LAGERFELD’S FORMER MONEGASQUE VILLA HOSTS NOMAD DESIGN FAIR

Une des plus belles villas de la Côte d’Azur. One of the most beautiful villas on the French Riviera.

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The inaugural Nomad Design Fair, which ran from the 27th to the 30th of April, provided the visitor with a unique opportunity to discover what is widely considered as one of the most beautiful properties on the French Riviera – La Vigie.

Built in 1902 for Sir William Ingram, the villa boasts magnificent panoramic views of the Mediterranean, the Principality, and the bay of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. At the time of its construction, the gardens were full of rare animals, tropical birds and predators, including eagles and condors, and served as the perfect location for the owner’s extravagant parties.

The atmosphere, however, changed dramatically during World War II when the villa became an observation post for the occupying German forces, who did not think twice about turning the gardens into trenches covered with barbed wire and mine fields.

Thankfully, the grounds were restored to their former glory in the 1950’s and the villa became home to the Grimaldi family. Later on during the 1990’s, it was the residence of one of the world’s most famous fashion designers, Karl Lagerfeld.

These days, La Vigie is an exclusive hotel catering to high society guests, and can be rented on a weekly or monthly basis.

With its monumental entrance hall, impressive staircase, high ceilings, its many columns and fireplaces, large terrace, tree-covered park and private road, the property definitely provides for a chic and trendy getaway.

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As for Nomad, it will now live up to its name, travelling to different destinations each year in order to offer art aficionados an original experience, and create “an event that is bespoke, intimate and that presents work in a radically new context”. Nonetheless, with their choice of La Vigie this year, the organizers have well and truly set the bar very high for future venues to follow!

 

All images courtesy Nomad Monaco

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THE FRENCH RIVIERA TO CELEBRATE CENTENARY OF JFK’S BIRTH

JFK aurait eu 100 ans cette année. JFK would have turned 100 this year.

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To celebrate the centenary of the birth of JFK, famed writer and producer Frédéric Lecomte-Dieu will be curating a one-off photo exhibition “John F. Kennedy 1917 – 2017” in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin.

The exhibition runs from the 15th to the 30th of May at the Mairie in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, one of the Kennedys’ favourite holiday destinations, and will shed light on the life and career of the most popular American president in history. Just one of the many events that will be organized in 2017 on the French Riviera in honour of JFK!

In parallel to the main exhibition, 100 captioned pictures will be available for 24 hours only on the centenary website. This temporary display will take place on the 29th of May, the actual birthday of the late president.

On the 21st of July, Lecomte-Dieu will present his one-man show, “Dallas ! On a tiré sur le président Kennedy” at the Palais de l’Europe in Menton. For an hour and a half, he will give a voice to some 10 characters, including Lyndon Baines Johnson, Robert Kennedy, J.Edgar Hoover, Martin Luther King, Pierre Salinger, and Richard Nixon, as they pay their respects to the 35th president as his coffin lies in repose in the East Room of the White House.

Lecomte-Dieu has been working as a biographer of the famous clan since 1995, in collaboration with the U.S. National Archives and the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston. His extraordinary work has earned him praise from the highest levels of American government, notably during the 1998 exhibition, “Kennedy – The American Dream”. Since then he has continued to show his extensive collection of pictures throughout the world. The “Generation Kennedy” exhibition in 2001 at the Métropole Shopping Centre in Monte-Carlo attracted nearly 300,000 visitors. He is also regularly invited to speak at conferences, and is usually the first port of call for the French-speaking media each time there is some breaking news concerning the Kennedys.

PHILIP KERR AND THE DARK SIDE OF THE FRENCH RIVIERA

Une idée de lecture pour l’été! A good read for this summer!

English novelist and playwright W. Somerset Maugham used to describe the French Riviera as “a sunny place for shady people.” And he knew what he was talking about since he called it home for more than 30 years.

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Now, decades later, New York Times-bestselling author Philip Kerr is paying tribute to both Maugham and the South of France by placing both in the middle of his new novel, the 11th volume of his highly successful mystery series featuring ex-Berlin-policeman-turned-cynical-anti-fascist-detective, Bernie Gunther.

Once an unwilling Nazi during World-War II, Gunther now works under the pseudonym of Walter Wolf as a concierge in the luxurious Grand Hotel in Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat. It is 1956 and he is looking forward to a more peaceful existence, even though the job bores him. But of course, nothing goes according to plan as our hero becomes attracted to a middle-aged American woman, Anne French, a journalist working on a biography of Somerset Maugham. To help her get some inside information, he accepts an invitation to join Maugham’s bridge group, which meets at the magnificent Villa Mauresque. When he discovers that Gunther was previously a homicide detective, the famed author confides to him that he is being blackmailed over some old photos taken in 1937 at his swimming pool with a group of naked men, one of whom is the infamous spy, Guy Burgess, whom, along with Donald Maclean, has recently defected to Moscow.

The blackmailer is Harold Hennig, a former captain in the Nazi security service, responsible for the death of thousands of people, including a woman Gunther once loved.

As often, Kerr likes to run two timelines with linked or similar cases, which allow him to explore Bernie’s exploits in a non-linear manner and help his readers understand how the hideous events the hero suffered or witnessed have had an effect on his psyche.

