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The Republic of France

Cities of the Côte d'Azur and Languedoc-Roussillon

The Côte d'Azur & Languedoc-Roussillon
Holiday in south FranceThe Côte d'Azur is more often known to English speaking people as the French Riviera. The Côte d'Azur (English: Azure Coast) is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France often including the sovereign state of Monaco. There is no official boundary, but it is usually considered to extend from the Italian border in the east to Saint Tropez, Hyères, Toulon or Cassis in the west. This coastline was one of the first modern day resort areas. It began as a winter health resort for the British upper class at the end of the 18th century. With the arrival of the railway in the mid 19th century, it became the leisure, playground and vacation spot of British, Russian, and other aristocrats, such as Queen Victoria and King Edward VII. In the summer, it also played home to many members of the Rothschild family. In the first half of the 20th century it was frequented by artists and writers, including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Salvador Dali, Edith Wharton, Somerset Maugham and Aldous Huxley, as well as many wealthy Americans and Europeans. After World War II it became a popular tourist destination and business convention destination. Many celebrities such as Elton John and Brigitte Bardot have residences in the area. Not only the Côte d'Azur region is blessed with beautiful weather and pristine beaches. The Languedoc-Roussillon region and the entire coastline stretching westwards towards the Spanish border has an abundance of excellent holiday destinations that stand up to the best that France and the entire Mediterraean has to offer.

Cosmopolitan Nice and the Côte d'Azur
Holiday in south FranceIts largest city in the Côte d'Azur is Nice, home to Nice Côte d'Azur Airport, France's third-busiest airport after the Charles de Gaulle Airport and Orly Airport in Paris. A second airport at Mandelieu was once the region's commercial airport,but is now mainly used by private and business aircraft.The A8 autoroute runs through the region, as does the old main road generally known as the Route nationale 7 - officially now the D N7 in the Var and the D6007 in the Alpes-Maritimes. Trains serve the coastal region and inland to Grasse, with the TGV Sud Est service reaching Nice-Ville station in only five and a half hours from Paris. The French Riviera surrounds the principality of Monaco with a total population of over two million. It also contains the seaside resorts of Cap-d'Ail, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Villefranche-sur-Mer, Antibes, Juan-les-Pins, Cannes, Saint-Raphaël, Fréjus, Sainte Maxime and Saint-Tropez. It is also home to a high-tech science park or technopole at Sophia-Antipolis north of Antibes and a research and technology center at the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis. The region has 35,000 students, of whom 25% are working towards a doctorate. The French Riviera is a major yachting and cruising area with several marinas along its coast. According to the Côte d'Azur Economic Development Agency, each year the Riviera hosts over 50% of the world's super-yacht fleet with 90% of all superyachts visiting the region's coast at least once in their lifetime. As a tourist center it benefits from at least 300 days of sunshine per year, 115 kilometers or 71 miles of pristine coastline and beaches with 18 golf courses, 14 ski resorts and over 3,000 restaurants.

The Cannes Film Festival
Holiday in south FranceThe Cannes Film Festival was launched in September 1946 signaling the return of French cinema to the world movie screens. The Festival Palace was built in 1949 on the site of the old Cercle Nautique, where the Prince of Wales met his mistresses in the late 19th century. The release of the French film Et Dieu créa la femme (English: And God Created Woman) in November 1956 was a major event for the French Riviera, creating an international star of Brigitte Bardot, and showing the world an international tourist destination in Saint-Tropez. With the marriage of American film actress Grace Kelly to Prince Rainier of Monaco on the 18th of April 1956 more attention was once again directed to this area, as it was viewed on television by 30 million people. During the 1960s, the Mayor of Nice, Jacques Médecin, decided to reduce the dependence of the Riviera on ordinary tourism, and to make it a destination for international congresses and business conventions. He built the Palais des Congrès at the Acropolis in Nice and founded a Chagall Museum and a Matisse Museum at Cimiez.

Artists, Writers and Movie Stars
Holiday in south FranceHigh-rise apartment buildings and luxury real estate developments began to appear. Prior to this modern day rush to the shores of the Côte d'Azur back at the end of the 19th century the area began to attract artists and painters who reveled in the climate, the bright colours and clear light. Among them were Auguste Renoir, who settled in Cagnes-sur-Mer, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. When Germany invaded France in June of 1940, the remaining British colony was evacuated to Gibraltar and eventually to Britain. American Jewish groups helped some of the Jewish artists living in the south of France, such as Marc Chagall, escape to the United States. When the war ended, artists Marc Chagall and Pablo Picasso returned to live and work. The English playwright and novelist Somerset Maugham also became a resident of the area in 1926, buying the Villa Mauresque toward the tip of Cap Ferrat, near Nice. It was his home for most of the rest of his life, and one of the great literary and social salons of the 1920s and 30s. French actress Brigitte Bardot, born on the 28th of September 1934 in Paris, France is former French fashion model, actress, singer and animal rights activist who lived in Saint-Tropez and popularized the sex appeal of the French Riviera.


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French Destinations

Cap d'Agde
Saint Raphaël
Saint Tropez

Other Destinations

South Coast of Turkey
Black Sea - Turkey

Gourmet Food Store
Gourmet Food Store - Discover a world of luscious gourmet food. Shop our exquisite food selection now and save. Caviar. Smoked Salmon. Truffles. Foie Gras. Oil & Vinegar and of course - French cheeses.

Wine Tasting Notebook

French wine map

The fastest and most direct way to learn about wine is to take good tasting notes. This is no big secret, but simply the way that beginners learn the fundamentals and professionals hone their skills. The wine tasting forms act as both time savers for professionals and training wheels for beginner and intermediate wine tasters. The accompanying guides serve as a great way to jog an experienced taster's memory as well as an excellent introduction for novices to hit the ground running and learn about wine.

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French Wine Map

French wine map

There is not a more detailed, technically accurate or better looking Wine Map of France. The maps are extensively researched and includes adjacent regions in Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Spain. The map includes detail maps of Bordeaux, Côte d'Or and Beaujolais. Each is 24 by 36 inches, expertly printed on heavyweight acid-free archival paper that is suitable for framing. Included with each is an eight page index booklet.

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Wine Varietal Chart

French wine map

Clearly see the big picture of wine grape varieties and how they relate to one another. A beautiful addition to any tasting room or wine cellar. The accompanying reference book, The Wine and Grape Indexes, is the most comprehensive index available of the grape varieties used in worldwide wine appelations. It helps to answer the proverbial question: what grape am I drinking? The Wine Grape Varietal Table is 24 by 36 inches printed in color on acid-free archival paper and is suitable for framing, making it a great gift for any and all wine lovers.

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French wine domains
An Encyclopedia of the Wines and Domaines of France
by Clive Coates

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In this handsome and engaging book, Clive Coates, one of the world's leading authorities on wine, gives us the most up-to-date, comprehensive, and detailed study of the wines of France ever written. Coates's vast knowledge of his subject together with his natural gift as a storyteller make An Encyclopedia of the Wines and Domaines of France as informative as it is entertaining. He discusses every appellation and explains its character, distinguishes the best growers, and uses a star system to identify the finest estates. With more than forty specially commissioned maps that show the main appellations and wine villages of France in detail and a format that invites browsing as well as in-depth study, this book will be essential reading for anyone, professional or amateur, interested in wine.

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