Cannes is a sunny, enchanting place that, once a humble fishing hamlet has grown into being a glittering star of France. It is especially busy in May, with the International Film Festival. Glamorous celebrities from all over the world are photographed descending the red-carpeted steps of the Palais des Festivals while events are organised all throughout the town. MIDEM, the conference for the music business, takes place in January and turns Cannes into a city of young, fun, music professionals, March brings another crowd for MIPIM, the international real-estate market and October involves the Tax Free World Exhibition.
Cannes is situated in the South East of France, on the French Riviera of the Alpes-Maritime department. The main railway line from Italy to Marseille passes through Cannes and the town is well served by TGV, national and regional trains; Nice being the nearest international one. There is also an electric bus system called ‘E-lo’ that travels round the town centre.
Until the early C19th, Cannes was merely a small agricultural and fishing village with few houses then Lord Henry Peter Brougham fell in love with it and bought a villa. From here on Cannes became well-known as Lord Henry began to invite his friends, rich aristocrats who in turn bought houses. Hotels and restaurants then followed suit gradually turning Cannes into a beautiful resort town, visited by many including royalty. The Carlton hotel, built in 1912, is one of the most famous meeting points of this time.
The film festival subsequently converted Cannes’ popularity into world-wide fame. Originally a modest festival created to oppose the intervention of politics in art (Hitler and Mussolini in particular whose fascist regimes had notably undermined freedom of expression in the Venice film festival of 1932); it evolved into being the most important film festival of all time with over 1500 films being submitted each year.
Sights to see include: the nocturnal light displays projected onto the buildings and certain areas of the town, the murals depicting iconic film stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, John Wayne, Vivien Leigh, James Dean, Alfred Hitchcock, Marilyn Monroe and the Lumiere brothers; the latter being at the Gare SNCF and illustrating the first film ever shown to the public: ‘L’arrivée d’un train en gare de la Ciotat,’ the Palais des Festivals, which has one of the busiest casinos in the world, accessed via red carpeted stairs, the Croisette; a seafront promenade lined with luxurious hotels and boutiques and immaculately maintained by 130 gardeners and the old port which is filled with wooden boats for the fishermen as well as enormous private yachts and leads to the old town of Le Suquet which has an C11th tower and stunning views.
There are clubs for all sports, football, golf, swimming, volleyball, athletics and yachting for example. And there are numerous festivals and conventions held annually. The hotels also have private beaches open to anyone prepared to pay or there are 2 busy beaches open to the public for free.
Rue d’Antibes is the main shopping street, Rue St Antoine is filled with charming restaurants, Place de la Castre has amazing views as well as music festivals in the summer, Rue Meynadier has bread, cheese and pasta in abundance, Rue Félix Faure has restaurants specialising in seafood, Allées de la Liberté has a weekly antiques market and the daily market sells fresh meat, fish, herbs and veg in a pink building behind the town hall.
- Chez Bruno, 50 rue d’Antibes, tel no : 04 93 39 26 63, open since 1929, this restaurant is renowned for its fruit confits and glazed chestnuts
- Gaston-Gastounette, 7 quai St Pierre, tel no: 04 93 39 49 44, restaurant renowned for its bouillabaisse, tortellini and mussels with spectacular view of old port and marina
- La Scala, 50 boulevard de la Croisette, tel no: 04 92 99 70 00, Mediterranean cuisine including 4-cours prix fixe menu
- La Villa, 7 rue Marceau, tel no : 04 93 38 79 73, restaurant and nightclub with reasonably priced set menu, trompe l’oeil decor, terrace and live music
Our team of sale advisers at Sextant Properties will be happy to help you to find a property near Cannes. All of our offices in France are registered French real estate agents and speak both French and English. Whatever kind of property you are looking for: villa, flat, gite, B&B, mill, castle or chateau, we will do our best to find a property in Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur matching your requirements.