Saturday, May 26, 2012

Cannes is more than a Festival

La Croisette
The 65th International Cannes film festival is coming to an end (May 17-27).  For ten days in May,  the world cinema industry directs its attention on this little town on the French Riviera. Since it was founded in 1947,  Cannes's festival has developed into the most important film market in the world. Film distributors, producers, directors, actors, writers, critics, publicists from around the world meet to discover the newest feature films and documentaries. Cannes is synonymous with glamour and star power.  Tomorrow, it will culminate in a closing ceremony to be attended by a glamourous audience of stars and celebrities where prizes will be awarded by a prestigious jury including the Palme d'Or for "Best Picture"  for Feature Film and for Short Film, along with prizes for Best Actor and Actress, Best Screenplay and Best director.

Forville Market
But  Cannes (Kahn) is more than just a festival.  When all the glitz and glam leave, Cannes remains a pleasant resort on the French Riviera.  It is situated along a protected bay "rade de Cannes" .  Its palm fringed waterfront promenade "la Croisette" is the town main attraction.  Lined with luxurious "Belle Epoch" palace hotels,  sand beaches, sunny cafe terraces, restaurants and luxury boutiques, this is the place to gawk and be "seen".  Blessed with mild weather, year  around , Cannes is fun to explore .  Its picturesque old town "Le Suquet" offers  an array of atmospheric restaurants and art galleries; luxury shopping is to be had along the  Croisette and its adjacent rue d'Antibes; and for local flavor visit the colorful  Forville market.  In addition, Cannes can be used as a base to discover the other resort towns along the Mediterranean Sea--Nice, Antibes and Monte Carlo and in season, even St. Tropez is only a ferry ride away.  To escape the glamour of the Riviera, head to the Lerins islands- Ste Marguerite and Ste. Honorat- two tranquil and traffic-free  pine and eucalyptus scented refuges just a short boat ride from Cannes.  Similarly, the hilly backcountry  with picturesque villages like artsy St. Paul de Vence, Mougins and Biot are only just a short drive away and fun to explore. Beware of the summer crowd in July and August.

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