Unsuspected Cannes: a city not only of cinema
Symbol of luxury and hedonism, Cannes offers us every time the timeless print of its infinite red carpet on which the most dazzling stars of the celluloid parade. But after its Film Festival and the ephemeral glow of sequins and haute couture dresses, we discover a city full of unprecedented recesses, small treasures and fantastic curiosities.
Cannes: unpublished recesses, small treasures and fantastic curiosities © Alamy
I needed a taxi, urgently. I opened my Uber application and there it was, as a first option: not a brand-new Mercedes that falls into the Uber Black category, not a limousine, no, for the sophisticated Cannes only a helicopter could live up to it ..., I had it clear: "I think I'm going to have fun here." Because I confess, I came to this city with prejudices, a name with a lot of glamor behind which I only saw bland avenues covered by noisy Mercedes and Ferraris. But I was wrong ...
AN ENGLISH LORD, THE “INVENTOR” OF CANNES
No, not always Cannes was the epicenter of the sophistication of the French Riviera. In the 19th century this city in southern France was, in fact, a small fishing port almost isolated and difficult to access. It happened that an English aristocrat, Lord Brougham, caught in the quarantine of a sudden epidemic, was held in Cannes on his trip to Nice. Instant Arrow. The English lord fell immediately surrendered to the benefits of its mild climate, the palette of blues of the Mediterranean and its heady smells.
Such was his fascination, that he not only decided to build a mansion, but that he persuaded influential personalities from the most prestigious circles in London to move his winter residence to little Cannes. Only half a century later that impoverished fishing village already had 50 hotels and was considered one of the fledgling jewels of the French Riviera.
One hundred years after the birth of his fortuitous discoverer, the cannois they paid homage by erecting a bronze statue, followed by a week of pompous festivities. It wasn't for less, Lord Brougham the destiny of Cannes had changed forever.
The bay of Cannes © Alamy
THE CITY DELIVERED TO THE SEVENTH ART
Next year will be the 70th edition of one of the most media festivals in the world. But few know that the first Cannes film competition would last only one day. On September 1, 1939, the International du Film Festival, to be canceled just one day later by the start of World War II. It would be necessary to wait until 1946 for the first edition of the Festival to be celebrated, whose legendary Palma de Oro would outline the great Jean Cocteau in 1954. But Cannes is much more than the headquarters of an ephemeral festival. Ready for your secrets?
FORVILLE MARKET: COLORS, ODORS AND FLAVORS
This covered market, renovated in 1934, is a true spectacle for the senses: the refined smell of peonies, the colorful vegetables arranged with care, the small benches of local specialties…. At Mon papa garden, a passionate family of horticulture, offers us wonders in the form of vegetables grown in their own garden and collected by hand. Lili invites us to discover the garden where, do not hesitate to say, we will find the best vegetables in the South of France.
The Baussy family sells for generations the best olive oil of Provence. Among its clients more than one Michelin chef and, of course, the best hotels in the area. 5-, 11 Rue du Marché Forville.
Forville Market in Cannes © Silvia Martínez
A PECULIAR FAÇADE OF THE BUS STADIUM
Cannes has a vibrant urban art scene dedicated, of course, to the seventh art. Stay tuned because when you least expect it you will find the sensual look of Marilyn Monroe posing with her heart attack curves from a wall.
Among all these works of street art highlights the facade of the bus station: a fun tribute to the hundred years of birth of the cinema. Look closely and you will surely discover Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Fred Astaire, Charlie Chaplin, Batman, Superman, Gérard Depardieu or Robert Redford, among many others. Who else are you able to find?
Street art at the Cannes bus station © Alamy
SLEEP IN A LEGEND HOTEL: HOTEL CAP-EDEN- ROC
Located ten kilometers from Cannes, in this hotel, initially conceived as a residence of artists in search of inspiration, they have stayed throughout their more than 100 years of life, the most glittering stars of the cinematographic panorama and have created the most famous romances: here Rita Hayworth and Aga Khan met for the first time; here Johnny Depp and Kate Moss lived their explosive love causing occasional damage (and ... burning the carpet ...); and here also Sacha Baron Cohen decided to come in dromedary, why not?
The picture of its magnificent pool, carved into the rocks, whose water comes directly from the sea, is one of the most famous images of this legendary hotel. If you can, take a Bellini cocktail in your bar, secret recipe of the house, to fly to the time when Rita Hayworth met her blue prince. JF Kennedy Boulevard, 06600 Antibes
The legendary pool of the Hotel Cap-Eden-Roc © Silvia Martínez
THE GHOST ISLAND OF SAINT HONORAT
St. Honorat Island, located off the coast of Cannes, Its only inhabitants are the Cistercian monks of the Abbey of Lérins. On this tiny island we find vineyards, hidden headlands, but above all the medieval vestiges of a mysterious abandoned abbey at the edge of the sea and on which strange ghost stories loom. In the new abbey, a small shop sells wines made by the monks themselves: the jewel in the crown is the St. Sauveur 2008 syrah (45 euros).
Lérins Abbey © Alamy
RUE DE MAYNADIER: AROMAS OF PROVENCE
On the street where the traditional “Suquet” neighborhood begins, it is still possible to find the essence of the most traditional Cannes: small family businesses, chocolate shops that display their exquisite confections and little shops from which the delicate aromas of lavender or jasmine escape of Provence, as in Histoire de famille, a perfect place to leave the scented sea. 76 rue Meynadier
Rue Meynadier © Silvia Martínez
CATCH STARS IN THE WALK OF FAME
Few will resist the temptation of pilgrimage along the 400 tracks of the mythical celluloid stars as Quentin Tarantino, Angelina Jolie or Catherine Deneuve, among many others, of Walk of fame from Cannes. This walk of fame, opened in 1960, begins in front of the Palace of Festivals and Congresses, the place where the famous festival is celebrated.
ADMIRATE THE GREAT ART DECO OF THE CARLTON HOTEL
No one would say it but in this hotel, one of the symbols of the glamor of the city, the United Nations Organization was born informally in 1922. Today Carlton is the most cinematic hotel in the city. One of the favorite places of the stars as it passes through the Festival and that has been the scene of iconic films such as Catch a thief from director Alfred Hitchcock. Its protagonists Grace Kelly and Cary Grant would stay at the hotel during filming. Its bar is the inescapable place for a drink at sunset. 58 Boulevard de la Croisette.
The historic of Cannes © Silvia Martínez
BOULEVARD DE LA CROISETTE
In this walk of more than three kilometers along the sea, lined with pine trees and palm trees, we find famous hotels, casinos and beaches of fine sand where the chiseled bodies tend under the sun. It is mandatory to sit down to contemplate calmly the diverse urban fauna that strolls along the boulevard: Glamorous ladies dressed in haute couture, eccentric couples, sophisticated ladies walking their poodle with a chanel strap and, of course, tacky of all kinds ... Impossible to get bored.
Luce palm in the Croisette © Silvia Martínez