French Riviera
Overview
 
The Côte d'Azur, pronounced kot dazyːʁ, often known in English as the French Riviera , is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, also including the sovereign state of Monaco
Monaco
Monaco , officially the Principality of Monaco , is a sovereign city state on the French Riviera. It is bordered on three sides by its neighbour, France, and its centre is about from Italy. Its area is with a population of 35,986 as of 2011 and is the most densely populated country in the...

. There is no official boundary, but it is usually considered to extend from the Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 border in the east to Saint Tropez, Hyères
Hyères
Hyères , Provençal Occitan: Ieras in classical norm or Iero in Mistralian norm) is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France....

 or Cassis in the west.
The French Riviera coastline covers 560 miles and consists of both sand and shingle beaches
Shingle beach
A shingle beach is a beach which is armoured with pebbles or small- to medium-sized cobbles. Typically, the stone composition may grade from characteristic sizes ranging from two to 200 mm diameter....

.

This coastline was one of the first modern resort
Resort
A resort is a place used for relaxation or recreation, attracting visitors for holidays or vacations. Resorts are places, towns or sometimes commercial establishment operated by a single company....

 areas.
Encyclopedia
The Côte d'Azur, pronounced kot dazyːʁ, often known in English as the French Riviera , is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, also including the sovereign state of Monaco
Monaco
Monaco , officially the Principality of Monaco , is a sovereign city state on the French Riviera. It is bordered on three sides by its neighbour, France, and its centre is about from Italy. Its area is with a population of 35,986 as of 2011 and is the most densely populated country in the...

. There is no official boundary, but it is usually considered to extend from the Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 border in the east to Saint Tropez, Hyères
Hyères
Hyères , Provençal Occitan: Ieras in classical norm or Iero in Mistralian norm) is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France....

 or Cassis in the west.
The French Riviera coastline covers 560 miles and consists of both sand and shingle beaches
Shingle beach
A shingle beach is a beach which is armoured with pebbles or small- to medium-sized cobbles. Typically, the stone composition may grade from characteristic sizes ranging from two to 200 mm diameter....

.

This coastline was one of the first modern resort
Resort
A resort is a place used for relaxation or recreation, attracting visitors for holidays or vacations. Resorts are places, towns or sometimes commercial establishment operated by a single company....

 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
Victoria of the United Kingdom
Victoria was the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she used the additional title of Empress of India....

 and King Edward VII
Edward VII of the United Kingdom
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910...

, when he was Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

. In the summer, it also played home to many members of the Rothschild family
Rothschild family
The Rothschild family , known as The House of Rothschild, or more simply as the Rothschilds, is a Jewish-German family that established European banking and finance houses starting in the late 18th century...

. In the first half of the 20th century it was frequented by artists and writers, including Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

, Henri Matisse
Henri Matisse
Henri Matisse was a French artist, known for his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter...

, Edith Wharton
Edith Wharton
Edith Wharton , was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, short story writer, and designer.- Early life and marriage:...

, Somerset Maugham and Aldous Huxley
Aldous Huxley
Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley family. Best known for his novels including Brave New World and a wide-ranging output of essays, Huxley also edited the magazine Oxford Poetry, and published short stories, poetry, travel...

, as well as wealthy Americans and Europeans. After World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 it became a popular tourist destination and convention site. Many celebrities, such as Elton John
Elton John
Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE, Hon DMus is an English rock singer-songwriter, composer, pianist and occasional actor...

 and Brigitte Bardot
Brigitte Bardot
Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot is a French former fashion model, actress, singer and animal rights activist. She was one of the best-known sex-symbols of the 1960s.In her early life, Bardot was an aspiring ballet dancer...

, 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
Nice
Nice is the fifth most populous city in France, after Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Toulouse, with a population of 348,721 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of more than 955,000 on an area of...

, 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 and 933 080 in the urban area.

Nice is home to Nice Côte d'Azur Airport, France's third-busiest airport (after Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport and Paris-Orly), which is on an area of partially reclaimed coastal land at the western end of the Promenade des Anglais
Promenade des Anglais
The Promenade des Anglais is a celebrated promenade along the Mediterranean at Nice, France.-History:Before Nice was urbanized, the coast at Nice was just bordered by a deserted band of beach...

. A second airport at Mandelieu
Cannes - Mandelieu Airport
Cannes - Mandelieu Airport or Aéroport de Cannes - Mandelieu is an airport serving the city of Cannes. It is located 5 km west of Cannes and east of Mandelieu-la-Napoule, both communes of the Alpes-Maritimes département in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur région of France.- External links :* *...

 was once the region's commercial airport, but is now mainly used by private and business aircraft. The A8 autoroute
A8 autoroute
The A8 autoroute, La Provençale, is a -long highway in France between Aix-en-Provence and the A7 to the Côte d'Azur.- Route :The A8 is an extension of the A7 starting to the west of Aix-en-Provence at La Fare-les-Oliviers. The road passes through the Departments of Bouches-du-Rhône, Var and...

 runs through the region, as does the old main road generally known as the Route nationale 7
Route nationale 7
The Route nationale 7, or RN 7, is a trunk road in France between Paris and the border with Italy. It was also known as the Route Bleue and — sarcastically, during the annual rush to the Mediterranean beaches — the Route de la Mort .-History:The Romans under Marcus Agrippa established...

 (officially now the D N7 in the Var and the D6007 in the Alpes-Maritimes
Alpes-Maritimes
Alpes-Maritimes is a department in the extreme southeast corner of France.- History : was created by Octavian as a Roman military district in 14 BC, and became a full Roman province in the middle of the 1st century with its capital first at Cemenelum and subsequently at Embrun...

). Trains serve the coastal region and inland to Grasse
Grasse
-See also:*Route Napoléon*Ancient Diocese of Grasse*Communes of the Alpes-Maritimes department-External links:*...

, with the TGV Sud Est
TGV
The TGV is France's high-speed rail service, currently operated by SNCF Voyages, the long-distance rail branch of SNCF, the French national rail operator....

 service reaching Nice-Ville station in five hours and a half from Paris.

The French Riviera surrounds the principality of Monaco
Monaco
Monaco , officially the Principality of Monaco , is a sovereign city state on the French Riviera. It is bordered on three sides by its neighbour, France, and its centre is about from Italy. Its area is with a population of 35,986 as of 2011 and is the most densely populated country in the...

 with a total population of over two million. It also contains the seaside resorts of Cap-d'Ail
Cap-d'Ail
Cap-d'Ail , Italian: Capodaglio, is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France.It borders the district of La Colle in the Principality of Monaco....

, Beaulieu-sur-Mer
Beaulieu-sur-Mer
Beaulieu-sur-Mer , Italian: Belluogo, is a seaside village on the French Riviera between Nice and Monaco. It is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department and borders the communes of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Èze, and Villefranche-sur-Mer.-History:...

, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat , Italian: San Giovanni Capo Ferrato, is a commune of the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France.It is located on a peninsula next to Beaulieu-sur-Mer and to Villefranche-sur-Mer and extends out to Cap Ferrat...

, Villefranche-sur-Mer
Villefranche-sur-Mer
Villefranche-sur-Mer is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region on the French Riviera.-Geography:...

, Antibes
Antibes
Antibes is a resort town in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France.It lies on the Mediterranean in the Côte d'Azur, located between Cannes and Nice. The town of Juan-les-Pins is within the commune of Antibes...

, Juan-les-Pins
Juan-les-Pins
Juan-les-PinsCountry:Region:Department: Alpes-MaritimesArrondissement: GrasseCanton: Vallauris-Antibes-OuestMunicipality: AntibesPopulation:?Coordinates:Time zone:CET, UTC+1Elevation:10 amslPostal code:06600...

, Cannes
Cannes
Cannes is one of the best-known cities of the French Riviera, a busy tourist destination and host of the annual Cannes Film Festival. It is a Commune of France in the Alpes-Maritimes department....

, Saint-Raphaël
Saint-Raphaël, Var
Saint-Raphaël is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.Immediately to the west of Saint-Raphaël lies another, older, town called Fréjus, and together they form an urban agglomeration known as Fréjus Saint-Raphaël...

, Fréjus
Fréjus
Fréjus is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.It neighbours Saint-Raphaël, effectively forming one town...

, Sainte Maxime and Saint-Tropez
Saint-Tropez
Saint-Tropez is a town, 104 km to the east of Marseille, in the Var department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of southeastern France. It is also the principal town in the canton of Saint-Tropez....

, It is also home to a high-tech/science park or technopole at Sophia-Antipolis (north of Antibes
Antibes
Antibes is a resort town in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France.It lies on the Mediterranean in the Côte d'Azur, located between Cannes and Nice. The town of Juan-les-Pins is within the commune of Antibes...

) 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
Yachting
Yachting refers to recreational sailing or boating, the specific act of sailing or using other water vessels for sporting purposes.-Competitive sailing:...

 and cruising area with several marinas along its coast. According to the Côte d'Azur Economic Development Agency, each year the Riviera hosts 50% of the world's superyacht
Luxury yacht
The term luxury yacht, “Superyacht” and "Large Yacht" refers to very expensive, privately owned yachts which are professionally crewed. Also known as a Super Yacht, a luxury yacht may be either a sailing or motor yacht.-History:...

 fleet, with 90% of all superyachts visiting the region's coast at least once in their lifetime.

