The importance of the Côte d’Azur on the history of art cannot be underestimated. It inspired many a great master who spent time here during the 19th and 20th centuries, and is still influencing contemporary art today. Damien Hirst’s recent series – The Veil Paintings – drew inspiration from Le Cannet artist Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947). Wouldn't it be amazing if Hirst, like his contemporary Tracey Emin in Le Lavandou, chose to experience the light first hand and paint here?
Michelin Star restaurants, cosy bistros lining the cobbled streets, a breath-taking panoramic view stretching from the sparkling Mediterranean across to the jagged hills of the Gorges du Loup… There are certainly worse places to eat that the delightful hilltop town of Mougins!
Here the world is just as you would like it to be: harmonious and full of love, enthusiasm and people you can rely on. Every year, one wonders how the festival’s creator and artistic director, Liliane Valsecchi, manages to bring such high-quality artists to the Église Sainte Marie Madeleine in the small township of Biot.
Even though we visit in mid-January, it’s warm enough to watch two teams from Sophia Antipolis play off against each other on one of the outdoor pitches at lunchtime. Under the winter sun, they swiftly canvas the 26-metre by 16-metre terrain before a player strikes gold with the deciding goal: 19-18. Five-a-side is quicker than a standard football game – between 45 and 60 minutes on average – and the score board often runs much higher. The grass underfoot is artificial, but features fine fibres and a softness that mimics natural conditions. Soccer Park Antibes has three indoor pitches and two outside the main building to offer an all-year, all-weather service.
With a few simple clicks, the user can unlock the door, open the garage, turn on the lights, regulate heaters or control of the volume – and genre – of music in one room to the next. Electrical and water consumption can be monitored as can any suspicious movements in or around the property. If it all sounds too complicated, you can programme the network system to recognise your voice commands or even a snap of the fingers. The house will automatically know how to react.
You’ve agreed a price with the agent and appeased the owner, but now you need to secure financing. Not an easy task living in a foreign country with different ways of doing things. In France, it can mean knocking on the doors of countless banks and partaking in complex negotiations. If it all sounds very complicated and long-winded, that’s because it usually is.
Relive the dramatic and bold operatic works of German-British composer Georg Friedrich Händel with a concert by the Ensemble Baroque de Nice on Friday 25th May at the Eglise Saint-François-de-Paule in Nice (8.30pm).
If you thought that vintage cars belong only in museums and under dust sheets, the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique is here to prove that there’s plenty of life still in these metal beasts. From 11th to 13th May, fleet after fleet of golden oldies – in lifetime only – will tear along the famous Monaco circuit, which remains 80% the same as that used in the very first race nearly a century ago.