Antibes walking tour with Via Nissa

On Saturday 12th June, I had the great pleasure to join a walking tour of Antibes. I already know a lot about Antibes’ history including the buildings, museums, art and attractions so I was interested to join this tour and learn more.

Demand for the tour was incredible; the tour was 10x oversubscribed proving Antibes’ popularity with tourists and residents. So, I felt very fortunate to have a spot for the morning tour.

The tour was hosted by Via Nissa. Based in Nice, their team is comprised of historians, linguists and archaeologists who have specialist knowledge about archaeology, art, history, culture and language.

Our small group of 15 met in Antibes opposite Port Vauban with an estimated tour duration from 10am to 11.45am / midday. Prior to the tour, all communication with Via Nissa’s representative had been prompt and helpful.

The tour was conducted in French with English translation; participants could access the French commentary via an easy-to-use hands-free tour guide system and headphones that Via Nissa supplied. Note: The English commentary was via the Uniti app so participants needed to download the app in advance, register to use the app and have mobile Wifi. Participants used their own headphones if using the English commentary option.

Our walking tour of Antibes with Via Nissa

After initial introductions, we met the tour host (French language) – Alain Bottero, who is the archivist for Antibes. Alain has a vast experience as a conservateur and archivist in Antibes and the Alpes Maritimes, so his knowledge of Roman antiquities, archaeology, religious art and the history of Provence and Nice is impressive. Taking care of the English language translation on the day was Evgenia Mokhireva; Evgenia was the person who I dealt with leading up to the tour day and she was helpful, efficient and friendly.

Via Nissa : Antibes Tour Highlights

Even though I have lived in this region for many years, I still find that Antibes is a beautifully picturesque town to explore. As we walked around the Old Town, you stroll beside historic buildings, pass the Cours Massena local market selling Provençal goods and through paved back streets.

It is a ‘touristy’ town with a large expat and yachting community, yet there are parts of French lifestyle and culture here that are distinctly Antiboise – for example, the Safranier district have a quirky traditional ‘boules carrées’ competition each year on July 14 where they play boules in the local streets with square boules.

Some of the tour highlights included the Chapelle Saint Bernardin, the column at Place Nationale, Porte de l’Orme, the old wash house, the commune of Safranier, the city remparts, the Picasso Museum and more.

Chapelle Saint Bernardin

This is a spectacular small chapel in Old Town, tucked in off Rue du Docteur Rostan – most tourists would probably pass it by without knowing it was there!

Bernardin Albizeschi was born in the 14th-century in Tuscany, Italy, and entered the Miners brotherhood. He was ordained a priest in September 1404 and spent more than 25 years preaching in Italy, playing a great part in the religious revival of the early 15th-century. He died in Aquila in 1444 and was canonised in 1450 by Pope Nicolas V.

In the 15th-century, the activity of the White Penitent Brotherhood was strong. With their riches they built this chapel.

Features of Chapelle Saint Bernardin:

The Gothic facade on Rue du Docteur Rostan: On the side you can see the hooded penitents. Above the door is the representation of Lucifer’s head. The devil, as the Chimera, the king of serpents and the winged dragon has a tail, sharp claws and a menacing stare. He reigns over 3 worlds: underground, on earth and in the air and can only be vanquished by Saints. The dragon convulses and roars at the foot of the cross and is vanquished by saints and angels.

The altar: The centrally positioned altar features a 16th-century fresco portraying the Apostles table. The baroque twisted columns are decorated with flowers and gold leaf. You can see 3 Saints: Saint Roch, Saint Sebastian (patron Saints of Antibes) and Saint Bernardin of Siena.

The vaulted room: This room has a climate-controlled storage that contains Antoine Aundi’s painting entitled “The descent from the cross”.

The side door entrance: The chapel was built on Roman ruins and the solid walnut side door leading to Rue Saint Bernardin dates from March 1581; you can see the inscription in my photo below.

My favourite feature of this small chapel is the beautiful trompe l’oeil and star-studded ceiling. The trompe l’oeil has 4 evangelists around the outside: Saint Mathew (the angel representing Genesis (origin) of man), Saint John (the eagle, his evangelism starts with celestial mystery), Saint Mark (the lion who roars in the desert) and Saint Luc (the bull who symbolises the sacrificed priest and sacrificed cow). In the middle, the Virgin Mary with Christ and Saint Bernardin between them with Latin inscriptions about God and hope in virtue.

