Another flashback to somewhere away from the French Riviera and one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited: Lake Como in Lombardy, northern Italy, the smallest of the three famous Italian lakes but probably the prettiest. This picture is taken from the gardens of the lovely Villa Balbianello in Lenno, on the western coast of the lake. Formerly known as the Lario, Lake Como has been a reference for natural beauty ever since the Roman times and is the birthplace of the author and naturalist Pliny the Elder, famous for recounting the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD. It is also a prime location for shooting films, for obvious reasons and the Villa Balbianello is best known for harbouring the lawn and beautiful tree where James Bond recovers from a rather gruesome torture experience in Casino Royale (2006). Lake Como is only a 4 hour drive from Nice so don’t hesitate to include it in a European road trip if you have the opportunity, you won’t regret it!
The mist added extra atmosphere to the view from the spectacular Fort de la Revère facing west on Sunday afternoon towards Eze Village, Cap Ferrat and Nice. This viewpoint perched at 750m above the Mediterranean is easily accessible by car but if you’re brave, you can walk up from the coastline, it will take you about 2 hours (or one hour from Eze Village) and help you burn lots of calories! I’ll be writing more about this place soon so watch this space!
A rare window seat on a Lufthansa flight from Nice to Munich last April gave me some stunning take off views of the French Riviera which I’ll be sharing over the coming days… This shot encompasses the whole city of Nice, from the Mont Boron to the east (on the right) to the valley of Magnan to the west, just after the airport. Naturally the snow-capped summits of the southern Alps provide a spectacular amphitheatre that makes every take off heading east very spectacular (make sure you get the A/B/C row) 😉
Monday morning motivation! Hope this lovely photo of the beach on the Croisette in Cannes and of the Esterel mountains in the distance will fill you up with positive energy for the coming week and help you achieve all your goals 🙂 To find out more about this beautiful city, check out my report about the Cannes Film Festival here
This stunning view of the port of Monaco was taken from rue des Remparts on a beautiful February afternoon last week. Port Hercules is mainly known nowadays as a docking area for superyachts and the main theatre for Formula 1 exploits at the end of May each year during the Monaco Grand Prix. But it’s also important to understand that it’s one of the main reasons for which Monaco has remained independent for so many centuries: the only natural deep water harbour in the region, the fact that it faces east has protected sailors from Mediterranean storms and has made Monaco significant ever since the Greeks founded the colony of Monoikos in ancient times and dedicated it to their God Heracles.
It’s the weekend so a great opportunity to put your feet up and enjoy some serenity! There is no better place than the Exotic Garden of Eze village, definitely worth the climb to the top of the village and soak in the ethereal beauty enhanced by the lovely statues that look like a bit like the Caryatids of the Parthenon in Athens: check out this lovely viewpoint down at the bottom with deckchairs where you can just unwind! Full details and report in this article, enjoy the weekend!
Despite appearances, this is not Greece but indeed on the French Riviera in one of the most original spots, the beautiful Villa Kerylos in Beaulieu sur Mer. Built in the early 20th century by wealthy humanist financier Theodore Reinach in a splendid setting, it combines modern amenities at the time with all the trappings of an Ancient Greek villa. This splendid mosaic on the floor of the main living room represents the slaying of the Minotaur by Theseus in the heart of the labyrinth of King Minos’ Palace in Knossos, Crete. Find out more about this splendid villa and its setting in the dedicated article.
Flashback to my unforgettable Balkan road trip of August 2015 and the view from the Sky Bar in the weird and wonderful capital of Albania that looks like pretty much nowhere else in the region or the world, total culture shock! In order to get to grips with this city, we decided to have a drink at the highest bar of the city and were greeted with this stunning panoramic view at sunset before going for a delicious typical dinner at a restaurant called Oda. By the way, if you’re wondering why I’m posting random pics from around the world on the French Riviera Blog, I’m currently preparing a new sister blog, the World Traveller Blog, which will relate some of my global travel experiences in a similar style and so you can consider these as a kind of trailer 😉
The geographical proximity to Italy means that you can get very good pizza and pasta on the French Riviera, almost as good as the real thing… This excellent quattro formaggi totally hit the spot on a chilly February Sunday, I tasted it at the very pleasant Restaurant Quai 29 just opposite the market and close to the sea, I can definitely recommend it as they were nice and generous with the gorgonzola which some restaurants are quite skimpy on!
Nice has had a pretty rough time over the last few years, especially with the terrorist attack of July 2016, but this tragic event did bring people together and bring a more positive vibe to the city. This large sculpture, mainly destined to be shared on Instagram and therefore pretty hard to miss, appeared in the summer of 2017 and is put in various iconic locations of the city: it spent a lot of time on Quai Rauba Capeu, the deliciously named tip of the Promenade des Anglais underneath the castle but I found it last night on the brand new esplanade of Terminal 1 of Nice airport, just as I was returning from Sofia, Bulgaria… Time to aim for a better future for all in the capital of the French Riviera!