Cannes, with its beautiful setting, mild climate and splendid festivals, has long been a popular spot for tourists. Lord Brougham, British Lord Chancellor in the early 1800's, put Cannes on the map when a cholera epidemic in Provence prevented him from entering what was then the Sardinian Territory. He made Cannes his overnight residence and the rest is history!
When people think of Cannes, they most likely think of the Film Festival. Held each May, the festival began in 1946, although it was created in 1930 to counter Mussolini's fascists'
propaganda film festival in Venice.
The Boulevard de la Croisette, Cannes' most famous avenue, is the place to see and be seen! Here, bars and luxury hotels line the street where people lounge with their cocktails.
The Palais des Festivals, the location of the Film Festival, has been described by Liza Minnelli as an Egyptian tomb and called "the bunker" by the locals. Be sure to check out its concrete base. Handprints and autographs of celebrities abound!
La Batterie beach in Cannes has been called one of the ten best in the south of France. This straight and gay beach is also home to those who wish to "bare it all." Ooh La La!
Cannes is the sister city of Beverly Hills and is a major year round convention center. In fact, Cannes was the first place on the Côte d'Azur to notice that business travelers spend over three times as much per head as tourists.
Two islets just off the coast were named Ile Saint Honorat and Ile Saint Marguerite, after the saints that founded religious houses on them at the end of the 4th century. Legend has it that, when St. Honorat arrived in 375, he found the islet infested with snakes. He prayed to God to take their presence away. His prayers were answered but the stench of the cadavers was too much for the saint to bear. So, he climbed a palm tree and prayed to God to wash the bodies of the dead snakes away. Once again, his prayer was answered. Therefore, the symbol of the island is two palm trees intertwined with a snake.
Cannes, known as Flash City, offers a significant discount to those who travel here in the off months. May, July and August are the city's peak months and must be booked far in advance.
The shoreline of Cannes is divided into 32 sections. The beach in front of the Palais de Festival is a rare one – it's public!
Under the sea! When you tire of all the glitz and glitter on land, head down under for some more! The Nautilus, a glass bottom boat, departs every hour in the summer and provides a glimpse of the creatures that live in the waters around Cannes.
The Musée d'Art et d'Histoire de Provence houses artefacts from prehistoric to present, in an 18th century mansion. The Musée de la Castre has objects from the Pacific Atolls, Peruvian relics and Mayan pottery. Other venues include the Musée de la Marine, Musée de la Mer, Musée de la Photographie and Musée International de la Parfumerie.
The villas of Cannes
Nineteenth-century Cannes can still be seen in its grand villas, built to reflect the wealth and standing of their owners and inspired by anything from medieval castles to Roman villas. Lord Brougham’s Italianate Villa Eléonore Louise (one of the first in Cannes) was built between 1835 and 1839. Also known as the Quartier des Anglais, this is the oldest residential area in Cannes. Another landmark is the Villa Fiésole (known today as the Villa Domergue) designed by Jean-Gabriel Domergue in the style of Fiesole, near Florence. The villas are not open to the public. Villa Domergue may be visited on appointment.
Theater and music
Cannes is not renowned for traditional theater. However, small venues stage productions and host short sketches during the annual International Actors’ Performance Festival. Popular theaters include the Espace Miramar and the Alexandre III.
Festivals and show events
- The Cannes Film Festival (French: le Festival international du film de Cannes or simply le Festival de Cannes), founded in 1939, is the highlight of the city’s calendar. In May 2006, Hollywood Reporter acknowledged that Cannes is the "grandaddy of all film festivals". The private festival is held annually; usually in the month of May.
- Midem, a large market for disc and musicMipim, a large Prop
- erty related trade show
- Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival
- Carnival on the Riviera is an annual parade through the streets to mark the 21-day period prior to Shrove Tuesday.
- The International Festival of Games is festival of bridge, belote, backgammon, chess, draughts, tarot and more (February).
- Festival de la Plaisance is an event for boating enthusiasts in the Vieux Port(September).
- The International Actors’ Performance Festival: comedy sketches and performances by fringe artists
- The International Luxury Travel Market brings together under one roof the top international luxury travel providers and suppliers from all around the world.(http://www.iltm.net)
- Le Festival d’Art Pyrotechnique is a magnificent annual fireworks competition held in the summer at the Bay of Cannes.
Nice Côte d’Azur Airport
Located 24 km (15 mi) from Cannes, Nice Côte d’Azur Airport has close to 10 million passengers a year. Terminal 1 can handle 4.5 million passengers, Terminal 2 8.5 million. See also: Cannes - Mandelieu Airport
From Paris, the journey takes 8 hours via the A8 motorway; from Monaco and Nice, the same road provides access from the opposite direction.
TGV rail services provide access from major French cities. Other cities with rail connections include Brussels (6 hours), Milan (5 hours), Basel (10 hours), Rome (10 hours) and Venice (10 hours).
Coach services arrive at the Gare Routière de Cannes, right in the centre of the city, near the Town hall. Companies from abroad include Eurolines and Agence Phoceens. Regional services are by Rapides Côte d’Azur and CTM, with services from Nice and Grasse/Mandelieu respectively. Local bus services are provided by Bus Azur.
By ferry (in Nice harbour)
Ferries are available in Nice harbour from Bastia and Calvi in Corsica, with services provided by SNCM Ferryterranée and Corsica Ferries. From Bastia, the journey is 4 hours, 45 minutes on conventional ferries and 3 hours, 40 minutes on express ferries, while from Calvi, conventional vessels take 3 hours, 45 minutes and express vessels take 2 hours, 45 minutes. An average of four ferries a day sail on these routes, with more during summer.