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Cote d'Azur

 

Destination Cote d'Azur

The French Riviera, called Cote d'Azur in French, is a part of France's southeastern coast on the Mediterranean Sea, reaching from Cassis to Menton at the Italian boarder. In the late eighteenth century the French Riviera became popular among the British upper-class. The charming villages, the amiable inhabitants, delicious food and interesting culture still attracts many British travelers. But above all, tourists come here for the warm and sunny climate. Around 1765 a Scottish doctor became famous by subscribing what he called climate-therapy. The change of climate from cold and rainy England to sunny Cote d'Azur was said to cure a wide variety of diseases among which tuberculosis.

In 1859, Nice became part of France and with the arrival of the first railroad the Riviera became easy accessible for tourist from all over Europe. By 1874 the number of manly British visitors had grown up to 25.000. Gambling was forbidden in France at that time and the independent state of Monaco was starting the construction of its first casino. Painters discovered the Riviera by the late eighteenth century. The clear light and the bright colors attracted painters such as Henry Matisse, Picasso and Renoir.

Mass tourism came in the 1950s. Nowadays the French Riviera is an almost uninterrupted promenade, lined by palm trees and hotels. But still most villages kept their authenticity and you will smell the aroma of olives, herbs and spices, delicious fruit and vegetables wherever you go. In most of the villages, markets are held every day and you can stroll around the stalls with gorgeous local produce on display. Here you will be able to find local small-holders selling wild mushrooms, delicious home made jam and honey displayed on bright colorful table cloths in straw or wooden baskets.