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The Cote D'azur (The French Riviere)

The hills behind the Cote d'Azur are the arriere-pays, or backcountry, and the section including Mougins was an inspiration for the French artists of the last two centuries.

For centuries, Biot has been known for its pottery made from the local fine yellow clay; today, they're also known for a burgeoning glassmaking industry.

Cagnes sur Mer
Cagnes-sur-Mer is a lovely medieval village convenient to Nice, Cannes, and Monaco, and is relatively unspoiled. It was one of Renoir's favorite places, and he lived there at Les Collettes during the end of his life, when he painted by tying his paintbrush to his hand.

St. Paul de Vence
This companion town to Vence is, at its heart, a medieval village, standing out on the horizon. St-Paul was an independent city-state in the Middle Ages, but today has lost much of its prestige and is now basically a sleepy town.

St. Paul de Vence is the full name of the city St. Paul, and the city of Vence is about three miles away, driving through peculiar country.

Grasse is situated fairly high in the lower Alps in a natural amphitheatre, and is one of the best-smelling places in France. Why? It's the center of the French perfume industry.

Grand Canyon Du Verdon
The Grand Canyon of Verdon, or Gorges du Verdon, are among the finest canyons in Europe, and have recently yielded some particularly fine archaeological finds from the blending of Cro-Magnon and Neandertal man who once lived in the area.

St. Raphaël and Fréjus
Frejus has been settled for millennia, beginning as a naval base founded by Julius Caesar called Forum Julii; Octavius once moored a hundred galleys here.

St. Tropez
Most people have heard of the St. Tropez tan, and this little town on the beach in the south of France lives up to its name. With public and private beaches both nude and otherwise, St. Tropez is a relaxation paradise.

Nice is the fifth-largest city in France, and one of the most sophisticated. It hugs the coastline, and its elegant hotels along the Promenade des Anglais have a perfect view of the ocean just across the street.

The Corniches
The Corniches are a three-tiered system of scenic highways between Nice and the Italian border town of Menton.

Monaco isn’t quite part of France, but it may as well be. It’s a principality ruled over by a prince, and is located in the middle of the Cote d’Azur, also called the French Riviera.

Who does not recognize the name Monte-Carlo? It is one of the four quartiers of Monaco, centered around a casino opened in 1861, and is known throughout Europe and the world as the playground of the wealthy.

Of all the Cote d'Azur resort towns, Menton is the most Mediterranean in flavor and climate. It rests right up against the Italian border, and is protected from harsh weather by its location in the gentle curve of the Ligurian shore.

Antibes is across the Baie des Anges from Nice, and is the perfect place to sail over to for lying on pristine white sand beaches.

Juan les Pins
This thoroughly modern city is the resort town mirror and foil to Antibes's historical beauty, and is located only three miles away.

Cannes is renowned for its springtime film festival at the Palais des Festivals, of course, but there's more than that to this town.

La Napoule-Plage
West of Cannes, you'll find La Napoule, where a remarkable structure rises high above the sea. A large reddish-purple chateau looms above the blue waters of the bay.