As a tourist centre it benefits from 300 days of sunshine per year, 115 kilometres (71.5 mi) of coastline and beaches, 18 golf courses, 14 ski resorts and 3,000 restaurants.

Origins of the name Côte d'Azur

The name was given to the coast by the writer Stéphen Liégeard in his book, La Côte d’azur, published in December 1887. Liégeard was born in Dijon
Dijon
Dijon is a city in eastern France, the capital of the Côte-d'Or département and of the Burgundy region.Dijon is the historical capital of the region of Burgundy. Population : 151,576 within the city limits; 250,516 for the greater Dijon area....

, in the French department of Côte-d'Or
Côte-d'Or
Côte-d'Or is a department in the eastern part of France.- History :Côte-d'Or is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. It was formed from part of the former province of Burgundy.- Geography :...

, and adapted that name by substituting the azure blue colour of the Mediterranean for the gold of Côte-d'Or.

Origin of term "French Riviera"

The French Riviera took its name from the Italian Riviera
Italian Riviera
The Italian Riviera, or Ligurian Riviera is the narrow coastal strip which lies between the Ligurian Sea and the mountain chain formed by the Maritime Alps and the Apennines...

, which extends to the east of the French border as far as La Spezia
La Spezia
La Spezia , at the head of the Gulf of La Spezia in the Liguria region of northern Italy, is the capital city of the province of La Spezia. Located between Genoa and Pisa on the Ligurian Sea, it is one of the main Italian military and commercial harbours and hosts one of Italy's biggest military...

. As early as the 19th century, the British referred to the region as the Riviera or the French Riviera, usually referring to the eastern part of the coast, between Monaco and the Italian border. Riviera is an Italian term – the Occitan (Niçard and Provençal
Provençal language
Provençal is a dialect of Occitan spoken by a minority of people in southern France, mostly in Provence. In the English-speaking world, "Provençal" is often used to refer to all dialects of Occitan, but it actually refers specifically to the dialect spoken in Provence."Provençal" is also the...

) word is Ribiera. In French, the term Rivière de Gênes was used to refer to the Italian Riviera around Genoa.

Disputes over the extent of the Riviera and the Côte d'Azur

The Côte d'Azur and French Riviera have no official boundaries. Some sources put the western boundary at Saint-Tropez
Saint-Tropez
Saint-Tropez is a town, 104 km to the east of Marseille, in the Var department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of southeastern France. It is also the principal town in the canton of Saint-Tropez....

 in the Var département. Others include Hyères in the Var département, or Cassis in the Bouches-du-Rhône
Bouches-du-Rhône
Bouches-du-Rhône is a department in the south of France named after the mouth of the Rhône River. It is the most populous department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. Its INSEE and postal code is 13.-History of the department:...

 département.
In her 1955 novel, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith
Patricia Highsmith
Patricia Highsmith was an American novelist and short-story writer most widely known for her psychological thrillers, which led to more than two dozen film adaptations. Her first novel, Strangers on a Train, has been adapted for stage and screen numerous times, notably by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951...

 describes the Riviera as including all of the coast between Toulon and the Italian border.

From prehistory to the Bronze Age

The Côte d'Azur has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Primitive tools dating to between 1 million and 1.050 million years were discovered in the Grotte du Vallonnet
Grotte du Vallonnet
Grotte du Vallonnet is an archaeological site located near Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, between Monaco and Menton, in France, that was first discovered in 1958...

, near Roquebrune-Cap-Martin
Roquebrune-Cap-Martin
Roquebrune-Cap-Martin is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France between Monaco and Menton. The name was changed from Roquebrune to differentiate the town from Roquebrune-sur-Argens in the neighboring Var Department.-History:In pre-Roman times the area was settled by the...

, with stones and bones of animals, including bovines, rhinoceros, and bison. At Terra Amata
Terra Amata
Terra Amata is an archeological site in open air located on the slopes of Mount Boron in Nice, at a level 26 meters above the current sea level of the Mediterranean. It was discovered and excavated in 1966 by Henry de Lumley...

 (400,000 BC), near the Nice Port, a fireplace was discovered that is one of the oldest found in Europe.

Stone dolmens, monuments from the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

, can be found near Draguignan
Draguignan
Draguignan is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, in southeastern France.It is a sub-prefecture of the department and self-proclaimed "capital of Artillery" and "Porte du Verdon".The city is only from St...

, while the Valley of Marvels (Vallée des Merveilles
Vallée des Merveilles
The Vallée des Merveilles, also known in Italian as the Valle delle Meraviglie , is a part of the Mercantour National Park in southern France...

) near Mount Bégo, at 2000 m (6,561.7 ft) elevation, is presumed to have been an outdoor religious sanctuary, having over 40,000 drawings of people and animals, dated to about 2000 B.C>

Greek influence

Beginning in the 7th century BC, Greek
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 sailors from Asia Minor
Asia Minor
Asia Minor is a geographical location at the westernmost protrusion of Asia, also called Anatolia, and corresponds to the western two thirds of the Asian part of Turkey...

 began to visit and then build trading posts (emporia) along the Côte d'Azur. Emporia were started at Olbia (Saint-Pierre-de-l'Almanarre, near Hyères
Hyères
Hyères , Provençal Occitan: Ieras in classical norm or Iero in Mistralian norm) is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France....

); Antipolis (Antibes
Antibes
Antibes is a resort town in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France.It lies on the Mediterranean in the Côte d'Azur, located between Cannes and Nice. The town of Juan-les-Pins is within the commune of Antibes...

) and Nikæa (Nice). These settlements, which traded with the inhabitants of the interior, became rivals of the Etruscans and Phoenicians, who also visited the Côte d'Azur.

Roman colonization

In 8 BC the Emperor Augustus
Augustus
Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

 built an imposing trophy monument at La Turbie
La Turbie
La Turbie is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France.-History:...

 (the Trophy of the Alps
Trophy of Augustus
The Tropaeum Alpium , was built by the Romans for the emperor Augustus to celebrate his definitive victory over the ancient tribes which populated the Alps...

 or Trophy of Augustus) to mark the pacification of the region.

Roman towns, monuments and amphitheatre
Amphitheatre
An amphitheatre is an open-air venue used for entertainment and performances.There are two similar, but distinct, types of structure for which the word "amphitheatre" is used: Ancient Roman amphitheatres were large central performance spaces surrounded by ascending seating, and were commonly used...

s were built along the Côte d'Azur and many still survive, such as the amphitheatre and baths
Roman Baths
The Roman Baths complex is a site of historical interest in the English city of Bath. The house is a well-preserved Roman site for public bathing....

 at Cimiez
Cimiez
Cimiez is a neighborhood in Nice, southern France. The area contains the Musée Matisse and the ruins of Cemenelum, capital of the Ancient Roman province Alpes Maritimae on the Ligurian coast...

, above Nice, and the amphitheatre, Roman walls and other remains at Fréjus
Fréjus
Fréjus is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.It neighbours Saint-Raphaël, effectively forming one town...

.

Barbarians and Christians

Roman Provence
Provence
Provence ; Provençal: Provença in classical norm or Prouvènço in Mistralian norm) is a region of south eastern France on the Mediterranean adjacent to Italy. It is part of the administrative région of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur...

 reached the height of its power and prosperity during the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. In the mid-3rd century, Germanic peoples
Germanic peoples
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group of Northern European origin, identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Proto-Germanic during the Pre-Roman Iron Age.Originating about 1800 BCE from the Corded Ware Culture on the North...

 began to invade the region, and Roman power weakened.

In the same period, Christianity started to become a powerful force in the region. The first cathedrals were built in the 4th century, and bishoprics
Diocese
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

 were established: in Fréjus at the end of the 4th century, Cimiez and Vence
Vence
Vence is a commune set in the hills of the Alpes Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France between Nice and Antibes.-Population:-Sights:...

 in 439, and Antibes in 442. The oldest Christian structure still in existence on the Côte d'Azur is the baptistery of Fréjus Cathedral
Fréjus Cathedral
Fréjus Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral, and a national monument of France, situated in the town of Fréjus in the Var department of Provence, in southeast France....

, built at the end of the 5th century, which also saw the founding of the first monastery
Monastery
Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...

 in the region, Lerins Monastery on an island off the coast at Cannes.

The fall of the Western Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire
The Western Roman Empire was the western half of the Roman Empire after its division by Diocletian in 285; the other half of the Roman Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire, commonly referred to today as the Byzantine Empire....

 in the first half of the 5th century was followed by invasions of Provence by the Visigoths, the Burgundians
Burgundians
The Burgundians were an East Germanic tribe which may have emigrated from mainland Scandinavia to the island of Bornholm, whose old form in Old Norse still was Burgundarholmr , and from there to mainland Europe...

 and the Ostrogoths. There was then a long period of wars and dynastic quarrels, which in turn led to further invasions by the Saracens and the Normans
Normans
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

 in the 9th century.

The Counts of Provence and the House of Grimaldi

Some peace was restored to the coast by the establishment in 879 of a new kingdom of Provence, ruled first by the Bosonids dynasty (879–1112), then by the Catalans (1112–1246), and finally by the Angevins (1246–1382, elder branch
Capetian House of Anjou
The Capetian House of Anjou, also known as the House of Anjou-Sicily and House of Anjou-Naples, was a royal house and cadet branch of the direct House of Capet. Founded by Charles I of Sicily, a son of Louis VIII of France, the Capetian king first ruled the Kingdom of Sicily during the 13th century...

