June 22, 2006

From Cannes to Monaco

We have been enjoying the sights and delights of the French Riviera for several days now and can report that it is truly beautiful, terribly overcrowded, and the idea of blue skies every day is a fallacy! In fact, we have had a cloud cover and rain showers every single day!

There is alot of see and do here and we have taken advantage of our home base in the lovely town of Mougins to visit Vallauris, where Picasso created his wonderful ceramics, the ramparts of Saint Paul and made a pilgrimage to the Fondation Maeght with its fabulous collection of works by such modern masters as Leger, Miro, Giacometti and Chagall all housed in a complex designed by the Catalan architect Josep-Lluis Sert.

The Sculpture Garden at the Fondation Maeght

One day we took a drive along the coast from Cannes all the way to the Principality of Monaco! The views were spectacular and we enjoyed a delicious lunch of roasted stuffed peppers, a local speciality, sitting outdoors next to a bustling antiques market in Nice. All along the route were gorgeous beaches and magnificent homes. Some of these homes are now museums and open to the public and we visited the house and gardens of Ephrussi de Rothschild in St. Jean Cap Ferrat and the Villa Kérylos, an homage to Ancient Greece, in neighboring Beaulieu sur Mer.

The South of France does indeed have a special magic and I imagine one can easily spend a lot of time discovering its treasures. For me, there is a particular pleasure in thinking back to days gone by when the Cote d'Azur was being discovered by the likes of Sara and Gerald Murphy, the F. Scott Fitzgeralds and Picasso. It is no longer the same quaint beach resort area, but it does have some lovely ghosts.

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