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La Ciotat, France

La Ciotat, France

JOURNAL : May 12, 2002

The Lovely Côte d’Azur

Côte d’Azur > France

Series The Lovely Côte d’Azur

Marseilles to Milan

On this leg we were exploring the lovely coastline of the French and Italian Rivieras, then through the great northern central valley of Italy. In four days we must check in at Milan.

The pace was leisurely while at our destinations, and brisk between them.

Fort in Marseilles, France, near the Harbor

Fort in MarseillesView All Sizes

From Marseilles

In Marseilles we rented yet another car and proceeded along the coastal highway. This star-shaped fort is just about the last we saw of Marseilles, as well as about the only photo I have of the city during our overnight stay there. The marina was attractive but we were heading for bluer seas.

Mas Djoliba

Lunch at La Ciotat

So we ducked into La Ciotat after a short drive and had a delicious meal on the beach. Just about all the food we've ever had in France has been savory in both taste and atmosphere. This was also the first time we'd glimpsed the Mediterranean and Liz's eternal quest for clear blue water was once again fulfilled as you can see.

Villefranche sur Mer on the Cote d’Azur

Saint Jean Cap FerratView All Sizes

Plage Des Ondes, Cap d’Antibes, Cote d’Azur, France

Plage Des Ondes, Cap d’AntibesView All Sizes

A Few Days in Antibes

Passing through Cannes we eventually got into Antibes, our destination, and that adventure is here. When we continued on from Antibes the first town we hit was...


The view below here is from the hills of eastern Nice, with Villefranche-sur-Mer on the other side. In the middle photo, in the far distance is Cap d'Antibes, where we had come from.

Nice, Cote d’Azur

Beautiful Nice, Cote d’AzurView All Sizes

Nice, Cote d’Azur

View of Nice, Cote d’AzurView All Sizes

Nice, Cote d’Azur

The City of Nice, Cote d’AzurView All Sizes

Apricots on the Italian Riviera, Italy

Apricots, Italian RivieraView All Sizes

Villefranche sur Mer on the Cote d’Azur


The coastline is exceedingly lovely and the roads wind in and out of spectacular views frequently. A mist drifted in and laid a soft backdrop. We stopped on a high road and bought a box of ripe local fruit, gorging for a long time thereafter.

Looking West toward Monte Carlo and the Palace, Monaco

Monte Carlo

The Principality of Monaco

And suddenly there was Monte Carlo and we were driving through its narrow streets. The Palace was on the right and we were careful not to crash into any of the fine automobiles being driven around. More about that here.

Viaduc du Pala. A tunnel along La Provençale, France

Tunnels of La Provençale, FranceView All Sizes

Views of Town on the Cote d’Azur

Part of Nice, Cote d’AzurView All Sizes

Bridges and Tunnels

Soon we got into the most stunning Land of Tunnels and Bridges where the coast hits the foothills of the Alps and the people begin to speak Italian rather than French. The amazing tunnels are often followed by magnificent bridges spanning vast valleys skirting the Riviera. Much of the land is devoted to farming and agricultural projects with towns nestled here and there.

The Po Valley

After crossing over the coastal mountains we entered the vast Po Valley. The freeway straightened out and got wider. Traffic thickened, with much more commercial traffic. Many people drove very fast and aggressively, but most everyone seemed to possess an awareness of the road rules, and due caution. The fog in the area is notorious, once causing a huge accident involving 300 cars at the other end of the valley near Venice.

La Ciotat, France

About this day

The Lovely Côte d’Azur

May 12, 2002

Côte d’Azur > France

Tags   Driving · Cities · Beaches · Ocean

France Series | All France Locations

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A Gondola under a Bridge in Venice

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Neither Here Nor There

Unfortunately I've got no pictures of Milan. I'm sure I took some but the film is lost. But we got lots of other great shots here and there. Did we adequately cover our trek on this page? Okay, we left Marseilles and there's Liz at La Ciotat, the city of Cannes and Antibes, Nice and Villefranche sur Mer and the apricots of course, and then through the tunnels and inland towards Milan. Yep, that's it. The next place we got any cool shots was in Venice.

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