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Cannes: the film festival and other things to see

The coastal city in the south of France hosted its famous festival again this year, but Cannes is not shining with Hollywood actors alone


Irina Shayk and Bella Hadid, Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart and Dua Lipa and Romain Gavras, Robert De Niro and Tiffany Chen, Evan Ross-Naess and Ashelee Simpson, Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander. These, and not only these personalities, have been strolling in the last few days on the Croisette, the promenade of the city of Cannes on which the famous red carpet is laid out. In order to allow them to reach the Palace that hosts the renowned and age-old Film Festival (that of 2023 was the 76th edition), it overlooks the Plage Macé and the old port, where some of the newest and most gigantic yachts plying the Mediterranean dock.

And although walking under the sides of these real ships is not an activity to be underestimated, Cannes offers other interesting attractions to tourists and travellers.

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Un post condiviso da Festival de Cannes (@festivaldecannes)

Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, after extensive renovation work, it presents itself in all its splendour, with the grand staircase, an ideal setting for souvenir photos and excellent “instagram opportunity”. Its perimeter is marked by the Walk of Stars, on which more than 140 great actors have left their handprints and signatures since 1983.

The old Chemin de la Petite Croix has become the Côte d'Azur's most famous promenade, the Croisette. Palm trees, palaces, luxury boutiques, multi-star hotels and sumptuous Art Deco buildings line the boulevard that looks out to the sea and the Lerins Islands.

The two islands, Sainte Marguerite and Saint Honorat, are only 15 minutes by boat from the Quai Laubeuf of the old Port and offer an exceptional setting combining natural beauty and heritage value. Saint Marguerite Island is the larger of the two: 152 hectares of state forest, an extension of 3 kilometres, 22 kilometres of marked trails. In addition to the bird sanctuary, the island is known for the Iron Mask prison, with an adjoining sea museum. An old Vauban fortified building, unfortunately rather shabby, dominates St. Marguerite from a small rise, unfortunately offering a visit that falls rather short of expectations. Better therefore to make a quick pass and then enjoy the coast and the fragrant pine forest that shades the island.

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Saint Honorat, on the other hand, is only one and a half kilometres long and 400 metres wide. Here stands the Abbey of the Monks of Lérins, founded in the 5th century by the Cistercian monk Honorat. Unspoilt places, tranquillity and spirituality go hand in hand with the Abbey's wine and spirits.

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Un post condiviso da Doney D 📷 (@doney_d)

Back on dry land, all that remains is to discover the historical heart of Cannes, the Suquet district. Perched on a small hill, the suburb offers a beautiful panorama of the entire city, the bay, the islands, the Croisette and the old port. The visit cannot end without a tour of the city's medieval remains, the Museum of World Explorations and the square tower.

Illustration by Gloria Dozio - Acrimònia Studios