What to See on the French Riviera’s Inaugural Festival des Jardins

No long-winded openings today: there is no time to lose. Six more contestants in the French Riviera’s inaugural Festival des Jardins are waiting for our visit! (The first four are here!)

First, we are going to Antibes, or – to be more precise – to Antibes’s beach resort suburb of Juan-les-Pins, where – at Pinède Plage, a brisk 10-minute walk from Juan-les-Pins train station – the architects’ collective Les Jardiniers Nomades and the

What to See on the French Riviera’s Inaugural Festival des Jardins

The Very First French Riviera Garden Festival

Gardens are a part of the Riviera scenery like yachts, open-top sports cars and deposed government officials from corrupt cleptocracies. Unlike the mountains and the sea, they have not always been there but have become so much part of the cultural landscape that nobody remembers or can even imagine a time when they were not.

The history of the Riviera gardens goes back all the way to the “stone age” of the region

The Very First French Riviera Garden Festival

The Age of Innocence Remains in an Idyllic Garden

When we drew your attention to some of the most beautiful “Gardens of the Riviera” a few weeks ago, we failed to mention any garden to the west of Grasse. Not because there were no gardens in this part of the world but only for the reason that we had never visited any.

Now, however, that we have strayed sufficiently far away from our base in the French-Italian borderlands of the Riviera, we

The Age of Innocence Remains in an Idyllic Garden

Here are Five More Riviera Gardens to Discover

More Riviera gardens to discover!

Read the first collection of Riviera gardens here!

Last week, we surveyed the area east of Monaco and strolled deep into Italy, concentrating on the coast’s “classic” garden country. But the less climatically blessed western part of the Riviera – where the mountains are often further away from the coast and give the cold Alpine winds more room to wreak their winterly havoc – also has its little

Here are Five More Riviera Gardens to Discover

How and Where to Discover the Gardens of the Riviera

The Riviera is famous for … well, many things in fact – speed boats, card sharps, minor royals – so it never ceases to surprise me how many of the visitors we meet have explicitly come to see one of the gardens of the Riviera.

I am – to be honest – not a natural garden enthusiast, but have over the years developed an understanding of why many people seem to be so

How and Where to Discover the Gardens of the Riviera

Where is the Serre de La Madone Garden?

Gardens are to nature what fictional stories are to real life. They are carefully plotted, laid out to amuse and to entertain, and they do not try to conceal that everything you see has been put there for a reason. Gardens are highly artificial, but holding that against them is like going to the theatre and complaining that everything was, well, a bit stagey.

This does not mean that all gardens are

Where is the Serre de La Madone Garden?

How to Spend the Hours Before Your Flight from Nice

Why would you want to go into a public park on the French Riviera when nature in its untamed variety – more coastal walks and mountain hikes than you could possibly pack into a long holiday – is only ever a bus ride away?

On most days, admittedly, any argument in favour of a trip to the public park will indeed seem a trifle weak, but there are also circumstances under which it

How to Spend the Hours Before Your Flight from Nice

Get to the Greatest of All Riviera Gardens

Riviera gardens are, in a number of ways, like London City churches: there are so many of them that only the truly obsessive can name them all There are enough differences between them for you to visit more than just a single one, while, on the other hand, they are sufficiently similar to invite informed comparisons. And just as the power and the majestic glory of St Paul’s tower above all of the other post-Great-Fire

Get to the Greatest of All Riviera Gardens

Professional Cycling: Is it Just All Sweat and Lycra?

A Walk in Sanremo Professional cycling. Don’t you just love it?

Sprinter Alessandro Petacchi winning Milan-San Remo in 2005

You don’t? Too much lycra, too much sweat running down contorted faces, too much time-where-not-very-much-appears-to-be-happening-at-all?

Races remind you of those depression era dance marathons where the last guy standing wins? Of who-can-hold-his-breath-the-longest contests?

Oh well. That is certainly one way of seeing it. But there is another way, too. Plenty of

Professional Cycling: Is it Just All Sweat and Lycra?

In Search of the Hidden Gardens of Monaco

Oman, Qatar and San Marino are, officially, the least green countries in the world. In these three states – and in the territory of Greenland (clearly a case for the Trades Descriptions Act) – forests make up exactly 0.0 % of the surface area: none of them have any woodlands at all. But what about Monaco?

We go to Monaco fairly regularly, and if there are any forests over there,

In Search of the Hidden Gardens of Monaco