The former home of Pablo Picasso and a principal spot on the glamorous, 20th-century French Riviera, the enchanting seaside town of Antibes was a highly anticipated part of our itinerary. Part laid-back beach resort, part quaint Provençal town, it delivers oozes of charm around every corner. We hopped on a train from Nice on our last day to explore the old town and its historic art scene.
A must-visit in Antibes is the Musée Picasso, a small but beautiful collection of the artist’s paintings housed in a former chateau set against the backdrop of the French Riviera’s azure blue waters. Displayed amongst Picasso’s art is the work of other talented artists, my favourite being Edik Steinberg and Anna-Eva Bergman. We spent the morning admiring each painting and falling in love with the charming colours gracing the gallery walls.
One of the most notable aspects of the Picasso museum is its atmospheric setting, a far cry from Nice’s Musée Matisse we visited the previous day. Here, the outside was just as captivating as the interior: the castle walls opening up to a view of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea with sculptures by Germaine Richier and Joan Miró delicately catching the light. I would have happily spent all day out on the terrace.
However, the rest of Antibes was calling, and believing that the best way to experience a place is to simply wander, we did just that. With the museum situated only steps from the tiny alleyways of Antibes, we quickly found ourselves in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the old town. We browsed the little stores lining the sides of the marketplace, including a lovely small art gallery where I found this pretty postcard, and admired our delightful surroundings. Everything was perfectly French, and significantly more Provençal than we were used to in Vieux-Nice.
Taste buds tingling, we turned to our second favourite way of getting a taste of our destination, quite literally, with a stop for delicious, homemade pizza on one of the many restaurant terraces spilling out onto the streets. Félix Café stood out to us with its refreshing turquoise table settings, a welcome in the midday heat. We picked a table in the shade and reenergised with seafood toppings, olives and ice-cold Diet Cokes, taking in the slow, unhurried pace around us: tourists passing by, locals basking in the beauty of their home, an air of easiness around us. Before we knew it, it was time to make our way back to Nice and say goodbye to a wonderful few days on the French Riviera.