Last year, I received the blessing of attending the Cannes Film Festival to film for a show I was working on. We didn’t just stay at a hotel, we rented a flat for the duration of the event and lived a block from the event festivities. That was a truly remarkable experience to get to be immersed into the French life of living in a flat in Cannes rather than just staying in a hotel. Our apartment was on the top floor of our building, and being an older European building, there was no elevator. So, I would proudly get my exercise in daily by running up flight after flight of our dim yellow hallways. Being energy efficient, we would have to press the button to have lights on as we went up the stairs, and, if we didn’t go up fast enough, we’d lose our light.
Upon entering our flat, we had everything we needed, including a balcony overlooking the festivities of the Cannes Film Festival and a fully-equipped kitchen- meaning we needed to go grocery shopping for our lunches and dinners. Luckily for us, we were surrounded by restaurants, boutiques, and grocery stores, so it was easy to always have what we needed. Plus, there was a Starbucks a 0.3 mile walk away from our lodging. Anyone that knows me know I need my Starbucks near by!
The area of Cannes surrounding the Palais de Festival and the marina is beautiful. It’s been a vacation spot for royalty for centuries, and you can see why. There are little patches of beaches, plenty of space to park yachts, and islands right off the coast of Cannes. In fact, Ile Saint Marguerite is a great spot to visit there.
Plus, if you climb up to the Musee de la Castre, which is a very short walk from the Palais de Festival, you will see the most beautiful view of the French Alps and the sea. The Musee de la Castre is something I recommend stepping into, as well. The museum pays homage to Baron Tinco Martinus Lycklama à Nijeholt, who was an aristocrat, writer, adventurer, and socialite who brought a lot of Eastern culture and artifacts over to France. There’s also a tower in the museum battlements that allows you to see the best view of the surrounding areas. I would walk up to the Musee daily to get some exercise, as well as to sit up before the entrance to the museum and look at the gorgeous area of land and see surrounding me. There is so much culture to find in Cannes.
Let’s not forget the food, too. Being so close to Italy, there is a lot of pasta in Cannes. I was pleasantly surprised to find that out. I tried many different types of pasta from many locations around Cannes, and it was all delicious. What a treat! La Pizza is a perfect, popular spot to try, as well. It is booming during the festival season. The French Onion soup, here clearly just called “Onion Soup” is delicious, as well.
And, lastly, you definitely want to find the antique markets. They are everywhere around the festival as it goes on, and there is one large festival in the park right next to the festivities. The artifacts you can find there are filled with the beauty and delicacy of French history. I picked up a pair of opera glasses from the late 1800s, the time of the Phantom of the Opera at the Opera Garnier. These glasses were from the festivities at the Opera Garnier. What a treasure!
History, glitz, glam, and amazing food: that’s what is waiting for you around Cannes.