The warm climate, unique light, and unique ambiance of the Cote d’Azur have made it a magnet for artists and creatives for generations.
Picasso, Matisse, Modigliani, Cezanne, Renoir, Chagall, and many more have used the landscapes and lifestyle of this unique part of the world as their artistic muse.
However, literary legend F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda did more than most to put the region on the map as the place where anyone who was anyone simply had to be seen.
If creativity floats your boat, take a look at these three Cote d’Azur hotspots for culture vultures.
1. Picasso Museum – Antibes
Pablo Picasso spent many years living and working on the Cote d’Azur, keeping a home in the quiet fishing village of Golfe Juan and creating paintings, pottery, and sculptures at various locations nearby.
In 1946, he accepted an offer from officials from the city of Antibes to set up his studio in the ancient Grimaldi Castle, which was renamed the Picasso museum in 1966. When you visit today, you’ll see many masterpieces by Picasso himself as well as modern artworks by Joan Miro, Bernard Pages, and Patrick Poirier.
Tip: take a Picasso walking tour in Antibes to learn fascinating facts about the eccentric genius.
2. Hotel Belles Rives – Juan-les-Pins
The elegant Art Deco Hotel Belle Rives is located on the edge of Juan-les-Pins just as you turn the corner onto the Cap d’Antibes road. This is the former Villa Saint Louis, where F. Scott Fitzgerald, his wife Zelda, and their famous friends partied to wild excess for much of the Roaring 20s, and it provided the inspiration for novels The Great Gatsby, and Tender Is the Night.
Delightful decor, superb customer service and fine cuisine make your stay comfortable and cathartic and sitting out on the terrace sipping a Kir Royale in the same spot Fitzgerald called his ‘sun-kissed otherwhere’ is a magical moment to treasure.
Tip: buy a Belles Rives gift box for your significant other and earn endless Brownie points!
3. Hotel Negresco ̶ Nice
Yearning for a sumptuous hotel that oozes artistic ambiance?
Look no further than Hotel Negresco in Nice, which maverick art collector Madame Jeanne Augier purchased in 1957 and transformed into a treasure trove ram-packed with rare and striking paintings, statues and artifacts.
It houses a formidable collection of artworks that spans five centuries and features iconic painters by French masters and polymaths from around the world. Every nook and cranny reveals something special ̶ whether it’s a rare piece by Picasso or Dali, an amazing ornate chandelier, or a modern sculpture by Nikki de Saint Phalle. Each room is unique, and staying here is an experience that you’ll truly never forget.
Tip: rent a vehicle from a car hire comparison site. Enjoy and hit the road to tour every arty attraction.
This hattrick of creative hotspots is only the tip of the iceberg ̶ you’ll discover much more while you’re exploring the Cote d’Azur in person!