This time, as part of our rubric about cities that are located in the neighbourhood of Monaco, we will tell you about the commune, located 45 km from the principality – Antibes and Quartier Juan-les-Pins. Antibes is considered to be the second largest city of the Côte d’Azur of France, having an area of almost 27 km². Being the largest yacht port in the world, Antibes became a favourite place of residence and recreation for many famous personalities from the 19th century until now. Additionally, every year the city attracts a huge number of tourists from all over the world, in order to enjoy the sights and fine cuisine of the “pearl” of the French Riviera.
From antiquity to modern times
Talking about the history of the city, you can see that its origins go back to the 5th century BC, when the ancient Greeks discovered the trade location called Antipolis. It was located on the site of the modern port. Later, the city was captured by the Romans, who played an important role in the economic development of the city, selling wine, oil and ceramics. At the same time, local resources started to be used commercially; fish and salt were used to make garum (An ancient Roman fish sauce made from blood and fish entrails by fermentation).
After the fall of the Roman Empire, Antipolis changed its name to Antibulus, and in 442 the first bishop, Saint-Hermentaire was settled there. Shortly after, the city fell into the possession of the state of Genoa, which continued developing Antibes.
By the end of the XIV century, Antibes was settled by the French. They managed to transform the port of Antibes into a “fishing town”, which led to the expansion of its territory. Further, Port Vauban was completed in the 18th century, and at that time the tourist interest in the city also emerged, as even artists, politicians, celebrities considered Antibes as the main destination for various events and, obviously, just for a peaceful vacation.
Nevertheless, the history showed that Antibes really revived with the arrival of American youth in Juan-les-Pins in the beginning of the 20th century. Then the town turned into a true youth resort, decorated with beautiful young people, jazz music and colourful retro cars.
Who walked along these streets?
Evidently, Antibes and Juan-les-Pins were always visited by many celebrities. Exciting landscapes and architecture together make something special that nobody can deny. Looking for inspiration, one of the greatest English writers and philosophers of the 20th century, Aldous Huxley moved there for seven years. His novel “Brave New World” was written on the French Riviera, and the “Great Gatsby” of Fitzgerald was also“born” on the Cote d’Azur.
In fact Antibes is also well-known as the principal destination of the most renowned artists. Paul Signac often depicted Antibes (“Storm”) on his canvases. Pablo Picasso was so inspired by the Antibes landscape that he decided to buy a villa there. Today, while walking on the streets it is easy to come across notes on the menu stating that Picasso used to eat there or on the visible boards in the boutiques where the Maestro used to shop. The museum of the most “expensive” artist in the world is located in the castle, where he rented a room, while mastering the basics of fine art. The next fan of Antibes is musician Bono (frontman of U2). Being a resident of the Riviera, he was often seen taking an aperitif in the bars of Antibes.
It’s not a secret that Antibes is also called the “Cape of Millionaires.” For example, Roman Abramovich is a permanent resident of Cap D’Antibes. In addition, the luxurious Hotel du Cap Eden-Roc is a so-called mecca for the stars of the world’s show business. Paris Hilton, Karl Lagerfeld, Robert De Niro, Gwen Stefani, Milla Jovovich, Brad Pitt, Heidi Klum, Donatella Versace, Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Sharon Stone – it’s just a small list of all the celebrities who have been here.
Must See, Must Eat
In a bustling city, you will not get bored, because the abundance of cultural and historical attractions, entertainment centres, luxury restaurants and shopping locations is really teeming. The cultural programme of each must include the following locations: Grimaldi Castle, built in the 12th century, and which served as a home for Pablo Picasso; the Picasso Museum, which is not only collected works by Picasso, but also masterpieces of various famous artists of the 20th century; Fort Carré, and, of course, one of the most beautiful parks of the Côte d’Azur, Jardin Thuret.
Do not forget to include in your entertainment programme the dolphins of Marineland, the Jungle Butterfly and the Provencal farm, where everyone will have the opportunity to personally get acquainted with different animals; isn’t it a paradise for kids?
For those who cannot imagine their life without gastronomic delights, Antibes offers a generous selection of restaurants. In this list there are even restaurants carrying the title of the Red Michelin Guide.
Le Bacon with 1 Michelin star already has 60 years of experience. The family restaurant, specialising in fish dishes, has gained worldwide popularity, beginning its gastronomic activity in 1948 with Buffet de Bacon, where the best on the Cote d’Azur such as pan bagnat, beer and lemonade were served. With the passage of time, the Sordello family started serving traditional regional dishes the fish soup “buyabes” and deep-fried fish. Later on, with the help of chef Serge Filipinn, they created a new menu which included a huge selection of seafood, which you should try at least once in lifetime.
The second place having the Michelin star on the Cape Antibes is the restaurant Les Pêcheurs, where chef Nicolas Rondelli constantly surprises visitors with the delights of Mediterranean cuisine.
Thus in our series on neighbourhood cities located near Monaco, Antibes is surely one to delight you whether you want to see history or stars, or simply enjoy delicious gastronomy.