in 102 BCE and the creation of the Roman province of Narbonensis along the coast from the Alps to the Pyrenees.
Roman Civitas Antipolitana
In 43 BCE, Antipolis lost its status as a free Masaliote city and was annexed by the Romans, becoming Civitas Antipolitana. This was later referred to by Strabo (Geography, 4.1.9):
although Antipolis is situated in the Narbonnaise, and Nicæa in Italy, this latter is dependent on Marseilles, and forms part of that province; while Antipolis is ranked amongst the Italian cities, and freed from the government of the Marseillese by a judgment given against them
The major attractions of Antibes are its history, climate, art, beaches and yachting.
The sand beaches of Antibes are all manmade;
the natural beaches are gravel (shingle in English English);
in summer, these beaches are maintained using large
tractors towing a device which scoops-up, sieves, spreads, and
rakes the sand. Antibes' beaches east of Fort Carré (that is,
going toward Nice) are still the original rough materials.
The southern peninsula of Antibes is known as Cap d'Antibes. A bastion of wealth and exclusivity, it was the setting for F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night. The Hotel du Cap, called Hôtel des Étrangers in the novel, is still one of the most expensive and exclusive hotels in the world.
The highest point on the Cap d'Antibes is occupied by Phare
(lighthouse) de la Garoupe, constructed
after retreating Nazis blew up the earlier one, and a small
Roman Catholic chapel, Chapelle de la Garoupe, containing
a locally famous gilded wooden statue of Notre Dame de
Bonne Port (loosely, Our Lady of Safe Homecoming), and noted
for the variety of ex votive offerings (see votive deposit
left by sailors and their families... or sometimes their widows.
Antibes was the birthplace of Jacques Audiberti (1899-1965), author.
The author Graham Greene spent the last quarter century of his life in Antibes, from 1966 to 1991. Anthony Burgess wrote a series of essays, A Homage to QWERTY, about his travels from Monaco to Antibes to interview Greene.
The novelist Nikos Kazantzakis (1883 - 1957) wrote Alexas Zorbas, on which the 1964 movie Zorba the Greek was based, while living in Antibes' old town.
Interestingly, Antibes was the site of two well-regarded live
jazz performances - the Charles Mingus album Mingus at Antibes
and a live performance of John Coltrane's A Love Supreme,
which was later released with the original in a deluxe package.
There is a major jazz festival, Jazz à Juan, held every summer in Juan-les-Pins that often attracts very famous jazz musicians from the United States, France, and around the world.
The electronic music group M83 is from Antibes.
ART (and MUSEUMS)
The Musée Picasso, located in the mediaeval Château Grimaldi, contains Pablo
Picasso's works from the year-long period he spent in Antibes.
The Musée Peynet et du Dessin Humoristique has a permanent exhibition of the works of Peynet and has temporary exhibitions of graphic arts, humor, and satire. The museum is built on the site of the Roman temple to Saturn (Cosson p.131).
The French-Russian abstract painter, Nicolas de Staël committed suicide in Antibes, 1955
Nikos Kazantzakis wrote the novel on which the 1964 motion picture Zorba the Greek was based while living in Antibes' old town.
The prolific English writer Graham Greene (he famously wrote the screenplay for the 1949 film The Third Man) lived the last almost quarter-century of his life in Antibes' old town, from 1966 until he moved to Vevey, Switzerland where he died in 1991.
Everything about Le Cap d'Antibes, Antibes and Juan les Pins !
Between Nice (20km) and Cannes (12km) on the N7.
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Annual Nice to Cannes Marathon
Some of the runners even dress up
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La Garoupe (Antibes)
Built 1948 (station established 1837). Active; focal plane 104 m (341 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 29 m (95 ft) round stone
tower centered on the roof of a 1-story stone keeper's house. Lighthouse is white, lantern painted red.
This is a landfall light for Antibes, Cannes, and the Côte d'Azur; it is the most powerful light in the Mediterranean
with a range of 31 nautical miles (57.5 km, 35.5 mi).
The original lighthouse, a 24 m (79 ft) cylindrical masonry tower, which was blown up by German troops in 1944.
The lighthouse is surrounded by the Bois de la Garoupe, a 9 ha (22 acre) forest preserve managed by the city of Antibes.
Located on the Route du Phare in Antibes, overlooking the Baie des Anges. Site open, tower closed.
