Cannes Film Festival: not the only reason to visit

Cannes Film Festival: not the only reason to visit

The 69th edition(11-22 May) promises sparks,
but there’s more to the festival than great movies and fascinating stars…

It’s back on time, every May, but always with a new emotion – because the Cannes Film Festival is a feast for the soul of every cinephile. Because every year we can’t wait to know which cinematic masters will show off their art. And also because looks count: the festival lays a red carpet at the feet of enough glittering celebrities to delight every fashionista.

This year, given the filmmakers competing, it won’t be easy for the jury – chaired by Australian filmmaker George Miller – to choose the 2016 Palm d’Or winner. They may be regulars on the Croisette, but they always pleasantly surprise. Pedro Almodóvar, Sean Penn, the Dardenne brothers, Olivier Assayas, Ken Loach, the young revelation Xavier Dolan, Jim Jarmusch, Park Chan-Wook, Nicolas Winding Refn, and Asghar Farhadi are just some of the directors in the race. The festival’s side and out-of-competition sections look promising, too, with directors such as Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen and Jodie Foster screening world premieres of their latest efforts.

And don’t forget the stars. Autograph books and camera phones at the ready! We’ll be able to gape at luminaries such as George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Charlize Theron, Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe, Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Marion Cotillard, and Steve Carell as they walk the red carpet.

Charlize Theron on the Red Carpet

However, Cannes is not only a must-visit destination for “seventh art” enthusiasts. Visiting in May means seeing it in all its glory and experiencing the glamorous, chic atmosphere that has made it legendary across the world.

Your trip should start on the Promenade de la Croisette, a two-kilometer boulevard along the shores of the French Riviera, bordered by sandy beaches on one side and luxury hotels and boutiques on the other. Here, you’ll find the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès – the heart of the Film Festival – in front of which stars have left their handprints on the Chemin des Étoiles (just like Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in LA). Strolling along the Croisette between the palm trees that now symbolize the city, you enter a world where elegance and charm reign supreme, and where the alluring promise of famous brands draws stars and wealthy tourists.

Hotel Carlton

If you aren’t tired of luxury, you should also stop at the marina, the Vieux Port, where there are yachts almost as large as cruise ships, furnished according to the latest interior design trends. With a hectic calendar of international exhibitions of boats and yachts, a motor show, royal racings, and fireworks, the old port never sleeps. But if you need some peace and quiet, take an excursion from here to the nearby Lerins Islands, a triumph of nature.

The port is located on the southeast of Suquet hill, the old town, which offers a breathtaking view over the bay and captures the charm of the medieval fortifications that once surrounded it. Characterized by picturesque winding streets, the Suquet shows you the other Cannes – that of the bastions, the surviving square tower, the little old churches and the restaurants serving local dishes. Always a destination for rich vacationers, Cannes boasts a great collection of villas. Villa Rothschild stands above all. It was built in 1881 for a baroness and is a shining example of the Neo-Classical style, surrounded by a beautiful garden.

Visiting Cannes also means enjoying the famous Provencal sun (which fascinated the greatest French artists) on one of the many city beaches, and sampling the local oysters with their unmistakable taste of the sea. Later, throw yourself headlong into posh nightlife, which lives for the thrill of gambling in the three casinos.

Port of Cannes

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