Cannes, between tradition and the future

In March, the French city becomes a world epicentre of real estate with the MIPIM fair. A good opportunity to experience the charm of an ancient city combined with design

Cannes - Photo © Stockbym
Cannes - Photo © Stockbym

From 12 to 15 March, Cannes hosts MIPIM, one of the world’s must-attend events in the real estate sector: one goes there to discover projects “in the making”, to network, to do business. La città è al cuore di una baia ricca di gioielli architettonici nascosti: il più famoso è il Palais Bules, villa visionaria costruita tra il 1979 e il 1984. Progettata dall’architetto ungherese Antti Lovag fu la residenza estiva di Pierre Cardin, oggi in vendita e saltuariamente affittato a privati in occasione di eventi speciali. Da vedere anche le case-scultura di Jacques Couëlle, costruite negli anni ’60. Anche la città è ricca di angoli da visitare, tra cultura e design.

Palais Bulles, Théoule-sur-Mer, France
Palais Bulles, Théoule-sur-Mer, France

Promenade de la Croisette
It is impossible to be in the city and not succumb to the charms of the Croisette, the long boulevard that runs along the coast. This long, tree-lined boulevard is overlooked by some of the best-known luxury hotels, such as the Hotel Barrière Le Majestic, present since 1926, buildings capable of narrating an unforgettable era, of the city and 20th-century Europe, when Cannes and the Côte d’Azur were the centre of the beautiful world.

Hotel Barrière Le Majestic, Cannes - Photo © sylv1rob1
Hotel Barrière Le Majestic, Cannes – Photo © sylv1rob1

Marché Forville
This is the oldest market in Cannes, built in 1884 and covered in 1932. Open to the public every morning until 1 p.m., on Mondays the covered space hosts a very popular flea market. And in the future, its roof will become a public garden, with a design inspired by the Mediterranean maquis.

Cineum Cannes - Photo © Lisa Ricciotti
Cineum Cannes – Photo © Lisa Ricciotti

Palais des Festivals
In addition to being the home of the MIPIM, this is the palace where the Cannes Film Festival is celebrated every year. Next to it is the Avenue of Stars with the footprints of actors and directors (in the style of the Hollywood Walk of Fame). Still on the subject of cinema, in the brand new Bastide Rouge district is the Cineum Cannes, with its geometric and striking volume by acclaimed architect Rudy Ricciotti, considered one of the most avant-garde cinemas in the country.

Île Saint-Honorat, Lérins Abbey, Cannes - Photo © Giovanni Callea
Abbey of Lérins, Île Saint-Honorat, Cannes – Photo © Giovanni Callea

Île Saint-Honorat
Do you have the time and desire for a little adventure by sea? A ferry will take you in no time to the beautiful Île Saint-Honorat, not even two kilometres from the coast. The island is home to an ancient fortified monastery dating back to the 5th century: an excursion will provide an opportunity to discover the Abbey of Lérins with its cloister and vineyards still cultivated by Cistercian monks.

Le Suquet district, Cannes - Photo © Gala_K
Le Suquet district, Cannes – Photo © Gala_K

Le Suquet
This is the heart of Cannes, the old, perched district. The name, in fact, means ‘summit’, from an ancient Provençal word, and it is from here that you can admire the whole city from above. Don’t miss a tour of the tower, which you will reach after (!) 114 steps.

Vieux Port, Cannes - Photo © Marco Rubino
Vieux Port, Cannes – Photo © Marco Rubino

The Old Port
Descending from Le Suquet, at its foot you will find the Vieux Port, where you can get lost among the small fishing boats: the oldest part is the Quai St Pierre, dating back to 1838.

Maison de la Mobilite, Palm Bus Mobility House, Cannes - Photo © ArtMediaFactory
Maison de la Mobilite, Palm Bus Mobility House, Cannes – Photo © ArtMediaFactory

From Impressionists to graffiti art
For art enthusiasts, a trip to the Musée de la Castre, which houses works from the post-impressionist era, is a must. But there is also art in the open air: this is the route of the murals, which runs through the city involving some of the streets in the centre, from the Old Port to the Croisette. The project has existed since 2002: a free map with all the addresses marked, Murs Peints de Cannes, can be obtained from the tourist office.

Rue d'Antibes, Cannes - Photo © Travel-Fr
Rue d’Antibes, Cannes – Photo © Travel-Fr

The design district
Cannes is at the heart of an area with a high real estate and tourist value, and it is only natural that a ‘design district’ has formed. Its heart is rue d’Antibes, parallel to the Croisette. There are flagship stores around it – such as Boffi | De Padova (6 rue de Constantine) or Poliform (94 boulevard de la Coirsette) – but also multi-brand spaces such as Danish Design (9 rondpoint Duboys d’Angers), Design Room (4 place du Commandant Lamy) and LBH (an acronym that stands for Luxe, Bain & Habitat – 4 rue de Constantine).