Cannes (Kan) is a city in the French department of Alpes-Maritimes in the region of Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur. Located in Southern Europe at the south eastern extremity of France, Cannes is a privileged crossroads between the Alps, Provence, Monaco and Italy.
Cannes is one of the best-known cities of the French Riviera, famous for the glitzy hotels, cars, beaches, and visitors. Cannes has become one of the busiest tourist destinations among jet-setters and famous celebrities as the city hosts many significant events including the annual Cannes Film Festival. Its old town, Le Suquet, is also a great spot for remarkable panoramic scenery.
History of Cannes
he city of Cannes is perhaps most famous for its annual film festival; however, it was the centre of significant activity long before the festival was first celebrated and has a long and interesting history dating back thousands of years. Today, its atmosphere of vibrancy and cultural richness is fortified by its proud heritage.
Evidence suggests that civilizations inhabited the area we now know as Cannes as early as the 2nd century BC. Its believed that the Oxybian tribe from Liguria formed various settlements here, which were known as Aegitna. Historians are unsure of the meaning of this name, but what is known is that initially the area was little more than a simple fishing village used as a port of call between the Lerins Islands.
Life in Aegitna was fairly uneventful until 69 AD, when it became the scene of a violent conflict between the troops of Othos and Vitellius. This marked a significant period of unrest in the area.
The name’s origin
The first record of the name was in the 10th century, when the town was known as Canua. The name might derive from canna, a reed. Canua was probably the site of a small Ligurian port, and later a Roman outpost on Le Suquet hill, suggested by the fact that Roman tombs were discovered here. Le Suquet housed an 11th-century lookout tower, and overlooked swamps where the city now stands. Most of the ancient activity, especially for protection, was on the Lerin Islands just off the coast, and the history of Cannes is really the history of the islands.
The first place to visit is La Croisette, the beautiful waterfront avenue with gorgeous palm trees offering a relaxing promenade. La Croisette is very famous for its picturesque beaches where you can find many first-class resorts, restaurants, hip cafs and an array of brand name boutiques. La Suquet, the old town of Cannes, provides the breathtaking view of La Croisette. Visitors can see the remains of the fortified tower and the fascinating Chapel of St Anne housing the Musee de la Castre. In which are displayed many items from artworks, musical instruments, sculptures, decorative arts to a section on ethnography. Some nice public beaches can also be found in this area. For chilling atmosphere stroll to Iles de Lerins where the unlucky man immortalized in The Man in the Iron Mask was imprisoned. This is only a short boat ride offshore.
For visitors with cultural inclinations, Cannes has an impressive selection of museums and art galleries covering a wide variety of themes and historical periods. The Musee d’Art et d’Histoire de Provence, for example, is home to a collection of artefacts that range from prehistoric to present times, and the museum is housed in a classic 18th century mansion, set amid beautiful French gardens. Meanwhile, at the Musee de la Castre, an exotic collection including objects from the Pacific Atolls, Peruvian relics and Mayan pottery is available for viewing in an impressive chteau, which was previously known as the Castle of Cannes. Other famous venues include the Musee de la Marine, Musee de la Mer, Musee de la Photographie and Musee International de la Parfumerie.
At Phoenix Park, otherwise known as the Phoenix Botanical Gardens, visitors will find stunningly beautiful gardens that have been lovingly tended and are home to a large selection of plants and flowers, many of which are exotic in origin. A greenhouse, hailed as the largest in Europe, also houses a large collection of interesting and unusual plant specimens.
Galimard is a working perfumery offering visitors tours on which they can get an in-depth insight into the countrys multimillion-dollar industry. Tours take in laboratories where scents are mixed and visitors get to find out some of the elusive ingredients used in perfume making. Theres also the opportunity to create your own scent under the guidance of a master perfumier.
Parc Zoologique de Frejus
This popular attraction was originally presented as a traditional zoo facility, but has now been redeveloped as a safari park in which visitors can drive around in their cars. The zoo has attempted to recreate the natural habitats of its animal residents in order to encourage them to reproduce and live as they would in the wild.
Cannes has night venues of every description and the city is a veritable hotbed of activity after the suns gone down. Casinos are a highly popular aspect of the citys evening entertainment scene and are full seven days a week with addicts, hopefuls and those doing a little controlled dabbling in the gambling scene. The most famous casinos in the city include Casino Croisette at the Palais des Festivals; Palm Beach Casino at Pointe de la Croisette; and Casino des Princes on boulevard de la Croisette. If a more traditional night out is your thing then youll find plenty of good bars across the city with boulevard de la Croisette being a good place to head if you want to be guaranteed of finding a busy venue. Nightclubs appealing to all tastes can be found in the city centre and the gay scene is especially happening and popular. Most bars stay open until early morning, while nightclubs can still be busy well into dawn.
France has a reputation for excellence in its cuisine and Cannes is no exception, with restaurants across the city serving up some of the finest examples of the countrys most popular dishes. With its coastal location, cuisine in Cannes is naturally based quite significantly around seafood and delectable dishes worth trying include escalope de mrou au citron, which is escalope of sea bass in lime; salmon tournedos with truffles; cod and vegetables in garlic sauce; and skate with capers. Meat dishes on some of the best menus in town include estouffade de sanglier (wild boar) and fillet de beef rossini cooked with foie gras. However, this is but a small selection of a huge number of quality French dishes that are available across the city in both upmarket and small traditional venues. Meal prices vary massively depending on where you go, but mid-price establishments are comparable to UK restaurants; the skys the limit however and you can easily pay a hundred euros for a gourmet meal here.