Cannes is a French city that is one of the most well known cities of the Riviera. The city covers an area of seven and a half square miles and has a population of over seventy thousand residents. The city of Cannes is home to a large number of gated communities and is known for its array of fine restaurants, luxury shopping and fine hotels. The city is also a popular tourist destination and every year hosts the Cannes Film Festival. Other festivals that are held in the city include Midem, The Pan-African Film Festival, The International Actors’ Performance Festival, Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, Mipim, Mipcom and MIPTV, The International Festival of Games, Carnival on the Riviera, The International Luxury Travel Market, Festival de la Plaisance and Le Festival d’Art Pyrotechnique.
The city can trace its historical roots back to the tenth century, when the town was known as Canua. Many historians believe that this name is derived from the word “canna”, which means reed in English. It started out as a Ligurian port, and would later become a Roman outpost. Multiple attacks by the Saracens prompted the building of a castle in the eleventh century, which was now known as Cannes. During the nineteenth century, several railways were finished which linked the city with the rest of France. As a result, the city began a period of massive development. By the time the twentieth century arrived, Cannes was beginning to build luxury hotels such as the Martinez and the Miramar. Tourism in the area began to rise and the city transformed itself from a rural town to a modern city compleat with schools, street cars, a sports arena and a post office. After World War I, European visitors to the city began to decline and American tourists started arriving in the city in droves. Pretty soon, winter tourism gave way to summer tourism and a casino called the Palm Beach was built.
A popular attraction of the city of Cannes is not located in the city proper. Its two islands, Île Sainte-Marguerite and Ile Saint-Honorat, collectively known as the Iles de Lerins. Ile Sainte-Marguerite is the largest of the islands and is located about a half mile from the city. The island is a little over a mile in length and about twenty-eight hundred feet wide. The island has a very low profile and is populated with eucalyptus trees and umbrella pines. On the island is the village of Sainte-Marguerite, which contains around twenty buildings or so. Most of these are the residences of the local fishermen, but there are a couple of buildings which sell refreshments to tourists. At one time there was a hotel on the island, but that has been closed for the past few years. Sainte-Marguerite is most well known as being the location of Fort Royal, a fort where the ‘Man in the Iron Mask’ was imprisoned during the seventh century. Fort Royal is now being used as youth hostel. Not far from the fort is a small French cemetery that contains the remains of soldiers who died during the Crimean War. Next to this cemetery, is another cemetery that contains Allied African soldiers who were killed during World War II. Ile Saint-Honorat is a mile from the city of Cannes and is approximately a mile in length and twelve hundred feet wide. The island contains a monastery that houses about thirty Cistercian monks. Also located on the island are historic chapels, a Napoleonic cannon ball oven and a artillery piece from World War II. Iles de Lerins are a popular location for visitors looking for a retreat into nature or for those who love to enjoy the ocean by swimming or wave riding.
Another popular attraction in the city of Cannes is the Palais des Festivals et des Congres. This attraction was originally built during the 1940s as a building to house the Cannes Film Festival. Its original placement was on Promenade de la Croisette (which is now the location of Hotel Palais). When the festival became an international success, Cannes decided to build a new Palais at the end of 1979. In 1982, the new building was finished and over the years it has expanded dramatically. Today, it has over seventy-five thousand square feet available for exhibitions and contains eighteen auditoriums.
A popular museum to visit during your stay in Cannes is the Musée national de l’automobile. This museum is located in nearby Mulhouse and is home to the Schlumpf Collection of classic cars. The museum is listed as a National Heritage Site by France and contains over five hundred and twenty automobiles. Cars that are in its collection include eight Alfa Romeos, four Bentleys, eleven Gordinis, seven Maybach, fourteen Rolls Royces, seven Velos, twenty-nine Peugeots, three Georges Richards, four Lotus’, twenty-two Mercedes-Benz, two Delaunay-Belleville, ten Citroen, seven Hispano Suiza, two Farman, one hundred and twenty four Bugatti, twenty-nine De Dion-Bouton and nineteen Panhard & Levassor.
Other attractions in the city of Cannes include La Croisette, Forville Market, Musee de la Mer, Morrisons Lounge, Musee de la Castre, Rue Meynadier, Parfumerie Bouteille, Carlton Casino Club, Plage du Martinez, Jimmy’z, Le Cat-Corner, InterContinental Carlton Beach, Le Croisette Casino Barriere de Cannes, Jane’s Club, Disco Le Sept, Bar des Stars, Petit Majestic, Galerie Alexandre Leadouze, Intersport la Hutte, Hall des Sports, Office du tourisme de la Gare, Galerie de Cannes, Eglise Reformee de France, Cannes English Books, Caviar House, Agatha, Aquarella, Bang et Olufsen, Azur Press and Le Bar a Vin. The city is also home to numerous restaurants, cafes and hotels. Popular restaurants in the city include Restaurant Le Voilier, Restaurant Le Caveau 30, Novotel Cannes Montfleury 4, Palais Stéphanie by Sofitel and Hotel Chateau de La Tour. Prominent hotels in the city of Cannes include Hotel Novotel Cannes Montfleury, Hotel Grand Mercure Croisette Beach, Hotel Amarante, Hotel Carlton Inter Continental Cannes, Hotel l’Esterel Cannes and Hotel de l’Olivier.