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

Vallauris: A Town With Feet of Clay …

… and a reputation that owes everything to the world’s greatest artist of the 20th century Vallauris proudly calls itself “the world’s capital of ceramics”. But that is only half the story.

The more complete version goes something like this: for centuries, Vallauris had been the place where the inhabitants of the French Riviera came to buy their ceramic plates and pottery, and when the demand for hand-made, carefully crafted

Vallauris: A Town With Feet of Clay …

Ancient History Between Cannes and Antibes

Easy Hikes in the South of France What have the Romans ever done for the French Riviera? Not much, it appears. For our first proper walk of the year – one involving a forest, “big sky views” and mud under our feet – we picked a theatre of ancient local history.

You would be surprised how difficult it can be to find real “history” on the French Riviera. Don’t get

Ancient History Between Cannes and Antibes

A Garden With a View in Genoa

Two Hours in Genoa What to do in Genoa when you have no more than an hour to spend Genoa is the capital of the Italian Riviera, more or less what Nice is on the French side, but with one important distinction: Whereas all visitors of the French Riviera will, sooner or later, get to Nice (to go shopping, to do sight-seeing or simply to change from plane or TGV train to some form of

A Garden With a View in Genoa

The French Riviera on Canvas

Artists in the French Riviera Our sadly incomplete collection of picturesque views from Cagnes-sur-Mer Many of the 20th century’s most famous painters spent some time – occasionally the most fruitful years of their lives – on the French Riviera. On good, sunny and clear days, of which there are many, the whole area looks like a painting, and there is practically not a single town along the coast which has not been immortalized in a

The French Riviera on Canvas

Smelly Waters and the Spirit of European Unity in Aachen

The day when the Easy Hikers helped European history come full circle When the weather is cold and wet, as it was for the Christmas season in Germany, only the most intrepid dare to defy the elements out on the trails in the countryside. Easy Hikers, meanwhile, retreat to the smallest of outdoors: the city walk, especially in Germany where cities have a charm all of their own at that time of the year, even

Smelly Waters and the Spirit of European Unity in Aachen