The column at Place Nationale

Napoleon, returning from the Island of Elba, landed in nearby Golfe Juan on March 1, 1815; the gates of the city of Antibes were closed to him, it was bombarded and associated with the Bourbon. Louis XVIII moved by the heroism of the city of Antibes took 90,000 Francs from his personal funds intended to repair the damage, and on March 20, 1816 he raised the city to the rank of the good cities of the kingdom “Fidei servandae exemplum 1815”. 

In gratitude, the city of Antibes erected this column to Louis XVIII. It’s made of Carrara marble and cost the sum of 5748 Francs.

Its pedestal is covered with four marble slabs, on each side: 
– the inscription of the ordinance of King Louis XVIII 
– the arms of France 
– the arms of the city of Antibes
– the inscription of the King “the conduct of the city of Antibes will never leave my memory.”

Unfortunately, I accidentally deleted the photos I had of the column but you can see it clearly at Place Nationale directly in front of the Musée Peynet.

Porte de l’Orme

The Porte de l’Orme and its towers is one of the best preserved parts of Antibes. Throughout the Middle Ages, the walls were maintained until they were reinforced by the Grimaldi lords in the late 16th-century. It was the first line of defence for the castle, now known at the Picasso Museum. The Porte de l’Orme has been historically listed since 1939 and along with the towers and walls it defines the old city limits.

The old lavoir (wash house)

Tucked in behind Rue de la Tourraque, the old lavoir (wash house) was one of three local wash houses where town residents came to wash their clothes. Of course, it was a meeting place too so no doubt there was some gossiping that went on! If you look closely at the walls surrounding the wash house there are small sculptures set into the stone work – angels, faces, hands – these were made by Ho Lui, a local sculptor who has an atelier on Rue James Close.

The commune libre de Safranier (the free commune of Safranier)

Safranier is a picturesque district in old town with flower-filled streets – lots of tourists head here to take Instagram photos particularly on rue du Bas Castelet and rue du Haut Castelet. Villa Fontaine is situated in Safranier where they have an artists in residence programme, and Cretan writer Nikos Kazantzaki used to live in this district (he was famous for writing Zorbas the Greek and ‘The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel’ which was his poem based on Homer’s Odyssey) – you can see a commemorative seat dedicated to him in Safranier with a famous motto from the Zorbas film: “I hope nothing, I fear nothing, I am free”.

Antibes remparts

The remparts stretch from the port in Antibes to Bastion Saint-Andre near Salis beach. The Bastion was built in 1698 by Vauban, it consists of two vaulted brick galleries surmounted by a vast paved terrace.  Historically listed in 1930, below is the Archaeology Museum that has a collection begun in the 15th-century, with 150 exhibits including ceramics, vases and mosaics, some dating back more than 2000 years.

In 1979, there was a collapse of the seabed off the coast of Nice which was simultaneous with the collapse of a dike at the Nice port end. The result was two mini tsunamis which hit the coastline; including at Salis beach in Antibes. The remparts remained undamaged.

Picasso Museum

The Picasso Museum is one of the popular attractions of Antibes. Originally the ancient Château Grimaldi, it is now the first museum dedicated to Picasso. The collection, originally composed of paintings, drawings and ceramics left by the artist, also houses artwork from many other artists including Germaine Richier, Joan Miró, Nicolas de Staël, Hans Hartung and Yves Klein.

Beside the Picasso Museum, you can see the beautiful Antibes Cathedral.

Fort Carré & Port Vauban

No visit to Antibes would be complete without wondering about the history of Fort Carré across from the town. The star-shaped fort is a historic monument and was one of the first fortified strongholds to be built in the Renaissance under the orders of the King of France, Henri II. It was used to guard the nearby border with the County of Nice and to defend the town of Antibes. Today, you can visit the fort by guided tours that can be arranged through the Antibes tourist office and it is open to the public during the Journées du Patrimoine (we didn’t visit Fort Carré on this particular tour, however there is a great view from the fortress ramparts over Port Vauban and across to old town Antibes).

