Valentine’s Day massacre

I moved to France 18 months ago and have to admit that by now I thought I would be so immersed in the culture I would have trouble pro-nouncing my own name without a French accent. I would have several lovers called Pascal and Pierre and, most importantly, I would have mastered the art of French cooking, whipping up a Bouillabaisse like it was nothing, and all the local market vendors would know me by name.Read more

New access route opens in Monaco

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Not so much a “voie rapide”, as the country’s too small to really pick up speed, but rather a “dorsale” or backbone running through the centre of Monaco is taking shape. Yesterday saw the official opening of another step in this grand project to ease traffic congestion for commuters and visitors in the Principality.Read more

Villa Leopolda Russian loses

A court in Nice has ruled that the cool 39 million euro deposit put down by a Russian nickel magnate on the world’s most expensive property is not reimbursable.Read more

Parlez vous Anglais?

How often have you found yourself saying these three seemingly harmless words? The idea of speaking French in France shouldn’t seem alien but somehow, sometimes it does.Read more

Snow joke

For most of Northern Europe a little snow in February is hardly headline news. However, the Riviera is not the rest of Europe and when it’s snowing in February in Nice something’s wrong. I mean this is a part of the world where people come to escape the miserable climate in their own country; they don’t come here to fight against icy winds and snow gales as they stroll along the Promenade des Anglais.Read more

Midem and musos

Since adolescence, I’ve been clinging to a distant dream that one day I’m going to be a rock star. I’m not on my own here: nearly everyone I know has a not-so-secret desire to be in a band. However, whilst most other people my age have accepted their lack of musical talent and are satisfied winning a game of Guitar Hero, I have decided that it’s never too late and have recently started learning how to play the bass guitar I got for Christmas… 15 years ago.Read more

Train strike today

A strike by members of several trade unions means there will be fewer trains operating today in France, with many services being severely disrupted until 8 am tomorrow morning.Read more

Casting a shadow over the Côte

The beauty of the Riviera has long attracted visitors to its shore: the brilliant blue sea, the palm tree-lined promenades and the endless sunshine brushes this part of the world with an achingly alluring shimmer.Read more

Viewing in the winter

The winter months are traditionally fairly quiet for real estate agents, which is positively good news for property buyers, as those homes that have been on the market for some time tend to drop their prices. Also, if you are planning to buy in this region for all-year round residence, then visiting properties in winter should be considered an essential part of the buying procedure.Read more

National Identity - a necessary or risky debate?

What defines French identity? History, culture, republican ideals or the health service? The debate has begun, inspired by Nicolas Sarkozy's decision to create an Integration and National Identity Ministry handling all aspects of immigration.Read more