The French Riviera oozes glamour and opulence and it’s plethora of locations are frequented by some of the world’s most famous celebrities thanks to its captivating charm. From the glimmering turquoise waters and white sandy beaches to the bustling nightlife and busy streets, there is something for everyone in this dream holiday destination. So, with so much history and intrigue, we’ve composed a list of seven facts so that the next time you’re looking at holiday villas in French Riviera, the temptation to book your once-in-a-lifetime trip away might just be strong enough to convince you to book!
1 – Citizens of Monaco can’t enter the Monte Carlo Casino
Not only are the citizens of Monaco not permitted to gamble, but they are also forbidden from stepping inside the luxurious casinos. The law was enforced during the 19th century, when the ruling family of the country, the House of Grimaldi, were facing bankruptcy. In the midst of figuring out what to do in order to save their nation, Princess Caroline came up with the idea of convincing the famous Bad Homburg Casino to move from Germany to Monaco. Despite it being Princess Caroline’s idea to move the casino into their country, she didn’t want the residents of Monaco to lose their own money and worked at convincing them to save as much as possible.
2- The Cote d’Azur is the second-most-popular tourist destination in France
With Paris attracting the most significant number of tourists each year, the beauty of the French Riviera is also popular. As a result of this, it is the second most-visited destination in France. This is especially impressive as France is the most visited country worldwide, attracting 89 million visitors in 2017.
3- The perfume capital of the world, Grasse, produces approximately three-quarters of the world’s scents
Since the 17th century, the town of Grasse has been named the perfume capital of the world. Employing 2,700 people, the city also attracts over two million tourists who come to visit the museum, factories and shops, as well as to take part in a guided tour from one of the three historic manufacturers, Fragonard, Galimard and Molinard.
4 – The French Riviera is nicknamed Cote d’Azur
Like most of the coastlines in France, the French Riviera is named after a precious stone. Nicknamed Cote d’Azur, which translates to Coast of Azure, the name was given to the region by Stephen Liegaerd in his book La Cote d’Azur in 1887. The book played a huge part in attracting tourists to the area, with him describing the region as a “coast of light, of warm breezes, and mysteriously balmy forests”.
5- Famous artists have drawn inspiration from the region
Over the past couple of hundred years, the French Riviera has proven to be popular amongst artists. Amongst many other painters who visited the area, Claude Monet resided in Antibes, paying intense attention to detail as he painted his village from a myriad of different angles. However, Antibes was also home to another popular painter; Picasso lived for six months in Chateau Grimaldi, a place which can now be visited as a museum dedicated to him.
6- Between the hours of 2 pm – 7 pm, no restaurants serve food
France has many traditions and customs surrounding food that you will have to become accustomed to. However, after a long day wandering around, observing the super yachts that are docked in Monaco’s harbour, don’t expect to sit down for a spot of late lunch after two pm, as restaurants don’t serve food after this time, with the evening service beginning at seven.
7- The most expensive villa in the world, Villa Leopolda, can be found in the French Riviera
Built from 1929-1931, Villa Leopolda is the most villa house in the world, valued at $750 million. With views looking out over the Mediterranean, it has been used for a variety of different purposes, including a hospital during the Second World War and a movie set for the film To Catch a Thief.