, 1382–1483 (younger branch
House of Valois-Anjou
The Valois House of Anjou, or the Younger House of Anjou, was a noble French family, deriving from the royal family, the House of Valois. They were monarchs of Naples, as well as various other territories....

).

In the 13th century, another powerful political force appeared, the House of Grimaldi
House of Grimaldi
The House of Grimaldi is associated with the history of the Republic of Genoa and of the Principality of Monaco.-History:The Grimaldi family descends from Grimaldo, a Genoese statesman at the time of the early Crusades. He might have been a son of Otto Canella, a consul of the Republic of Genoa in...

. Descended from a Genoese nobleman expelled from Genoa by his rivals in 1271, members of the different branches of the Grimaldis took power in Monaco
Monaco
Monaco , officially the Principality of Monaco , is a sovereign city state on the French Riviera. It is bordered on three sides by its neighbour, France, and its centre is about from Italy. Its area is with a population of 35,986 as of 2011 and is the most densely populated country in the...

, Antibes and Nice, and built castles at Grimaud
Grimaud, Var
Grimaud is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.It is located on the French Riviera. The village of Grimaud is a perched village, with historical links to the Grimaldi family. Gibelin de Grimaldi aided William the Good drive the Saracens of...

, Cagnes-sur-Mer
Cagnes-sur-Mer
Cagnes-sur-Mer is a commune of the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.-Geography:It is the largest suburb of the city of Nice and lies to the west-southwest of it, about from the center.-History:...

 and Antibes
Antibes
Antibes is a resort town in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France.It lies on the Mediterranean in the Côte d'Azur, located between Cannes and Nice. The town of Juan-les-Pins is within the commune of Antibes...

. Albert II
Albert II, Prince of Monaco
Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco is the head of the House of Grimaldi and the ruler of the Principality of Monaco. He is the son of Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, and the American actress Grace Kelly...

, the current Prince of Monaco
Prince of Monaco
The Reigning Prince or Princess of Monaco is the sovereign monarch and head of state of the Principality of Monaco. All Princes or Princesses thus far have taken the name of the House of Grimaldi, but have belonged to various other houses in male line...

 is a descendant of the Grimaldis.

In 1388, the city of Nice and its surrounding territory, from the mouth of the Var to the Italian border, were separated from Provence and came under the protection of the House of Savoy
House of Savoy
The House of Savoy was formed in the early 11th century in the historical Savoy region. Through gradual expansion, it grew from ruling a small county in that region to eventually rule the Kingdom of Italy from 1861 until the end of World War II, king of Croatia and King of Armenia...

. The territory was called the Comté de Nice after 1526, and thereafter its language, history and culture were separate from those of Provence until 1860, when it was re-attached to France under Napoleon III
Napoleon III of France
Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte was the President of the French Second Republic and as Napoleon III, the ruler of the Second French Empire. He was the nephew and heir of Napoleon I, christened as Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte...

.

Provence retained its formal independence until 1480, when the last Comte de Provence, René I of Naples
René I of Naples
René of Anjou , also known as René I of Naples and Good King René , was Duke of Anjou, Count of Provence , Count of Piedmont, Duke of Bar , Duke of Lorraine , King of Naples , titular King of Jerusalem...

, died and left the Comté to his nephew, Charles du Maine
Charles IV, Duke of Anjou
Charles IV, Duke of Anjou, also Charles of Maine, Count of Le Maine and Guise was the son of the Angevin prince Charles of Le Maine, Count of Maine, who was the youngest son of Louis II of Anjou and Yolande of Aragon, Queen of Four Kingdoms.He succeeded his father as Count of Maine, Guise, Mortain...

, who in turn left it to Louis XI of France
Louis XI of France
Louis XI , called the Prudent , was the King of France from 1461 to 1483. He was the son of Charles VII of France and Mary of Anjou, a member of the House of Valois....

. In 1486, Provence formally became part of France.

Popularity with the British upper class in 18th and 19th centuries

Until the end of the 18th century, the area later known as the Côte d'Azur was a remote and impoverished region, known mostly for fishing, olive
Olive
The olive , Olea europaea), is a species of a small tree in the family Oleaceae, native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin as well as northern Iran at the south end of the Caspian Sea.Its fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the...

 groves and the production of flowers for perfume
Perfume
Perfume is a mixture of fragrant essential oils and/or aroma compounds, fixatives, and solvents used to give the human body, animals, objects, and living spaces "a pleasant scent"...

 (manufactured in Grasse
Grasse
-See also:*Route Napoléon*Ancient Diocese of Grasse*Communes of the Alpes-Maritimes department-External links:*...

).

A new phase began when the coast became a fashionable health resort for the British upper class in the late 18th century. The first British traveler to describe its benefits was the novelist Tobias Smollett
Tobias Smollett
Tobias George Smollett was a Scottish poet and author. He was best known for his picaresque novels, such as The Adventures of Roderick Random and The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle , which influenced later novelists such as Charles Dickens.-Life:Smollett was born at Dalquhurn, now part of Renton,...

, who visited Nice
Nice
Nice is the fifth most populous city in France, after Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Toulouse, with a population of 348,721 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of more than 955,000 on an area of...

 in 1763 when it was still an Italian city within the Kingdom of Sardinia. Smollett brought Nice and its warm winter climate to the attention of the British aristocracy with Travels through France and Italy
Travels through France and Italy
Travels through France and Italy is travel literature by Tobias Smollett published in 1766.After suffering the loss of his only child, 15-year-old Elizabeth, in April of 1763, Smollett left England in June of that year. Together with his wife, he traveled across France to Nice. In the autumn of the...

, written in 1765. At about the same time, a Scottish doctor, John Brown
John Brown (doctor)
John Brown was a Scottish physician.Brown was born in Berwickshire and after attending the parish school at Duns, he moved to Edinburgh and enrolled in divinity classes at the university of Edinburgh and worked part time as a private tutor...

, became famous for prescribing what he called climato-therapy, a change in climate, to cure a variety of diseases including tuberculosis
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

, known then as consumption. The French historian Paul Gonnet wrote that, as a result, Nice was filled with "a colony of pale and listless English women and listless sons of nobility near death".

In 1834, a British nobleman and politician named Henry Peter Brougham, First Baron Brougham and Vaux, who had played an important part in the abolition of the slave trade, traveled with an unwell sister to the south of France, intending to go to Italy. A cholera epidemic in Italy forced him to stop at Cannes
Cannes
Cannes is one of the best-known cities of the French Riviera, a busy tourist destination and host of the annual Cannes Film Festival. It is a Commune of France in the Alpes-Maritimes department....

, where he enjoyed the climate and scenery so much that he bought land and built a villa. He began to spend his winters there and, owing to his fame, others followed: Cannes soon had a small British enclave.

Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist and travel writer. His best-known books include Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde....

 was a later British visitor who came for his health. In 1882 he rented a villa called La Solitude at Hyères
Hyères
Hyères , Provençal Occitan: Ieras in classical norm or Iero in Mistralian norm) is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France....

, where he wrote much of A Child's Garden of Verses
A Child's Garden of Verses
A Child's Garden of Verses is a collection of poetry for children by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson. The collection first appeared in 1885 under the title Penny Whistles, but has been reprinted many times, often in illustrated versions...

.

Railway, gambling, and royalty

In 1864, five years after Nice became part of France following the Second Italian War of Independence
Second Italian War of Independence
The Second War of Italian Independence, Franco-Austrian War, Austro-Sardinian War, or Austro-Piedmontese War , was fought by Napoleon III of France and the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia against the Austrian Empire in 1859...

 the first railway was completed, making Nice and the Riviera accessible to visitors from all over Europe. One hundred thousand visitors arrived in 1865. By 1874, residents of foreign enclaves in Nice, most of whom were British, numbered 25,000.

In the mid-19th century British and French entrepreneurs began to see the potential of promoting tourism along the Côte d'Azur. At the time, gambling was illegal in France and Italy. In 1856, the Prince of Monaco
Monaco
Monaco , officially the Principality of Monaco , is a sovereign city state on the French Riviera. It is bordered on three sides by its neighbour, France, and its centre is about from Italy. Its area is with a population of 35,986 as of 2011 and is the most densely populated country in the...

, Charles III
Charles III, Prince of Monaco
Charles III was Prince of Monaco and Duke of Valentinois from 20 June 1856 to his death. He was the founder of the famous casino in Monte Carlo, as his title in Monegasque and Italian was Carlo III.-Birth:...

, began constructing a casino
Casino
In modern English, a casino is a facility which houses and accommodates certain types of gambling activities. Casinos are most commonly built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships or other tourist attractions...

 in Monaco, which was called a health spa
Spa
The term spa is associated with water treatment which is also known as balneotherapy. Spa towns or spa resorts typically offer various health treatments. The belief in the curative powers of mineral waters goes back to prehistoric times. Such practices have been popular worldwide, but are...

 to avoid criticism by the church. The casino was a failure, but in 1863 the Prince signed an agreement with François Blanc
François Blanc
François Blanc , nicknamed "The Magician of Homburg" and "The Magician of Monte Carlo", was a French entrepreneur and operator of casinos, including the Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco.-References:*...

, a French businessman already operating a successful casino at Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden is a spa town in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is located on the western foothills of the Black Forest, on the banks of the Oos River, in the region of Karlsruhe...

