Riviera Insider catches up with the region’s very own Riviera Woman: Anna Fill, a former DJ and presenter living just over the Italian border.
What first brought you to the French Riviera?
I recall, after the 9/11 tragedy, flights for just about everywhere were so cheap to encourage people to fly again. At the time, I took various trips around Italy and then, on one journey, I came to nice and stayed in Menton. It was November and the climate was still quite mild at 17C, which was absolutely glorious for someone coming from the UK! Then there was the light, the bright colours of the sea and the mountains, and it was this that inspired me and motivated me to consider moving to the area. I already spoke French and, being close to Italy, I knew my Italian would come in use. My mother is Italian and having already spent a fair bit of time in Italy, I always hoped I would one day have a home in Italy. Menton, being on the border to Italy, seemed the perfect compromise. A few years later, I did actually make the hop over the border to Italy. Now, within half an hour of where I live, I have the choice of spending time on the coast in Italy or popping back over the border into France or into Monaco. Sometimes I do all three in one day! It’s crazy, but fantastic. I try to remind myself frequently of just how fortunate we are, living here, in the region.
Where did the idea for The Riviera Woman come from?
The Riviera Woman was born out of a passion and need to connect with people. I had observed the publications in circulation, which were doing a fine job. I knew I could never compete with print and so I opted for an online publication and created a niche by featuring only women. I had met so many artists, writers and really interesting women doing fantastic things and I believed I could create something original. I always wanted to use my previous skills and passions for interviewing people. I missed doing radio and having an audience as a DJ and presenter, so using very basic equipment, I started doing video interviews, which were fun and these featured on the Riviera Woman.
What is The Riviera Woman's mission?
I am the editor and producer of the Riviera Woman, and through the website we can help to raise the online presence of individuals and companies. I suppose the mission is for the Riviera Woman to represent real women doing fabulous things and to give women a voice. We do also feature men too... Just in case there is a man reading this thinking otherwise! Of course, we cover articles that are just as relevant to men as women. Occasionally, following the release of the newsletter, which is sent out on the first of each month, I do receive emails from male readers, which is lovely and the food and recipe section actually has some men experimenting in the kitchen. Another mission is for women to connect and build a new network for themselves, especially when just arriving in the area. It can be quite daunting not knowing anyone and through the Riviera woman, we try and put people in touch with networks close to where they are living. The Riviera covers a large area and those in Cannes may not find it easy getting to Monaco or vice versa. The Riviera woman celebrates 10 years this year and through the website, we have met so many incredible people and attended events that have inspired us to do the best we can. We are certainly motivated to continue.
Where in the region do you like to spend summer days?
Easy.... Right here! And especially with friends. we are fortunate to have so much choice... we can stroll along the promenade or take a walk in the hills and when feeling energetic, we partake in a hike in the mountains.,, oh and how lovely it is to have an apéro watching the sun go down! Bliss, bliss and more bliss! I also run an expat group called Vivaitalia club and hold various apéros on the Italian side of the Riviera: