Probably the most popular stretch of coast in France is widely known as a meeting point for the rich and famous. In addition to the glamorous coastal cities of Monaco, Nice and Cannes, this area has a lot more to offer: medieval villages that blend into the beautiful landscape along the coastal roads and invite you to linger and relax; vibrant life on the coast and the contemplative and quiet hinterland; Mediterranean cuisine that knows how to combine products from the sea with those from the land.
With an area of just 1.97 km², the city-state of Monaco is the second smallest state in the world after the Vatican. Known as a tax haven, Monaco is the main residence of a good 30,000 people, mostly multimillion-dollar high earners and top athletes. Monaco achieved worldwide fame because of the legendary casino in the Monte Carlo district, the annual Formula 1 race and of course the royal family. In the 19th century Monaco filled its city coffers with the income from the casino, today it is mainly tourism and congresses. In 1955 the American actress Grace Kelly, dubbed the “most beautiful woman in the world” by the press, met Prince Rainier III of Monaco during the Cannes Film Festival. She married him on April 19, 1956 with a wedding, dubbed the "Wedding of the Century", actress Grace Kelly became Princess Gracia Patricia. However, on September 14, 1982 the princess had an accident, which took a lot of glamor and attention from the princely family.
With almost 400,000 inhabitants, Nice is the largest city in the region; it was founded in 500 BC. Founded by the Greeks and in only 150 BC, it was settled by the Romans. The Roman amphitheater still bears witness to this today. It was not until 1860 that Nice was finally a part of France. Nice became the largest tourist metropolis and an important economic center in southern Europe. Nevertheless, there is also an old port and lively hustle and bustle in narrow old town streets.
Every year in May, the Cannes Film Festival takes place and transforms the city into a promenade. With this rendezvous of stars and starlets, which has been taking place since 1945, the city experienced its rise to become a cosmopolitan city and is now a popular contact point for holidaymakers.
The perfume capital, which is located in the hinterland of the Côte d ’Azur about 20 km from the coast, still houses around 30 perfume factories, and has been world-famous since the film adaptation of Patrick Süskind's bestseller“ Perfume ”. The city, first mentioned in 1040, was already producing perfume in the Middle Ages. Perfumers have specialized in the extraction of flower juice, especially orange blossom and jasmine, since the 17th century. The flowers are now mostly imported, so that the sight of glowing flower plantations has become a rare sight today. Time seems to have stood still in Grasse. The classic perfume “Chanel No. 5 “was created in Grasse in the 1920s and is still available today.
Mediterranean cuisine, when visiting Grasse, it is not just the wonderful perfume essences that fill your nose. “Le Fougassette” is a wonderful orange-flavored yeast cake that is mainly served in this area. Provencal cuisine itself is kept simple and mainly uses regional products. It is characterized by many aromatic herbs, tomatoes, sweet peppers, aubergines and the generous use of garlic and olive oil. Typical dishes not to be missed are bouillabaisse, which is eaten with spicy garlic mayonnaise, soup de Poisson, daube provençale (a stew with beef goulash) and aioli. The best way to indulge in an affinity for sweets is to enjoy white nougat from Montélimar, candied fruit from Apt or Calisson d’Aix (an almond confectionery with candied melons and oranges).