The Queen of the Ligurian Hills

Apricale is not only picturesque but also a great base for hiking trips into the Riviera’s mountainous hinterland Apricale may well be the most beautiful but is certainly the most visually stunning of all the towns on the Ligurian hills. Growing out of the cliffside like something perhaps not altogether benign …

… the town has preserved much of its ancient, medieval atmosphere …

The Queen of the Ligurian Hills

It was Once a Wonderful Springtime for Napoleon

200 years after the event, we followed the Emperor and his army on the first stage of their walk back to Paris and to Waterloo On 1 March 1815, the recently deposed Emperor Napoleon landed with a small band of 1000 loyal soldiers in Golfe Juan near Cannes, arriving from his exile in Elba to reclaim the French throne. Exactly two hundred years later, the municipal administration of what is now a small but lively

It was Once a Wonderful Springtime for Napoleon

The Remains of the Romans in the Riviera

On the basis of the evidence, it feels safe to say that the Empire’s troops did not come here to enjoy the beautiful beaches The history of the Riviera, if we are honest, begins in the 17th century when its oldest towns were built, and it really picks up 200 years later with the invention of tourism.

Anything that happened before is irrelevant for the modern-day resort towns that are lining the coast.

The Remains of the Romans in the Riviera

The Nice of Henri Matisse You Want to See

The capital of the French Riviera was the great love in the life of one of the 20th century’s greatest artists The list of famous painters who have been claimed as the genius loci of one Riviera town or the other is long: Cagnes-sur-Mer has Renoir, St Paul de Vence has Chagall, Menton has Jean Cocteau, Vallauris and Antibes share Picasso (but there is a lot to share, Picasso being “vast and containing multitudes”). Even

The Nice of Henri Matisse You Want to See

What Made Sanremo Famous

The Riviera (T)railway Forbidden fruit: taste it and find out what made Sanremo famous

Coastal walks on the Italian Riviera, ideally, connect two seaside resorts that are well worth a visit in their own right. Whether or not these outings are successful, ultimately depends as much on these two resorts as on the walk itself – the more there is to see on either end, the more interesting the trip, even if the

What Made Sanremo Famous

How to See the Busy Hilltop Town of Vence

With its long history and a strong presence of the modern arts, Vence is the perfect destination for a walk through the Provencal countryside It would be silly to say that if you have seen one Riviera hilltop town, you have seen them all. No, worse than silly: unfair and, above all, ungrateful for the treasures they hold in store for their visitors. At the same time, however, it would be equally silly to deny

How to See the Busy Hilltop Town of Vence

Get a Taste of Provence in the French Riviera

Walks in the South of France On a country walk from St Paul-de-Vence to Vence, you can experience three different flavours of the fabled French “South” One of the French things that foreigners often struggle with is the fine distinction between the different regions in “the South”, a large area sometimes misunderstood as a single cultural unit where old men play boule between the ruins of Roman temples and lavender fields that were once painted

Get a Taste of Provence in the French Riviera

The Baroque Splendour and Splendid Views of Cervo

If you blink at the wrong moment on your Riviera train journey, you may miss it, but that would be a loss and a pity We first discovered Cervo about a year ago when our train journey to some other place down the Italian Riviera had been interrupted, falling rocks having damaged the tracks, and a bus replacement service was taking us on to the road.

I am only mentioning this because from

The Baroque Splendour and Splendid Views of Cervo

How to be Breathless in Monaco

Urban Walks in the South of France With a trip to the Jardin Exotique, you always win Monaco mainly consists of concrete, and the few green spaces that you come across when exploring the streets of the principality all have an air of unrealness about them – as though the trees would all go up in a puff of smoke if you looked at them hard enough or, more likely, were revealed as cleverly conceived

How to be Breathless in Monaco

Noble Cervo and Diano the Brash

Italian Riviera Walks on the Riviera coast work best when they combine colour and contrast

The French and the Italian sides of the Riviera, while having much in common, also reflect many characteristics of the very different countries to which they are attached.

The French Riviera, for example, is better “organized” and more clearly structured into individual zones (leisure, residential use and nature reserves), while Italy’s coastline is more haphazard,

Noble Cervo and Diano the Brash