antibes musee picasso

Antibes and Hotel du Cap Eden-Roc – Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, France

The Ultimate in Glamour

A visit to Antibes, one of the Riviera’s great delights, must include a tour of the Musee Picasso, followed by the meal of a lifetime at the Restaurant de Bacon. Owned for more than fifty years by the same family—who don’t accept the days catch from local fish­ermen unless it’s still moving—

Bacon has long been known for its magnificent bouilla­baisse, a hearty but refined fish stew. It’s like the Mediterranean in a bowl, and it tastes even better if served on the outdoor terraces overlooking the colorful Vieux Port and bay of Antibes. In 1946, Picasso spent some of his happiest months in Antibes and Vallauris, the neighboring potters’ and crafts center, where more than 100 small ateliers still thrive. Some of his prolific body of work is housed in the stone Château Grimaldi. The artist bequeathed close to 300 paintings, ceramics, drawings, and sculptures to the city with the stipulation that they never leave their birthplace.

Nearby, the glamorous ghost of F. Scott Fitzgerald lingers at the Hotel du Cap Eden- Roc, an 1870 cliffside palace surrounded by 20 exquisite acres of scented gardens, pines, and century-old palm trees on one of the world’s most exclusive coastlines. In Tender Is the Might, the place was immortalized as the Hotel des Etrangers, the epitome of grand living. The international royalty of the movie industry hang their tuxes and gowns here during the Cannes Film Festival (when who you are is where you stay), by day wheeling and dealing around the beautifully situated swimming pool.

Ever since its inauguration, princes and kings, dukes and duchesses, and all manner of other celebrities have been regular guests. Present-day development has not obliterated the past: the Hotel du Cap is still one of the last great places to find the Riviera of 1920s literature and 1950s Brigitte Bardot films. The discreetly exclusive Madonna Suite, whose spacious sun-soaked terrace overlooks the Isles of Lerins and the Esterel Mountains, is one of the Riviera’s most cov­eted accommodations.

Bring along an extra suitcase and fill it with money: the Eden-Roc accepts no credit cards.

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