 (southwestern Germany), to build a resort and new casino. Blanc arranged for steamships and carriages to take visitors from Nice to Monaco, and built hotels, gardens and a casino in a place called Spélugues. At the suggestion of his mother, Princess Caroline, Charles III renamed the place Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo is an administrative area of the Principality of Monaco....

 after himself. When the railway reached Monte Carlo in 1870, many thousands of visitors began to arrive and the population of the principality of Monaco doubled.

The French Riviera soon became a popular destination for European royalty. Just days after the railway reached Nice in 1864, Tsar Alexander II of Russia
Alexander II of Russia
Alexander II , also known as Alexander the Liberator was the Emperor of the Russian Empire from 3 March 1855 until his assassination in 1881...

 visited on a private train, followed soon afterwards by Napoleon III and then Leopold II
Leopold II of Belgium
Leopold II was the second king of the Belgians. Born in Brussels the second son of Leopold I and Louise-Marie of Orléans, he succeeded his father to the throne on 17 December 1865 and remained king until his death.Leopold is chiefly remembered as the founder and sole owner of the Congo Free...

, the King of the Belgians.
Queen Victoria
Victoria of the United Kingdom
Victoria was the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she used the additional title of Empress of India....

 was a frequent visitor. In 1882 she stayed in Menton
Menton
Menton is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.Situated on the French Riviera, along the Franco-Italian border, it is nicknamed la perle de la France ....

, and in 1891 spent several weeks at the Grand Hotel at Grasse
Grasse
-See also:*Route Napoléon*Ancient Diocese of Grasse*Communes of the Alpes-Maritimes department-External links:*...

. In 1892 she stayed at the Hotel Cost-belle in Hyères
Hyères
Hyères , Provençal Occitan: Ieras in classical norm or Iero in Mistralian norm) is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France....

. In successive years from 1895 to 1899 she stayed in Cimiez
Cimiez
Cimiez is a neighborhood in Nice, southern France. The area contains the Musée Matisse and the ruins of Cemenelum, capital of the Ancient Roman province Alpes Maritimae on the Ligurian coast...

 in the hills above Nice. First, in 1895 and 1896, she patronised the Grand Hôtel, while in later years she and her staff took over the entire west wing of the Excelsior Hôtel Régina, which had been designed with her needs specifically in mind (part of which later became the home and studio of the renowned artist Henri Matisse
Henri Matisse
Henri Matisse was a French artist, known for his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter...

). She travelled with an entourage of between sixty and a hundred, including chef, ladies in waiting, dentist, Indian servants, her own bed and her own food.

The Prince of Wales
Edward VII of the United Kingdom
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910...

 was a regular visitor to Cannes, starting in 1872. He frequented the Club Nautique, a private club on the Croisette, the fashionable seafront boulevard of Cannes. He visited there each spring for a three-week period, observing yacht races from shore while the royal yacht, Britannia
Britannia
Britannia is an ancient term for Great Britain, and also a female personification of the island. The name is Latin, and derives from the Greek form Prettanike or Brettaniai, which originally designated a collection of islands with individual names, including Albion or Great Britain. However, by the...

, was sailed by professional crewmen. After he became King in 1901, he never again visited the French Riviera.

By the end of the 19th century the Côte d'Azur began to attract artistic painters, who appreciated the climate, the bright colours and clear light. Among them were Auguste Renoir, who settled in Cagnes-sur-Mer
Cagnes-sur-Mer
Cagnes-sur-Mer is a commune of the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.-Geography:It is the largest suburb of the city of Nice and lies to the west-southwest of it, about from the center.-History:...

, Henri Matisse
Henri Matisse
Henri Matisse was a French artist, known for his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter...

 and Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

.

Inter-war period, American visitors and decline of the aristocracy

The First World War brought down many of the royal houses of Europe and altered the nature and the calendar of the French Riviera. Following the war, greater numbers of Americans began arriving, with business moguls and celebrities eventually outnumbering aristocrats. The 'High Society' scene moved from a winter season to a summer season.

Americans began coming to the south of France in the 19th century. Henry James
Henry James
Henry James, OM was an American-born writer, regarded as one of the key figures of 19th-century literary realism. He was the son of Henry James, Sr., a clergyman, and the brother of philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James....

 set part of his novel, The Ambassadors
The Ambassadors
The Ambassadors is a 1903 novel by Henry James, originally published as a serial in the North American Review . This dark comedy, one of the masterpieces of James's final period, follows the trip of protagonist Lewis Lambert Strether to Europe in pursuit of Chad, his widowed fiancée's supposedly...

, on the Riviera. James Gordon Bennett Jr, the son and heir of the founder of the New York Herald
New York Herald
The New York Herald was a large distribution newspaper based in New York City that existed between May 6, 1835, and 1924.-History:The first issue of the paper was published by James Gordon Bennett, Sr., on May 6, 1835. By 1845 it was the most popular and profitable daily newspaper in the UnitedStates...

, had a villa in Beaulieu
Beaulieu-sur-Mer
Beaulieu-sur-Mer , Italian: Belluogo, is a seaside village on the French Riviera between Nice and Monaco. It is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department and borders the communes of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Èze, and Villefranche-sur-Mer.-History:...

. Industrialist John Pierpont Morgan gambled at Monte Carlo and bought 18th century paintings by Fragonard
Jean-Honoré Fragonard
Jean-Honoré Fragonard was a French painter and printmaker whose late Rococo manner was distinguished by remarkable facility, exuberance, and hedonism. One of the most prolific artists active in the last decades of the Ancien Régime, Fragonard produced more than 550 paintings , of which only five...

 in Grasse – shipping them to the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

A feature of the French Riviera in the inter-war years was the Train Bleu, an all first-class sleeper train which brought wealthy passengers down from Calais
Calais
Calais is a town in Northern France in the department of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sub-prefecture. Although Calais is by far the largest city in Pas-de-Calais, the department's capital is its third-largest city of Arras....

. It made its first trip in 1922, and carried Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

, Somerset Maugham, and the future King Edward VIII over the years.

While Europe was still recovering from the war and the American dollar was strong, American writers and artists started arriving on the Côte d'Azur. Edith Wharton
Edith Wharton
Edith Wharton , was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, short story writer, and designer.- Early life and marriage:...

 wrote The Age of Innocence
The Age of Innocence
The Age of Innocence is a novel by Edith Wharton published in 1920, which won the 1921 Pulitzer Prize. The story is set in upper-class New York City in the 1870s. In 1920, The Age of Innocence was serialized in four parts in the Pictorial Review magazine, and later released by D...

(1920) at a villa near Hyères
Hyères
Hyères , Provençal Occitan: Ieras in classical norm or Iero in Mistralian norm) is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France....

, winning the Pulitzer Prize for the novel (the first woman to do so). Dancer Isadora Duncan
Isadora Duncan
Isadora Duncan was a dancer, considered by many to be the creator of modern dance. Born in the United States, she lived in Western Europe and the Soviet Union from the age of 22 until her death at age 50. In the United States she was popular only in New York, and only later in her life...

 frequented Cannes and Nice, but died in 1927 when her scarf caught in a wheel of the Amilcar
Amilcar
The Amilcar was a French automobile manufactured from 1921 to 1940.The first offering was a small cyclecar; designed by Jules Salomon and Edmond Moyet, it bore a striking resemblance to the pre-war Le Zèbre. Next was the 903cc CC, which was available in two further versions; the CS was a sport...

 motor car in which she was a passenger and strangled her. The writer F. Scott Fitzgerald
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American author of novels and short stories, whose works are the paradigm writings of the Jazz Age, a term he coined himself. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost...

 first visited with his wife Zelda in 1924, stopping at Hyères, Cannes
Cannes
Cannes is one of the best-known cities of the French Riviera, a busy tourist destination and host of the annual Cannes Film Festival. It is a Commune of France in the Alpes-Maritimes department....

 and Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo is an administrative area of the Principality of Monaco....

 – eventually staying at Saint-Raphaël, where he wrote much of The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby is a novel by the American author F. Scott Fitzgerald. First published in1925, it is set on Long Island's North Shore and in New York City from spring to autumn of 1922....

and began Tender is the Night
Tender is the Night
Tender Is the Night is a novel by American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. It was his fourth and final completed novel, and was first published in Scribner's Magazine between January-April, 1934 in four issues...

.

While Americans were largely responsible for making summer the high season, a French fashion designer, Coco Chanel
Coco Chanel
Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel was a pioneering French fashion designer whose modernist thought, menswear-inspired fashions, and pursuit of expensive simplicity made her an important figure in 20th-century fashion. She was the founder of one of the most famous fashion brands, Chanel...

, made sunbathing fashionable. She acquired a striking tan during the summer of 1923, and tans then became the fashion in Paris.

During the abdication crisis
Edward VIII abdication crisis
In 1936, a constitutional crisis in the British Empire was caused by King-Emperor Edward VIII's proposal to marry Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced American socialite....

 of the British Monarchy
Monarchy of the United Kingdom
The monarchy of the United Kingdom is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom and its overseas territories. The present monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, has reigned since 6 February 1952. She and her immediate family undertake various official, ceremonial and representational duties...

 in 1936, Wallis Simpson, the intended bride of King Edward VIII, was staying at the Villa Lou Vieie in Cannes, talking with the King by telephone each day. After his abdication, the Duke of Windsor
Duke of Windsor
The title Duke of Windsor was created in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1937 for Prince Edward, the former King Edward VIII, following his abdication in December 1936. The dukedom takes its name from the town where Windsor Castle, a residence of English monarchs since the Norman Conquest, is...

