Saturday, November 9, 2013

Le Cannet


Many people that come to the French Riviera usually make sure to either stay or visit the film festival city of Cannes as part of their travel agenda, but I wonder how many have also discovered the charms of Le Cannet, the small artists’ village in the hills above Cannes?

I have been through the large sections of Le Cannet a number of times before for various reasons, and for the most part thought of it as a nice residential type suburb of Cannes.

But it wasn’t until I got to meet someone special for a dinner date one evening in the original, historic neighborhood of Le Cannet that my feelings on the area had changed.

Since it was my first time to this part of Le Cannet, I was simply told we could meet up in front of the Hotel de ville (town hall) and that I would know it when I saw it, being an architectural buff, it was easy enough to spot this grand building, even at night.

Upon arrival I was immediately entranced, not only with the company I was keeping but also with it being such a beautiful evening, the stars in the sky and serene sense in the community instantly brought with it an air of romance.

When we started to stroll through the area, we came upon the Musee Bonnard, I loved the mixture of old and new architecture of this building and on later visits discovered this is a superb museum to explore.

I was then guided on to one of the many pedestrian paths behind the Musee Bonnard; I was to discover this is part of the main historical area.

My friend was very good at telling me about his experiences here, given that his family has an estate close by and how he spent many of his summers as a child in this part of Le Cannet, I can only imagine how ideal that must have been growing up.

Having no set plans before dinner, we took our time walking around the neighborhood where I was pleasantly surprised to see so many unique artisan shops along with a wide variety of restaurants.

It was also refreshing that this area didn’t seem to be overrun with tourists; it was away from the hustle and bustle of a city and had a relaxed, local atmosphere.  You could tell the neighbors here all seemed to know each other.

One spot you will no doubt stumble upon is Place Bellevue, I simply adore this area; scenes from movies should be shot here.

It is under the shade of the immense trees in this square that a number of the restaurants expand their table capacities and share the same space for everyone to enjoy a lovely outdoor afternoon lunch with panoramic views over the city of Cannes out to the sea, and in the evening it would be hard pressed to find a more romantic place to be.

Many times since that first visit I have been back to Le Cannet, and getting here could not be easier, from the Cannes Train Station just take the #1 Le Cannet bus and in approximately 10-15 minutes you will be in front of the Hôtel de ville where a bus stop is located.

From there you will find most of the pedestrian walkways are behind the Hôtel de ville and as long as you are up for a sense of adventure, you won’t even need a map to find your way around.

Every time I visit Le Cannet I learn more about the area, I love the mix of modern and historic buildings, the quaint shops and especially the people.

 Merci M.S. ♥