Provence & Côte d'Azur
Continued (page 4 of 4)
164 Avenue des Arènes de Cimiez
Henri Matisse came to Nice in 1916, lived around town, then moved to the neighborhood of Cimiez; since 1993, this villa has showcased a great little selection of his works.
St. Paul de Vence
Small, but incredible, this museum in the pines above the town showcases Cannes gallerists Aimé and Marguerite Maeght's collections, with Matisse and Miró, Chagall, Braque, Bonnard, Calder, Léger, and Giacometti represented.
GORGES DU VERDON
This huge canyon with its vertical calcareous cliffs gashes through Var and the Alpes de Haute Provence and is viewable from many vantage points. It also comes in handy for white-water rafting, kayaking, waterskiing, sailing, fishing, and so on.
In this largely 18th-century college town, you can see Cézanne's family estate Jas de Bouffan, and the Musée Granet. People-watch at Aux deux Garçons on the Cours Mirabeau. If it's Tuesday or Thursday, don't miss the markets. After June 2006, dance fans must visit the Centre Choréographique National (preljocaj.org).
Is it really all that? Well, oui, if you like to hang with paparazzi prey. Kate Moss here, Diddy's yacht there, Etro and Hermès all over, but you can still discern the sweet fishing village underneath. For glitz, try the new Pearl Beach lounge (thepearlbeach.com); for calm, catch a game of boules and the market on the Place des Lices.
Vincent's town, though it's sadly devoid of actual van Goghs. Still, visit l'Espace Van Gogh, the cultural center they've made of the institution where he received treatment. Arles is equally renowned for its Roman ruins—the largest group outside Italy.
The Holy See was based at the Palais des Papes from 1309 to 1377, then the Avignon popes stuck it out here till 1417, and now their palace is one of the essential sights of Provence. There's also Pont d'Avignon, Pont St. Bénezet, and an unfair quota of incredible restaurants.
The Grimaldis' Principality is only three miles by one-and-a-half, but it has a vast, entirely deserved, reputation. Spread before the famous Palais Princier on the rock are high-rises, gin-palace yachts, luxe shops and restaurants and, most famously, casinos.