 (as he became) and his new wife stayed at the Villa La Croe near Antibes
Antibes
Antibes is a resort town in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France.It lies on the Mediterranean in the Côte d'Azur, located between Cannes and Nice. The town of Juan-les-Pins is within the commune of Antibes...

.

The English playwright and novelist Somerset Maugham also became a resident in 1926, buying the Villa Mauresque toward the tip of Cap Ferrat
Cap Ferrat
Cap Ferrat is situated in Alpes-Maritimes département, in southeastern France. It is located in the commune of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.Saint Hospitius lived here as a recluse during the sixth century...

, near Nice.

The Second World War

When Germany invaded France in June 1940, the remaining British colony was evacuated to Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

 and eventually to Britain. American Jewish groups helped some of the Jewish artists living in the south of France, such as Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall Art critic Robert Hughes referred to Chagall as "the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century."According to art historian Michael J...

, to escape to the United States. In August 1942, 600 Jews from Nice were rounded up by French police and sent to Drancy
Drancy internment camp
The Drancy internment camp of Paris, France, was used to hold Jews who were later deported to the extermination camps. 65,000 Jews were deported from Drancy, of whom 63,000 were murdered including 6,000 children...

, and eventually to death camps. In all about 5,000 French Jews from Nice perished during the war.

On August 15, 1944, American parachute troops landed near Fréjus, and a fleet landed 60,000 troops of the American Seventh Army
United States Army Europe
United States Army Europe and Seventh Army, is an Army Service Component Command of the United States Army and the land component of United States European Command. It is the largest American formation in Europe.-Invasion of Sicily:...

 and French First Army between Cavalaire and Agay, east of Saint-Raphaël. German resistance crumbled in days.

Saint-Tropez was badly damaged by German mines at the time of the liberation. The novelist Colette
Colette
Colette was the surname of the French novelist and performer Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette . She is best known for her novel Gigi, upon which Lerner and Loewe based the stage and film musical comedies of the same title.-Early life and marriage:Colette was born to retired military officer Jules-Joseph...

 organized an effort to assure the town was rebuilt in its original style.

When the war ended, artists Marc Chagall and Pablo Picasso returned to live and work.

Post-war period and late 20th century

The Cannes Film Festival
Cannes Film Festival
The Cannes International Film Festival , is an annual film festival held in Cannes, France, which previews new films of all genres including documentaries from around the world. Founded in 1946, it is among the world's most prestigious and publicized film festivals...

 was launched in September 1946, marking the return of French cinema to world screens. The Festival Palace
Palais des Festivals et des Congrès
The first Palais des Festivals et des Congrès was a building built in 1949 to host the Cannes Film Festival. The original building was located on the boulevard of Promenade de la Croisette on the present site of the JW Marriott Cannes...

 was built in 1949 on the site of the old Cercle Nautique, where the Prince of Wales had met his mistresses in the late 19th century. The release of the French film Et Dieu… créa la femme
And God Created Woman (1956 film)
And God Created Woman is a French drama film directed by Roger Vadim and starring Brigitte Bardot. Though by no means her first film, it is widely recognized as the vehicle that launched Bardot into the public spotlight and immediately created her "sex kitten" persona, making her an overnight...

(And God Created Woman) in November 1956 was a major event for the Riviera, making an international star of Brigitte Bardot
Brigitte Bardot
Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot is a French former fashion model, actress, singer and animal rights activist. She was one of the best-known sex-symbols of the 1960s.In her early life, Bardot was an aspiring ballet dancer...

, and making an international tourist destination of Saint-Tropez, particularly for the new class of wealthy international travellers called the 'jet set
Jet set
"Jet set" is a journalistic term that was used to describe an international social group of wealthy people, organizing and participating all around the world in social activities that are unreachable to ordinary people...

.'

The marriage of American film actress Grace Kelly
Grace Kelly
Grace Patricia Kelly was an American actress who, in April 1956, married Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, to become Princess consort of Monaco, styled as Her Serene Highness The Princess of Monaco, and commonly referred to as Princess Grace.After embarking on an acting career in 1950, at the age of...

 to Prince Rainier of Monaco
Rainier III, Prince of Monaco
Rainier III, Prince of Monaco , styled His Serene Highness The Sovereign Prince of Monaco, ruled the Principality of Monaco for almost 56 years, making him one of the longest ruling monarchs of the 20th century.Though he was best known outside of Europe for having married American...

 on 18 April 1956, attracted world attention once again. It was viewed on television by 30 million people.

During the 1960s, the Mayor of Nice, Jacques Médecin
Jacques Médecin
Jacques Médecin was a French politician. A member of the Gaullist RPR, he served as mayor of the city of Nice from 1966 to 1990...

, decided to reduce the dependence of the Riviera on ordinary tourism, and to make it a destination for international congresses and conventions. He built the Palais des Congrès
Palais des Congrès Acropolis
The Palais des Congrès Acropolis is a convention center for Nice, France. It hosts various conventions. It has also hosted the 1999 Davis Cup final, where the main convention was converted into a temporary tennis court.-External links:*...

at the Acropolis in Nice, and founded a Chagall Museum and a Matisse Museum at Cimiez
Cimiez
Cimiez is a neighborhood in Nice, southern France. The area contains the Musée Matisse and the ruins of Cemenelum, capital of the Ancient Roman province Alpes Maritimae on the Ligurian coast...

. High-rise apartment buildings and real estate developments began to spread.

At the end of August, 1997, Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed spent their last days together on his father's yacht off Pampelonne Beach
Pampelonne
Pampelonne is a commune in the Tarn department in southern France....

 near Saint-Tropez, shortly before they were killed in a traffic accident in the Alma Tunnel
Pont de l'Alma
Pont de l'Alma is an arch bridge in Paris, crossing the Seine. It was named to commemorate the Battle of Alma during the Crimean War, in which the Franco-British alliance achieved victory over the Russian army on September 20, 1854....

 in Paris.

Geography

Places

Places on the Côte d'Azur (following the broadest definition), following the coast from south-west to north-east, include:
  • Cassis
  • La Ciotat
    La Ciotat
    La Ciotat is a commune in the Bouches-du-Rhône department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southern France. It is part of the metropolitan area of Marseille Provence. La ciotat is located to the east of Marseille at an equal distance from Marseille and Toulon...

  • Bandol
    Bandol
    Bandol is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.-References:*...

  • Sanary-sur-Mer
    Sanary-sur-Mer
    Sanary-sur-Mer is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.It is located from Toulon and from Marseille.-Overview:The seafront location was part of the commune of Ollioules...

  • Six-Fours-les-Plages
    Six-Fours-les-Plages
    Six-Fours-les-Plages is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.It is located in the metropolitan Communauté d'agglomération Toulon Provence Méditerranée, and is southwest of the main city of Toulon....

  • Toulon
    Toulon
    Toulon is a town in southern France and a large military harbor on the Mediterranean coast, with a major French naval base. Located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur region, Toulon is the capital of the Var department in the former province of Provence....

  • Hyères
    Hyères
    Hyères , Provençal Occitan: Ieras in classical norm or Iero in Mistralian norm) is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France....

     and the Îles d'Hyères
    Îles d'Hyères
    The Îles d'Hyères is a group of three islands off Hyères in the Var département, in the south-east of France. The three mediterranean islands are named Porquerolles, Port-Cros and Île du Levant. Together, they make up an area of .-See also:...

     (Porquerolles
    Porquerolles
    Porquerolles , also known as the Île de Porquerolles, is an island in the Îles d'Hyères, Var, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France. Its population was about 200 inhabitants in 2004 and occupies ....

    , Port-Cros and Île du Levant
    Île du Levant
    Île du Levant , sometimes referred to as Le Levant, is a Mediterranean French island off the coast of the Riviera, near Toulon. It is one of the three that constitute the Îles d'Hyères of France. The island is 8 km long, 2 km wide, and located in the Gulf of Lion...

    )
  • Le Lavandou
    Le Lavandou
    Le Lavandou is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France. It derives its name either from the flower lavender that is prevalent in the area, or more prosaicly from the local form of the Occitan name for lavoir, lavandor .The village is where...

  • Cavalaire-sur-Mer
    Cavalaire-sur-Mer
    Cavalaire-sur-Mer is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.-History:During World War II, on August 16, 1944, it was one of the sites of a beach landing in Operation Dragoon, the Allied invasion of southern FranceCavalaire-sur-Mer is probably...

  • Saint-Tropez
    Saint-Tropez
    Saint-Tropez is a town, 104 km to the east of Marseille, in the Var department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of southeastern France. It is also the principal town in the canton of Saint-Tropez....

  • Inland – Grimaud
    Grimaud, Var
    Grimaud is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.It is located on the French Riviera. The village of Grimaud is a perched village, with historical links to the Grimaldi family. Gibelin de Grimaldi aided William the Good drive the Saracens of...

    , with Port-Grimaud on the coast
  • Sainte-Maxime
    Sainte-Maxime
    Sainte-Maxime is a commune and city in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. I.e. on the French Riviera in southeastern France from Nice and from Marseille.-Village:...