One of the most surprising things I learned recently about Antibes was there used to be a sea plane base at Port Vauban in the 1920’s. Alain our tour guide knew about this of course – L’Aéronavale used to fly between Antibes and Corsica, passengers were so used to travelling by boat that flying was viewed as reckless. Putting the seaplanes into the water at Port Vauban wasn’t easy – they were transported on trolleys to the wharf where a crane lifted them into the water. You can see in the vintage photos below the seaplanes and cranes opposite Fort Carré, as well as the hangars that used to house them. This hangar area is now where the Antibes ferris wheel at Pré des Pêcheurs is located.

About Via Nissa

Based in Nice, France, Via Nissa, specialises in organising in-depth experiences for seasoned travellers, the local foreign community and their visitors: those who want to be in the Côte d’Azur not as a detached observer, but as hands-on participants seeking uncommon access. They also curate historical tours, taking their visitors beyond the spaces allocated to tourists, into a world typically available only to insiders. Their sixth-sense experiences take you back to the world of the Provence many recall from the movies… scenes of long leisurely lunches, fine wines and stimulating conversations.

www.vianissa.com

Disclaimer: I was not sponsored to join this tour, nor am I an affiliate partner or salesperson for Via Nissa. This review is my own unbiased and honest account of the tour that I experienced. I highly recommend Via Nissa if you want a tour that immerses you in the history and culture of a destination.

The Show Must Go On: Club Vivanova Luxury Lifestyle Gala

Club Vivanova’s Luxury Lifestyle Gala will be held on Saturday 12th December from 1pm to 7pm.

The Club Vivanova Luxury Lifestyle Gala has updated their event timing to Saturday 12th December from 1pm to 7pm.

To ensure a positive, successful, well-attended and elegant gala and in consideration to local restrictions, they have opted for an early start at 1pm.

The agenda will not change, they will host their full event with a Champagne aperitif, four-course gourmet menu, premium wines, Aston Martin DBX launch, live entertainment, fashion show and their charity auction.
It’s going to be an exceptional day out!

Bradley Mitton and Club Vivanova are committed with the Fairmont Monte Carlo to make this one of the most memorable events of the year!
Their gala will be showcased with a personal welcome from Xavier Rugeroni, Regional Vice President and General Manager Fairmont Monte Carlo.

For the benefit of Chances for Children and The Animal Fund

1pm Champagne Aperitif

7pm Carriages


More agenda information at www.clubvivanova-luxurygala.com

Monaco’s new port in Ventimiglia

Spectacular scenery, luxe amenities, legendary casinos and a lavish lifestyle have long been Monaco’s drawing cards. In addition, the prestigious principality on the Mediterranean Sea is also known as a premier destination for the world’s most luxurious superyachts. The city-state is home to the legendary port of Monaco, Port Hercules, Port Fontvieille, as well as a new port in Ventimiglia and the soon-to-be-completed Mareterra. Read on to learn more about the ports of Monaco.

A guide to the ports of Monaco

Port Hercules

Thousands of international yacht owners and industry executives make it a point to attend the annual Monaco Yacht Show, the world’s premier superyacht exhibition at Port Hercules, the largest port of Monaco. More than 100 superyachts are featured, along with some 600 vendors throughout 42,000 square metres of exhibition space.

For those arriving by yacht, whether for the show or as part of a luxury Mediterranean yacht charter, sailing into this famed Monaco port is an event in itself.

The port, just west of the new Mareterra (formerly Portier Cove) marina is one of the few deepwater ports on the French Riviera and serves as the gateway for yachts to the principality. The natural bay is at the foot of the majestic Rock of Monaco, which towers 62-metres above the sea and is the ancestral monolith of the princes of Monaco. Improvements to the port in recent years include a new sea wall, offering protection from eastern swells and providing the perfect berthing location for large pleasure craft.

Further south is the modern harbour of Port Fontvieille, which was built from reclaimed land in 1966. The Monaco port has berthing space for some 160 vessels up to 30-metres in length and with a maximum draft of three-meters

Port Fontvieille

Port Fontvieille offers a selection of amenities, including restaurants and shops, while its location is within striking distance of Monaco’s famed attractions. Adding extra convenience, this port of Monaco is also just a stone’s throw away from the Monaco heliport.

