After a beautiful, sunny (and dare I say potentially trop chaud) week in Nice – the heavens finally opened. Unfortunately, this coincided with our evening excursion to the nearby town of Antibes! Despite the weather, the show must go on and we were able to see this charming town even under gloomy conditions.
Although Antibes is widely known today as the sought-after celebrity location full of luxury hotels, the town has a rich and varied history of which we were able to discover more during our tour of the old town.
Initially founded by the Greeks, Antibes (then Antipolis) acted as a point of trade. During its period of Roman occupation, Antibes expanded and became even more important particularly for wine, ceramics and oil. In fact, Antibes’s port: Port Vauban is one of the largest in Europe and today is packed with luxury yachts.
Antibes was also important because while Nice was under the rule of the House of Savoy, Antibes acted as a border town between the Duchy of Savoy and France. When Nice became officially part of France in 1860, Antibes no longer need to serve the purpose of stronghold and as a result, some of the city walls were knocked down exposing the stunning countryside of the Cap d’Antibes.
However, whilst waiting out the rain, we took refuge in a restaurant just inside of the old town’s walls. Originally, the plan was to have some refreshments but this soon extended into dinner as the rain continued to threaten our visit! The restaurant had a large variety of food and drinks; there was something for everyone, including traditional French crêpes – an essential during any trip to France!
Some of the highlights of our tour included the ‘Place National’, the main square, which historically was where the residents of Antibes would meet to discuss political affairs and the running of the town. As well as, the huge sculpture, ‘Nomade’, by Jaume Plensa made up of steel letters but with a large gap where the man’s mouth would be, representing the breath-taking nature of the port and its surrounding views. We ended our evening with a quick dip in the sea which was, surprisingly, not very cold even with all of that rain!
If you get the chance to go to Antibes yourself, be sure to check out its Picasso museum situated in the seaside ‘Château Grimaldi’ or… why not join alpha.b on our next trip there?!
To find out more about some of the activities that we organise at alpha.b, visit our website: https://www.alpha-b.fr/en/activites-at-alpha-b/