  • Fréjus
    Fréjus
    Fréjus is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.It neighbours Saint-Raphaël, effectively forming one town...

     and Saint-Raphaël
    Saint-Raphaël, Var
    Saint-Raphaël is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.Immediately to the west of Saint-Raphaël lies another, older, town called Fréjus, and together they form an urban agglomeration known as Fréjus Saint-Raphaël...

  • Inland – Fayence
    Fayence
    Fayence is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.Fayence is one of a series of "perched villages" overlooking the plain between the southern Alps and the Esterel massif, which borders the sea between Cannes and Saint-Raphaël. Fayence is a...

  • Les Adrets-de-l'Estérel
    Les Adrets-de-l'Estérel
    Les Adrets de l'Estérel is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.It lies near Fréjus and Cannes, on the Esterel massif in southeastern France.-References:*...

  • Tanneron
    Tanneron
    Tanneron is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.-References:*...

  • Théoule-sur-Mer
    Théoule-sur-Mer
    Théoule-sur-Mer is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France.-Population:-References:*...

  • Mandelieu and La Napoule
    Mandelieu-la-Napoule
    Mandelieu-La Napoule is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France, located on the French Riviera just to the southwest of Cannes and northeast of Théoule-sur-Mer....

  • Inland – Grasse
    Grasse
    -See also:*Route Napoléon*Ancient Diocese of Grasse*Communes of the Alpes-Maritimes department-External links:*...

  • Inland – Mougins
    Mougins
    Mougins is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France.It is located on the heights of Cannes, in the district of Grasse. Mougins is a 15-minute drive from Cannes. The village is surrounded by forests, such as the Valmasque forest...

  • the Îles de Lérins
    Lérins Islands
    The Lérins Islands are a group of four Mediterranean islands off the French Riviera, near Cannes. The two largest islands in this group are the Île Sainte-Marguerite and the Île Saint-Honorat...

     – Île Sainte-Marguerite
    Île Sainte-Marguerite
    The Île Sainte-Marguerite is the largest of the Lérins Islands, about half a mile off shore from the French Riviera town of Cannes. The island is approximately 3km in length and 900m across....

     and Île Saint-Honorat
    Île Saint-Honorat
    The Île Saint-Honorat is the second largest of the Lérins Islands, about a mile off shore from the French Riviera town of Cannes. The island is approximately 1.5 kilometers in length and 400 meters wide....

  • Cannes
    Cannes
    Cannes is one of the best-known cities of the French Riviera, a busy tourist destination and host of the annual Cannes Film Festival. It is a Commune of France in the Alpes-Maritimes department....

  • Inland – Vallauris
    Vallauris
    Vallauris is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France. It is located in the metropolitan area of Sophia-Antipolis, and is today effectively an extension of the town of Antibes, bordering it on its west side.-Population:-Culture:In...

  • Inland – Valbonne
    Valbonne
    Valbonne Sophia Antipolis is a commune near Nice in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in south-eastern France...

  • Inland – Sophia-Antipolis
  • Golfe-Juan
    Golfe-Juan
    Golfe-Juan is a seaside resort on France's Côte d'Azur. The distinct local character of Golfe-Juan is indicated by the existence of a demonym, "Golfe-Juanais," which is applied to its inhabitants.-Overview:...

  • Juan-les-Pins
    Juan-les-Pins
    Juan-les-PinsCountry:Region:Department: Alpes-MaritimesArrondissement: GrasseCanton: Vallauris-Antibes-OuestMunicipality: AntibesPopulation:?Coordinates:Time zone:CET, UTC+1Elevation:10 amslPostal code:06600...

  • Antibes
    Antibes
    Antibes is a resort town in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France.It lies on the Mediterranean in the Côte d'Azur, located between Cannes and Nice. The town of Juan-les-Pins is within the commune of Antibes...

  • Inland – Biot
    Biot, Alpes-Maritimes
    Biot is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France. It is located near Antibes, between Cannes and Villeneuve-Loubet on the top of a hill overlooking the Mediterranean....

  • Villeneuve-Loubet
    Villeneuve-Loubet
    Villeneuve-Loubet It lies between Cagnes-sur-Mer and Antibes, at the mouth of the Loup River.It was created by the joining two old villages: the old village of Villeneuve inland and the village of Loubet on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

  • Cagnes-sur-Mer
    Cagnes-sur-Mer
    Cagnes-sur-Mer is a commune of the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.-Geography:It is the largest suburb of the city of Nice and lies to the west-southwest of it, about from the center.-History:...

  • Inland – Vence
    Vence
    Vence is a commune set in the hills of the Alpes Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France between Nice and Antibes.-Population:-Sights:...

  • Inland – Saint-Paul-de-Vence
  • Inland – Saint-Jeannet
    Saint-Jeannet, Alpes-Maritimes
    Saint-Jeannet is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes département in southeastern France.-Population:-Tourism:Saint-Jeannet is one of thirteen villages grouped together by the Communauté d'agglomération de Nice-Côte d'Azur tourist department as the Route des Villages Perchés...

  • Saint-Laurent-du-Var
    Saint-Laurent-du-Var
    Saint-Laurent-du-Var is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region on the French Riviera.-History:The town was founded in the 11th century when an hospice was founded under Saint Lawrence's protection...

  • Inland – Belvédère
    Belvédère
    Belvédère is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France. The village of Belvédère is an attractive village sitting above the river Vésubie at the entrance of the Gordolasque valley.-Population:-History:-The Bronze Age:...

  • Nice
    Nice
    Nice is the fifth most populous city in France, after Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Toulouse, with a population of 348,721 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of more than 955,000 on an area of...

  • Villefranche-sur-Mer
    Villefranche-sur-Mer
    Villefranche-sur-Mer is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region on the French Riviera.-Geography:...

  • Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
    Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
    Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat , Italian: San Giovanni Capo Ferrato, is a commune of the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France.It is located on a peninsula next to Beaulieu-sur-Mer and to Villefranche-sur-Mer and extends out to Cap Ferrat...

  • Beaulieu-sur-Mer
    Beaulieu-sur-Mer
    Beaulieu-sur-Mer , Italian: Belluogo, is a seaside village on the French Riviera between Nice and Monaco. It is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department and borders the communes of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Èze, and Villefranche-sur-Mer.-History:...

  • Èze
    Èze
    Èze is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes département in southeastern France, not far from the city of Nice.-History:The area surrounding Èze was first populated around 2000 BC as a commune situated near Mount Bastide. The earliest occurrence of the name "Èze" can be found in the maritime books of...

  • Cap d'Ail
  • Monaco
    Monaco
    Monaco , officially the Principality of Monaco , is a sovereign city state on the French Riviera. It is bordered on three sides by its neighbour, France, and its centre is about from Italy. Its area is with a population of 35,986 as of 2011 and is the most densely populated country in the...

     (including Monte-Carlo)
  • Beausoleil
    Beausoleil, Alpes-Maritimes
    Beausoleil is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France. It adjoins the Principality of Monaco.Beausoleil was formerly known as Monte-Carlo-Supérieur .-Economy:...

  • Roquebrune-Cap-Martin
    Roquebrune-Cap-Martin
    Roquebrune-Cap-Martin is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France between Monaco and Menton. The name was changed from Roquebrune to differentiate the town from Roquebrune-sur-Argens in the neighboring Var Department.-History:In pre-Roman times the area was settled by the...

  • Menton
    Menton
    Menton is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.Situated on the French Riviera, along the Franco-Italian border, it is nicknamed la perle de la France ....


Climate

The Côte d'Azur has a Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
A Mediterranean climate is the climate typical of most of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is a particular variety of subtropical climate...

, with sunny, hot, dry summers and mild winters. Winter temperatures are moderated by the Mediterranean; and days of frost are rare. The average daily low temperature in Nice in January is 5.4 °C (41.7 °F); the January average daily low temperature in Toulon is 6.2 °C (43.2 °F)}. The average high temperature in August in Nice is 28.6 °C (83.5 °F); in Toulon the average daily high temperature is 29.7 °C (85.5 °F)

The Côte d'Azur receives more rainfall than Paris annually (803.3 millimeters annually in Nice and 684.8 millimeters in Toulon compared with 649.8 millimeters in Paris), but the rainy days are much less frequent; 111 rainy days a year in Paris compared with 61 days in Toulon and 63 in Nice. Toulon has 2,793 hours of sunshine a year, Nice has 2,668 hours.

Micro-climates exist in these coastal regions, and there can be great differences in the weather between various locations. Strong winds such as the Mistral
Mistral (wind)
The mistral is a strong, cold and usually dry regional wind in France, coming from the north or northwest, which accelerates when it passes through the valleys of the Rhone and the Durance Rivers to the coast of the Mediterranean around the Camargue region. It affects the northeast of the plain...

, 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
Alps
The Alps is one of the great mountain range systems of Europe, stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west....

. 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 180 kilometres per hour (111.8 mph) at Nice airport. Sometimes, in summer, the Sirocco
Sirocco
Sirocco, scirocco, , jugo or, rarely, siroc is a Mediterranean wind that comes from the Sahara and reaches hurricane speeds in North Africa and Southern Europe. It is known in North Africa by the Arabic word qibli or ghibli Sirocco, scirocco, , jugo or, rarely, siroc is a Mediterranean wind...

 brings high temperatures and reddish desert sand from Africa. (See Winds of Provence
Winds of Provence
The Winds of Provence, the region of southeast France along the Mediterranean from the Alps to the mouth of the Rhone River, are an important feature of Provençal life, and each one has a traditional local name, in the Provençal language....

.)