Monaco port Ventimiglia

Meanwhile, with the increasing lure of luxury sailing, Monaco has recently expanded its ability to host yachts with the opening of the port in Ventimiglia, just 79 nautical miles (15 to 20 minutes) from its sister marinas at the ports of Herculesand Fontvielle.

From Cala Del Forte Ventimiglia, yacht owners and guests will have easy and exclusive access to Monaco, where they are welcome to enjoy all that the principality has to offer.

The port in Ventimiglia hailed the arrival on Oct. 15 of the much-loved sailing yacht TUIGA, the flagship of the Yacht Club of Monaco. The marina’s official inauguration is scheduled for mid-2021, when construction work on land is completed. Meanwhile the waterfront is open, and the state-of-the-art marina is already taking berth reservations.

A new port at Mareterra

Additional berthing space will also be available at Monaco’s future marina at Mareterra, a a port made possible by an ambitious eco-friendly $2.3 billion land reclamation project. The luxury development is scheduled for completion in 2025.

The new marina will be able to accommodate more than a dozen vessels of up to 18-metres, and will feature a host of restaurants and shops, ensuring plenty of opportunities for lively and entertaining outings. Overall, the 6-hectare eco-development will encompass luxury residences, expansive gardens, a promenade and recreational space.

Cruising to the welcoming ports of Monaco, whether it be Monaco’s port in Ventimiglia, Port Fontvieille, or famed Port Hercules is always a grand event.

Photo credits: All photos M. Penoty, except Cala del Forte photo from Ports de Monaco/Cala del Forte.

Eden Mill Gin Experience at BrewDog Nice : Enjoy After-Work Cocktails with Club Vivanova

In 2007 in North East Scotland, BrewDog came howling into the world. The launch of BrewDog Nice in 2019 was the brand’s 91st bar.

Image: BrewDog Nice

On Wednesday 5th August, Club Vivanova will host a special Eden Mill Gin Experience at BrewDog Nice.

The BrewDog team will create a selection of cocktails using the Eden Mill Original, Golf and Hop gins served with a selection of home-made appetisers and snacks.

Eden Mill Golf Gin will be just one of the selected gins at the Club Vivanova event at BrewDog Nice. (Image: NOTHS)

A perfect end to the day!

Date/time: Wednesday 5th August from 7pm to 9pm.

Location: BrewDog Nice, 4 Avenue des Phocéens, 06300 Nice.

Cost: Tickets will cost €30 per person and will include an Eden Mill Gin cocktail experience with hot and cold shared platters of BrewDog appetisers from 7pm to 9pm. (But you can stay and keep on partying for as long as you like).

You can book your ticket here: https://www.clubvivanova.com/events/05aug2020

ABOUT CLUB VIVANOVA

Club Vivanova offer three membership platforms; individual, corporate and platinum with international promotional and networking benefits plus complimentary VIP tickets to exclusive member-only events in Monaco and across Europe and a selection of premium wines delivered to your door. Find out more at their website http://www.clubvivanova.com

COMPETITION : Squibbles Giveaway

After a few months in confinement it’s great that my kids aren’t going bananas at home. We’ve powered through arts and crafts, dress-up dinner parties and finished every puzzle and board game within reach.

Just in time for summer I have two copies to give away of ‘Squibbles’.

Squibbles by Jay Stansfield

Wittily illustrated by UK-based creative artist Jay Stansfield and printed in Italy, Squibbles is just the remedy for enjoying sunny creative days.

Why we like Squibbles

• Squibbles is a fun, coloring book and journal packed with zany creatures, monsters, mermaids and doodles.

• The illustrations aren’t gender specific, so boys and girls will enjoy the book.

• The book is a soft cover but it’s super sturdy. My kids have dropped it, rolled it up and frisbee’d it (sorry Jay!) to each other and the pages or cover haven’t ripped at all.

My sons gave Squibbles a test drive and both gave it a thumbs up!

“ I like this colouring book because you can use your imagination to design what you want” – Lucas, 9 years

“ Squibbles is fun! I like all the drawings and I can use my own colours to make it look cool.” – Josh, 4 years

TO WIN a copy of Squibbles is as easy as 1, 2, 3:

1) ‘Like’ the Facebook page for Access Riviera : https://m.facebook.com/accessriviera/

2) ‘Like’ the Facebook page for Jay Stansfield : https://m.facebook.com/jaystansfieldmusic/

3) Leave a comment on Access Riviera’s Facebook page (or this blog post) telling me why you want to win Squibbles.