Golfe Juan and Antibes Lighthouses
Golfe Juan Jetée du Large
Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); two green flashes every 6 s. 6 m (20 ft) round tower with gallery.
Tower painted with a green horizontal band at the top. Located at the end of the breakwater mole of Golfe Juan.
Accessible by walking the mole. Site open, tower closed.
Built 1917. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 17 m (56 ft) solid round stone tower with a "watchroom"
structure and two galleries; the light is displayed from a tripod. Tower painted with red and black horizontal bands.
A fourmi is an ant; sailors sometimes refer to small rocky skerries as ants. Located on a rock in the center of the entrance
to Golfe Juan about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) south of the harbor. Accessible only by boat; there are distant views from shore
everywhere in Golfe Juan. Site and tower closed.
|Cannes Breakwater and light|
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Biot is a very picturesque and very popular medieval village that's actually about 2500 years old. It sits on a hilltop only 4 km from the Mediterranean beaches between Antibes and Nice. Although the village gets crowded with tourists during the summer, it retains much of its natural charm and its feeling of antiquity, and is very active year-round.
Biot has been a source of pottery since antiquity. The region is rich in fine clays, sand, manganese and even volcanic tufa for making the kilns. Amphorae made in Biot were exported worldwide, from Antibes and Marseilles, until the 18th century.
Biot is currently renowned for its glass works, typically a clear or colored transparent glass with little bubbles. There are several glassworks down the hill around the outskirts of the village, and you can watch the glass-blowing process as the pieces are made.
|The communal oven in Biot was busy for the annual Medieval Festival|
|Parade in Biot during the annual Medieval Festival|
|Best restaurant in Biot|
Snowstorm November 2008
The old fort in Antibes was designed by Vauban. Today, it is a tourist attraction. On the ramparts are several Picasso copies.
Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban (1633-1707), is considered one the of the greatest military engineers of all time. In his life he was responsible for the fortification of over 160 places in France, however his major contribution to warfare was his methods of attack, which revolutionised siege warfare.
In his life Vauban had revolutionised the way sieges were fought, and he had fortified over 160 places for France. His deepest concern was always for the lives of the soldiers he commanded, and he was courageous, being wounded several times. Vauban wrote a series of papers entitled "Les Oisivetés" or "Leisures". These were on a diverse range of subjects including privateering, agriculture, canals and geography.
Fort Carré, Antibes
Antibes has a stormy history, being situated in a much fought-over region. The first fortifications were probably constructed by the romans, but the town was given new defences in medieval times. In 1553, a tower called la tour Saint-Florent was built on a penninsular to the north of the town. There had previously been a chapel on the site, and this was incorperated into the tower.
Henry III gave the tower four bastions in 1565, and it became Fort Carré (the squared fort). In the 1680's Vauban strengthened Fort Carré, adding traverses to protect against ricochet fire and exchanging the stone parapets, which were liable to scatter deadly splinters when hit by shot, for brick ones.
Vauban also enlarged the embrasures and added outer walls to the fortification. After Vauban's work, the fort was designed to take 18 cannon. The entrance to the fort is through a triangular work that protrudes from the walls, which is loopholed and pierced by a heavy wooden door.
From here, there is a narrow bridge that leads into the fort itself via the flank of one of the arrow headed bastions. Inside, there are barrack buildings for officers and men as well as the ancient chapel, which has been preserved through the successive stages of military development of the site.
In addition to improving the defences of Fort Carré, Vauban fortified Antibes itself, adding a land front of 4 arrow headed bastions around the town, as well seaward fortifications, including a bastion on the breakwater closing the harbour.
Fort Carré is in very good condition, though the outer walls are overgrown in places. The fort itself can be visited in good weather with a guided tour for around 3€. It can be quite hard to see how to get to it, as there is a large sports field on the western side of the penninsular.
Facing the fort, go to the left of this sports field and follow the path around to the fort's entrance. As for the fortifications of Antibes, they were mainly built over as the town expanded, but the seaward defences are intact. The large bastion on the breakwater protecting the harbour has also survived.
Today the port is full of luxury yachts, but it is still known as Port Vauban. The Antibes station is just to the north of the old town, and road access is good. This area is where some of the world's richest have their summer residences, so accommodation can be expensive!
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|Another beach view of Juan-les-Pins|
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Penney has written a neat blog on Antibes / Juan-les-pins