The French Riviera (or Côte d’Azur) is on the Mediterranean coast of southeastern France. It includes famously glamorous beach resorts such as Saint-Tropez and Cannes and the independent microstate of Monaco.  To visit is to fall in love!  Below are some little-known facts about the French Riviera

History

The French Riviera is the beautiful coastline in the south of France along the Mediterranean Sea. It covers about 550 miles and acquired the nickname Cote d’Azur or Azure (Blue) coast in 1887.

This French Riviera coastline was one of the first modern resort areas. In the late 18th century it started as a winter health resort for the British upper class.

With the arrival of the railway in the mid-19th century, it became a playground and vacation spot of British, Russian, and other aristocrats.

In the first half of the 20th century, artists and writers, including Picasso, Matisse, Edith Wharton, and Aldous Huxley, as well as wealthy Americans and Europeans frequented the area.

After World War II, it became a popular tourist destination and convention site.

Geography

The French Riviera is known for its beaches, views, picture perfect water, yachts and for the playground for the wealthy. It also has charming towns and villages such as Eze and Saint-Paul-de-Vence and a highly regarded art and culture scene.

Situated where the Alps meet the Mediterranean, it is an area that enjoys a wonderfully mild to warm climate (and sunshine) year-round. Winter coastal temperatures range from 50°F to 60°F during the day!

The French Riviera has a total population of over two million.

Its largest city is Nice and home to France’s third busiest airport – Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, after Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport and Paris-Orly.

Monaco is the second smallest country in the world (the first is the Vatican in Rome, Italy) with the world’s highest per-capita GDP.

It is a tax-haven, as residents do not pay any income tax, and is one of the most densely populated states in the world.

Monaco is ruled by the Grimaldi family and home to world famous casinos (although citizens of Monaco are not allowed to gamble or go inside a casino).

Monaco also hosts the yearly Monaco Grand Prix.

Grasse, a short drive from Cannes, has been the capital of the perfume industry since the Renaissance period. About three-quarters of the world’s essences are from the gardens in Grasse, comprised of daffodils, lavender, jasmine and more.

Cannes is famous for the Cannes Film Festival, which is one of the most prestigious and oldest film festivals in the world. This glamorous event is held in May and showcases many international films and screenplays.

Now that you are in the know, make sure to come back for the blog series of my visit to the French Riviera.

Hope to see you soon!

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