I have two copies to give away. The closing date is midday on Saturday June 27.

This competition is strictly for entries based in France. Winners will be chosen and contacted afterwards.

Squibbles by Jay Stansfield is also available to buy here: https://squibblesbook.myportfolio.com

Have you attended Le Dîner en Blanc ? Find out more via A French Collection

Annette Charlton from A French Collection explains more about Le Dîner Blanc, a wonderful meet-up now hosted in over 30 countries.

An intimate French inspired picnic with over 5,000 guests all dressed in white meeting at a secret location for an evening of dining, music and dancing is the Le Dîner en Blanc. Le Dîner en Blanc started in Paris by François Pasquier in 1988 and has taken the world by storm for those that love…

via Le Dîner en Blanc – French White Dinner — A French Collection

Top family-friendly ideas to entertain kids on a French Riviera Yacht Charter — French Riviera Luxury

The French Riviera is the most glamorous stretch of coastline in the world, and as such, is probably not the first place that comes to mind when planning a family yacht charter. Yet there’s actually so much great stuff to do with kids on the Cote d’Azur that you’ll struggle to fit it all in […]

via Things to do with Children on your French Riviera Yacht Charter — French Riviera Luxury

Reblog from L’occasion

Unforgettable Savoie January brings a trip through the Savoie wine region, on the eastern edge of central France. People from all of the world are called to this area for natural beauty, with a crown of Alpine features. It is also home to three wine appellations composed of 20 different geographic districts. Dominant Savoie grapes inclue Mondeuse, Pinot […]

via Savoie with the French #Winophiles — L’occasion

MAPIC Cannes 2016: Leveraging Customer Data for Travel Retail Marketing

Something a bit different from me today!    I have been so busy since Monaco Yacht Show that my poor old blog here has suffered with no regular posts.

But, being busy is great and I have been really happy to have family here during Toussaint holidays and also to be invited to work on some excellent projects lately.  As the saying goes, “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life”.

MAPIC Cannes is kicking off soon from 16-18 November and while it’s not entirely related to family travel or accessible travel, I have a big interest in many of the concepts that will be presented there for travel retail.

mapic

MAPIC Cannes 2016 (image:  nscs)

 

If you’re heading to MAPIC Cannes, please do read and share my post found at this link here:  MAPIC Cannes 2016 & Travel Retail

Enjoy!

Monaco Yacht Show 2016 — French Riviera Luxury

Hosted annually at Port Hercules, the 26th edition of the Monaco Yacht Show will be hosted over four days from 28 September to 1 October 2016 and will welcome key decision-makers from leading yachting and high-end companies to the Principality for the ultimate nautical rendezvous. Well regarded as a cornerstone event on the global yacht show […]

via Monaco Yacht Show 2016 — French Riviera Luxury

Cannes Film Festival Recap in City Out Monaco — Screenwriting & Film Production

Highlights of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival in City Out Monaco by Rebecca Whitlocke The link is: http://www.cityoutmonaco.com/cannes-film-festival-party-a-fabulous-mix-of-established-emerging-talent/ photos by Paul Oatway of Oatway Photo

via Cannes Film Festival Recap in City Out Monaco — Screenwriting & Film Production

Inside The World’s Fastest Growing Box Office — Access Riviera

Chinese films. Know any off the top of your head? Chinese directors. Can you name any? Watch this space because the Chinese film market is the world’s fastest growing box office and China is keen to establish itself as a front runner alongside Hollywood goliaths at festivals around the world. At Cannes Film Festival 2016, […]

via China and Film: The World’s Fastest Growing Box Office — Access Riviera

Cannes Film Festival AWARDS! — Screenwriting & Film Production

AWARDS | 22 MAY | FESTIVAL DAY 12 69th Festival de Cannes Awards The winners of the 69th Festival de Cannes © Alberto Pizzoli / AFP The Jury of the 69th Festival de Cannes, presided by George Miller, has revealed the names of the 2016 prize-winners during the Awards Ceremony. Laurent Lafitte welcomed the prize-givers and winners onto the […]

via Cannes Film Festival AWARDS! — Screenwriting & Film Production