Rain can be torrential, particularly in the autumn, when storms and rain are caused by the difference between the colder air inland and the warm Mediterranean water temperature (20 °C-24 °C, 68 °F-75 °F). The rainiest months are September (75.6 millimeters average rainfall); October (143.9 millimeters); November (94.3 millimeters) and December (87.8 millimeters).

Snow is rare, falling once every ten years. 1956 was exceptional, when 20 centimetres (7.9 in) blanketed the coast. In January 1985 the coast between Cannes and Menton received 30 to 40 cm (11.8 to 15.7 ). In the mountains, snow is present from November to May.

The Var

The département of the Var (which includes Saint-Tropez
Saint-Tropez
Saint-Tropez is a town, 104 km to the east of Marseille, in the Var department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of southeastern France. It is also the principal town in the canton of Saint-Tropez....

 and Hyères
Hyères
Hyères , Provençal Occitan: Ieras in classical norm or Iero in Mistralian norm) is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France....

) has a climate slightly warmer, drier and sunnier than Nice and the Alpes-Maritimes, but less sheltered from the wind.

The Mistral wind, which brings cold and dry air down from the upper Alpine regions via the Rhône Valley and extends with diminishing intensity along the Côte d'Azur, blows frequently during the winter. Strong winds blow for about seventy-five days a year in Fréjus.

Events and festivals

Several major events take place:
  • Monaco and southeast France; Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo
    Monte Carlo Rally
    The Monte Carlo Rally or Rally Monte Carlo is a rallying event organised each year by the Automobile Club de Monaco which also organises the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix and the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique. The rally takes place along the French Riviera in the Principality of Monaco and...

    , January
  • Monaco; International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo
    International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo
    The International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo, known as Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo in French, is an annual festival held since 1974 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. The festival includes the awarding of the Clown d'Or award as well as awards for other circus skills...

    , January / February
  • Nice; Carnival
    Nice Carnival
    The Nice Carnival is one of the major carnival events, alongside the Brazilian Carnival and Venetian Carnival. It is held annually in February in Nice, France....

    , February
  • Menton; Lemon Festival, February
  • Tourrettes-sur-Loup; Violet Festival, March
  • Monaco; Formula One
    Formula One
    Formula One, also known as Formula 1 or F1 and referred to officially as the FIA Formula One World Championship, is the highest class of single seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile . The "formula" designation in the name refers to a set of rules with which...

     Grand Prix
    Monaco Grand Prix
    The Monaco Grand Prix is a Formula One race held each year on the Circuit de Monaco. Run since 1929, it is widely considered to be one of the most important and prestigious automobile races in the world, alongside the Daytona 500, Indianapolis 500, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans...

     race, May
  • Grasse; Rose Festival, May
  • Cannes; Cannes Film Festival
    Cannes Film Festival
    The Cannes International Film Festival , is an annual film festival held in Cannes, France, which previews new films of all genres including documentaries from around the world. Founded in 1946, it is among the world's most prestigious and publicized film festivals...

     and Cannes Film Market, May
  • Nice; Jazz Festival
    Nice Jazz Festival
    The Nice Jazz Festival, held annually since 1948 in Nice, on the French Riviera, is "the first jazz festival of international significance." At the inaugural festival, Louis Armstrong and his All Stars were the headliners...

    , July
  • Juan-les-Pins; Jazz à Juan, late July.
  • Grasse; Jasmine Festival, August

Painters

The climate and vivid colours of the Mediterranean attracted many famous artists during the 19th and 20th centuries. They included:
  • Pierre Bonnard
    Pierre Bonnard
    Pierre Bonnard was a French painter and printmaker, as well as a founding member of Les Nabis.-Biography:...

     (1867–1947); retired to and died at Le Cannet
    Le Cannet
    Le Cannet is a commune of the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France.-Location:Le Cannet is located on the north of Cannes, on the French Riviera...

    .
  • Georges Braque
    Georges Braque
    Georges Braque[p] was a major 20th century French painter and sculptor who, along with Pablo Picasso, developed the art style known as Cubism.-Early Life:...

     (1882–1963); painted frequently at L'Estaque
    L'Estaque
    L'Estaque is a small French fishing village just west of Marseille. Administratively, it belongs to the commune of Marseille.Many artists of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist periods visited or resided there or in the surrounding area. Many of them painted scenes of the village, the road...

     between 1907 and 1910.
  • Roger Broders
    Roger Broders
    Roger Broders was a French illustrator and artist best known for his travel posters promoting tourism destinations in France, typically fashionable beaches of the Côte d'Azur and skiing resorts in the French Alps in the early 20th century.Broders' illustrations were distinctive for their simple...

     (1883–1953); Parisian travel poster illustrator.
  • Paul Cézanne
    Paul Cézanne
    Paul Cézanne was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th century conception of artistic endeavour to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. Cézanne can be said to form the bridge between late 19th...

     (1839–1906); a native of Aix-en-Provence
    Aix-en-Provence
    Aix , or Aix-en-Provence to distinguish it from other cities built over hot springs, is a city-commune in southern France, some north of Marseille. It is in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, in the département of Bouches-du-Rhône, of which it is a subprefecture. The population of Aix is...

    , Cézanne painted at L'Estaque
    L'Estaque
    L'Estaque is a small French fishing village just west of Marseille. Administratively, it belongs to the commune of Marseille.Many artists of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist periods visited or resided there or in the surrounding area. Many of them painted scenes of the village, the road...

     between 1878 and 1882.
  • Marc Chagall
    Marc Chagall
    Marc Chagall Art critic Robert Hughes referred to Chagall as "the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century."According to art historian Michael J...

     (1887–1985); lived in Saint-Paul-de-Vence between 1948 and 1985.
  • Henri-Edmond Cross
    Henri-Edmond Cross
    Henri-Edmond Cross was a French pointillist painter.- Life and career :Cross was born in Douai and grew up in Lille. He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts. His early works, portraits and still lifes, were in the dark colors of realism, but after meeting with Claude Monet in 1883, he painted in...

     (1856–1910); discovered the Côte d'Azur in 1883, and painted at Monaco
    Monaco
    Monaco , officially the Principality of Monaco , is a sovereign city state on the French Riviera. It is bordered on three sides by its neighbour, France, and its centre is about from Italy. Its area is with a population of 35,986 as of 2011 and is the most densely populated country in the...

     and Hyères
    Hyères
    Hyères , Provençal Occitan: Ieras in classical norm or Iero in Mistralian norm) is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France....

    .
  • Maurice Denis
    Maurice Denis
    Maurice Denis was a French painter and writer, and a member of the Symbolist and Les Nabis movements. His theories contributed to the foundations of cubism, fauvism, and abstract art.-Childhood and education:...

     (1870–1943); painted at St. Tropez and Bandol
    Bandol
    Bandol is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.-References:*...

    .
  • André Derain
    André Derain
    André Derain was a French artist, painter, sculptor and co-founder of Fauvism with Henri Matisse.-Early years:...

     (1880–1954); painted at L'Estaque
    L'Estaque
    L'Estaque is a small French fishing village just west of Marseille. Administratively, it belongs to the commune of Marseille.Many artists of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist periods visited or resided there or in the surrounding area. Many of them painted scenes of the village, the road...

     and Martigues
    Martigues
    Martigues is a commune northwest of Marseille. It is part of the Bouches-du-Rhône department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region on the eastern end of the Canal de Caronte....

    .
  • Raoul Dufy
    Raoul Dufy
    Raoul Dufy[p] was a French Fauvist painter. He developed a colorful, decorative style that became fashionable for designs of ceramics and textiles, as well as decorative schemes for public buildings. He is noted for scenes of open-air social events...

     (1877–1953); whose wife was from Nice, painted in the region, including in Nice, Marseille
    Marseille
    Marseille , known in antiquity as Massalia , is the second largest city in France, after Paris, with a population of 852,395 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Marseille extends beyond the city limits with a population of over 1,420,000 on an area of...

     and Martigues
    Martigues
    Martigues is a commune northwest of Marseille. It is part of the Bouches-du-Rhône department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region on the eastern end of the Canal de Caronte....

    .
  • Albert Marquet
    Albert Marquet
    Albert Marquet was a French painter, associated with the Fauvist movement.-Life and work:Marquet was born in 1875 at Bordeaux. In 1890 he moved to Paris to attend the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs, where he met Henri Matisse. They were roommates for a time, and they influenced each other's work...

     (1873–1947); painted at Marseille
    Marseille
    Marseille , known in antiquity as Massalia , is the second largest city in France, after Paris, with a population of 852,395 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Marseille extends beyond the city limits with a population of over 1,420,000 on an area of...

    , St. Tropez and L'Estaque
    L'Estaque
    L'Estaque is a small French fishing village just west of Marseille. Administratively, it belongs to the commune of Marseille.Many artists of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist periods visited or resided there or in the surrounding area. Many of them painted scenes of the village, the road...

    .
  • Henri Matisse
    Henri Matisse
    Henri Matisse was a French artist, known for his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter...

     (1869–1954); first visited St. Tropez in 1904. In 1917 he settled in Nice
    Nice
    Nice is the fifth most populous city in France, after Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Toulouse, with a population of 348,721 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of more than 955,000 on an area of...

    , first at the Hôtel Beau Rivage, then at the Hôtel de la Méditerranée, then at la Villa des Alliés in Cimiez. In 1921 he lived in an apartment in Nice, next to the flower market and overlooking the sea, where he lived until 1938. He then moved to the Hôtel Régina in the hills of Cimiez, above Nice. During World War II he lived in Vence
    Vence
    Vence is a commune set in the hills of the Alpes Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France between Nice and Antibes.-Population:-Sights:...

    , then returned to Cimiez, where he died and is buried.
  • Claude Monet
    Claude Monet
    Claude Monet was a founder of French impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting. . Retrieved 6 January 2007...

     (1840–1927); visited Menton
    Menton
    Menton is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.Situated on the French Riviera, along the Franco-Italian border, it is nicknamed la perle de la France ....

    , Bordighera
    Bordighera
    Bordighera is a town and comune in the Province of Imperia, Liguria .-History:The city was founded around the 4th century BC by the Ligures....

    , Juan-les-Pins
    Juan-les-Pins
    Juan-les-PinsCountry:Region:Department: Alpes-MaritimesArrondissement: GrasseCanton: Vallauris-Antibes-OuestMunicipality: AntibesPopulation:?Coordinates:Time zone:CET, UTC+1Elevation:10 amslPostal code:06600...

    , Monte Carlo
    Monte Carlo
    Monte Carlo is an administrative area of the Principality of Monaco....

    , Nice, Cannes
    Cannes
    Cannes is one of the best-known cities of the French Riviera, a busy tourist destination and host of the annual Cannes Film Festival. It is a Commune of France in the Alpes-Maritimes department....

    , Beaulieu
    Beaulieu-sur-Mer
    Beaulieu-sur-Mer , Italian: Belluogo, is a seaside village on the French Riviera between Nice and Monaco. It is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department and borders the communes of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Èze, and Villefranche-sur-Mer.-History:...

     and Villefranche
    Villefranche-sur-Mer
    Villefranche-sur-Mer is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region on the French Riviera.-Geography:...

    , and painted a number of seascapes of Cap Martin, near Menton, and at Cap d'Antibes.
  • Edvard Munch
    Edvard Munch
    Edvard Munch was a Norwegian Symbolist painter, printmaker and an important forerunner of expressionist art. His best-known composition, The Scream, is part of a series The Frieze of Life, in which Munch explored the themes of love, fear, death, melancholia, and anxiety.- Childhood :Edvard Munch...

     (1863–1944); visited and painted in Nice
    Nice
    Nice is the fifth most populous city in France, after Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Toulouse, with a population of 348,721 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of more than 955,000 on an area of...

     and Monte Carlo
    Monte Carlo
    Monte Carlo is an administrative area of the Principality of Monaco....

     (where he developed a passion for gambling), and rented a villa at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
    Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
    Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat , Italian: San Giovanni Capo Ferrato, is a commune of the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France.It is located on a peninsula next to Beaulieu-sur-Mer and to Villefranche-sur-Mer and extends out to Cap Ferrat...

     in 1891.
  • Pablo Picasso
    Pablo Picasso
    Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

     (1881–1973); spent each summer from 1919 to 1939 on the Côte d'Azur, and moved there permanently in 1946, first at Vallauris
    Vallauris
    Vallauris is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France. It is located in the metropolitan area of Sophia-Antipolis, and is today effectively an extension of the town of Antibes, bordering it on its west side.-Population:-Culture:In...

    , then at Mougins
    Mougins
    Mougins is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France.It is located on the heights of Cannes, in the district of Grasse. Mougins is a 15-minute drive from Cannes. The village is surrounded by forests, such as the Valmasque forest...

    , where he spent his last years.
  • Auguste Renoir (1841–1919); visited Beaulieu
    Beaulieu-sur-Mer
    Beaulieu-sur-Mer , Italian: Belluogo, is a seaside village on the French Riviera between Nice and Monaco. It is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department and borders the communes of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Èze, and Villefranche-sur-Mer.-History:...

    , Grasse
    Grasse
    -See also:*Route Napoléon*Ancient Diocese of Grasse*Communes of the Alpes-Maritimes department-External links:*...

    , Saint-Raphaël
    Saint-Raphaël, Var
    Saint-Raphaël is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.Immediately to the west of Saint-Raphaël lies another, older, town called Fréjus, and together they form an urban agglomeration known as Fréjus Saint-Raphaël...

     and Cannes
    Cannes
    Cannes is one of the best-known cities of the French Riviera, a busy tourist destination and host of the annual Cannes Film Festival. It is a Commune of France in the Alpes-Maritimes department....

    , before finally settling in Cagnes-sur-Mer
    Cagnes-sur-Mer
    Cagnes-sur-Mer is a commune of the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.-Geography:It is the largest suburb of the city of Nice and lies to the west-southwest of it, about from the center.-History:...

     in 1907, where he bought a farm in the hills and built a new house and workshop on the grounds. He continued to paint there until his death in 1919. His house is now a museum.
  • Paul Signac
    Paul Signac
    Paul Signac was a French neo-impressionist painter who, working with Georges Seurat, helped develop the pointillist style.-Biography:Paul Victor Jules Signac was born in Paris on 11 November 1863...

     (1863–1935); visited St. Tropez in 1892, and bought a villa, La Hune, at the foot of citadel in 1897. It was at his villa that his friend, Henri Matisse, painted his famous Luxe, Calme et Volupté
    Luxe, Calme et Volupté
    Luxe, Calme et Volupté is an oil painting by Henri Matisse. It was painted in 1904, after a summer spent working in St. Tropez on the French Riviera alongside the neo-Impressionist painters Paul Signac and Henri Edmond Cross...

    in 1904. Signac made numerous paintings along the coast.
  • Yves Klein
    Yves Klein
    Yves Klein was a French artist considered an important figure in post-war European art. He is the leading member of the French artistic movement of Nouveau réalisme founded in 1960 by the art critic Pierre Restany...

     (1928–1962); a native of Nice
    Nice
    Nice is the fifth most populous city in France, after Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Toulouse, with a population of 348,721 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of more than 955,000 on an area of...

    , considered an important figure in post-war European art.
  • Sacha Sosno
    Sacha Sosno
    Alexandre Joseph Sosnowsky, , better known by his name Sacha Sosno, is an internationally renowned French sculptor and painter. Working most of the time in Nice, in the last decades he has achieved international recognition for his monumental outdoor sculptures in Côte d'Azur, France...

     (1937- ); French painter and sculptor living and working in Nice
    Nice
    Nice is the fifth most populous city in France, after Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Toulouse, with a population of 348,721 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of more than 955,000 on an area of...

    .

See also

  • Egypt's Mediterranean Riviera
    Northern coast of Egypt
    The Mediterranean Coast of Egypt or the Northern Coast of Egypt, known in Arabic Al-Sāḥil al-Shamāliy, extends for about from Rafah in the east on Sinai Peninsula to Sallum in the west on the Egyptian-Libyan border...

  • Gardens of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
    Gardens of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
    The Gardens of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur is a list and description of the parks and gardens in the region which are classified by the Committee of Parks and Gardens of the French Ministry of Culture as among the Notable Gardens of France....

  • Gulf of Genoa
    Gulf of Genoa
    The Gulf of Genoa is the northernmost part of the Ligurian Sea. The width of the gulf is about 125 km, from the city of Imperia in the west to La Spezia in the east. The largest city on the its coast is Genoa, which has an important port....

  • Turkish Riviera
    Turkish Riviera
    The Turkish Riviera is a term used to define an area of southwest Turkey encompassing Antalya, Muğla and to a lesser extent the provinces of Aydın, southern İzmir and western Mersin...

  • Italian Riviera
    Italian Riviera
    The Italian Riviera, or Ligurian Riviera is the narrow coastal strip which lies between the Ligurian Sea and the mountain chain formed by the Maritime Alps and the Apennines...

  • Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
    Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
    Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur or PACA is one of the 27 regions of France.It is made up of:* the former French province of Provence* the former papal territory of Avignon, known as Comtat Venaissin...

  • Red Sea Riviera
    Red Sea Riviera
    The Red Sea Riviera, in Egypt, consists of the resort cities lying on the western shore of the Gulf of Aqaba and along the eastern coast of mainland Egypt south of the Gulf of Suez...

  • Riviera
    Riviera
    Riviera is an Italian term originally from the Middle Ages for the coast of Liguria. The term is now more generally applied to any coastal area popular with tourists, particularly in warm areas...

     (disambiguation page), featuring links to articles on the many coastal strips around the world which are known as Riviera

History

  • Henry de Lumley, La Grand Histoire des premiers hommes européens, Odile Jacob, Paris, 2010. (ISBN 978 2 7381 2386 2)
  • Aldo Bastié, Histoire de la Provence, Éditions Ouest-France, 2001.
  • Mary Blume, Côte d'Azur: Inventing the French Riviera, Thames and Hudson, London, 1992.
  • Patrick Howarth, When the Riviera was Ours, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1977.
  • Jim Ring, Riviera, the Rise and Fall of the Côte d'Azur, John Murray Publishers, London, 1988.
  • Edouard Baratier (editor), Histoire de la Provence, Editions Privat, Toulouse, 1969 (ISBN 2 7089 1649 1)

Painters

  • La Méditerranée de Courbet à Matisse, catalog of the exhibit at the Grand Palais, Paris from September 2000 to January 2001. Published by the Réunion des musées nationaux, 2000.

External links

Wikitravel Official tourism portal for the Riviera Côte d’Azur
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