The Other Side of Silence was released last year in the U.K. and the U.S., but has just been translated into French as Les Pièges de l’Exil. However, English-speaking fans can now discover the latest adventures of Bernie Gunther with Prussian Blue, which has just been published, once again using the French Riviera as its backdrop.

INTERNATIONAL PRODUCTION SHOT ON THE RIVIERA PROMISES TO BE THE NEXT BIG TV HIT

Glamour, drame, fourberie…C’est la recette de Riviera,  une production internationale qui devrait être le prochain gros succès télé. Glamour,  drama, double-dealing…That’s the recipe of Riviera, an international production that should be the next big TV hit.

Shot last summer on our shores, Sky Atlantic’s eagerly anticipated drama Riviera got its big debut recently at miptv, in front of players from the TV and digital industry.

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There could not have been a more appropriate setting for the world premiere of Riviera, a new 10-part television series which is all about complex relationships and audacious excesses in the sun drenched luxury of the French Riviera!

Created by Oscar-winning writer and director Neil Jordan (The Borgias, The Crying Game), based on an idea by former U2 manager, Paul McGuiness, and co-written by Booker Prize-winning author John Banville (The Sea), the glamour thriller tells the story of Midwestern girl, Georgina, played by Hollywood star Julia Stiles (Jason Bourne) who was married to billionaire and art collector Constantine Clios, played by Anthony LaPaglia (Lantana), until his demise in a yacht explosion. As she tries to uncover the truth about his death, the heroine slowly comes face to face with the extent of her husband’s questionable business dealings, as well as a world of deceit, depravity, and corruption.

Aside from Stiles and LaPaglia, the international cast also includes some big names like Adrian Lester (London Spy) as Georgina’s friend and art dealer Robert Carver, Lena Olin (Chocolat) as Irina, the first wife of the dead man, and Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones) and Dimitri Leonidas (The Monument Men) as Constantine’s sons, Adam and Christos.

A murder, a glamorous location, a handful of colourful characters and a great dose of double-dealing, Riviera definitely has all the ingredients to become the next huge TV hit. While there are no fixed dates set for its release, the series is expected to launch in the UK and Ireland in late 2017, while many countries around the world have already bought the broadcasting rights.

 

All images courtesy Sky Atlantic

NADIA FRY HELPS TURN YOUR WEDDING DREAMS INTO REALITY

Entretien avec Nadia Fry pour Riviera Buzz. Interview with Nadia Fry for Riviera Buzz.

Nadia Fry had always dreamed of running her own business, and recently decided to launch her own wedding planning venture.

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Born in Latvia, Nadia Fry has spent many years working in the field of luxury. She recently launched her own wedding planning company, putting her organizational skills and creative vision at the service of couples who have big expectations for their special day.

First of all, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

My name is Nadia Fry, I was born in Riga, Latvia (Baltic States). My parents are originally from Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Following studies in Latvia, England, Italy and France, I have worked in different luxury environments. Most recently, I spent seven years in the yachting industry. I am married to an amazing Frenchman, and we have two beautiful children, Jules and Naomi.

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What inspired you to become a wedding planner?

I have always dreamt of running my own business, and a couple of years ago, I felt I was ready for it. To be a wedding planner means putting all my knowledge, experiences, passions, talents together in order to help people live their dreams.

What is your signature style?

I love nature. Even if every wedding is very individual, I prefer bohemian, rustic, and vintage styles. My favourite parts are the floral design and the coordination of the wedding day, when I can use my creativity and foreign language skills.

In your opinion, what are the required qualities to be a good wedding planner?

First of all, you have to be a nice person, very open-minded, able to manage stressful situations, multifunctional, creative, and have good taste.

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What do you find the most challenging about your work?

The biggest challenge is meeting my client’s expectations while respecting their budget and creating the dream they have in mind!

And the most rewarding?

When the couple trust you completely and when they are happy with the organisation of their wedding.

Have you already noticed any hot wedding trends for the upcoming year?

More and more people like natural styles, where you can see a lot of green decoration with eucalyptus, olive, rosemary branches. White is still used a lot, but often it is mixed with bright colours, like purple, blue, pink, and so on. Natural materials are used for the decoration, like wood, linen and stones. Simple things.

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What advice would you give to couples who are in the midst of planning their special day? How involved should they be in the whole process?

It is very individual, actually. People think that a wedding planner is an additional cost, but the reality is that thanks to a wedding planner the couple can save time and money, because wedding planners are in contact with the best suppliers and can benefit from the best rates. Some couples give free rein to the wedding planner, some other only delegate one part of the organisation. Well, the best thing to do in any case is to choose a person / wedding planner that you trust.

Your company organizes weddings in the south of France and the south of Italy. As for you, do you have one favorite spot in particular?

Well, there are so many magic places and it is not easy to pick.

In the South of Italy, I prefer Villa Scarpariello, an historic castle built on a sea cliff. This noble and enchanting aristocratic residence is situated in Marmorata di Ravello, one of the most exclusive and panoramic towns on the Amalfi Coast.

In the South of France, I would recommend getting married in the charming little villages of the Mercantour, like Saint-Martin Vésubie. Only an hour from the airport, you find the most beautiful and preserved natural grounds in the beautiful mountains with a true warm hospitality. This was my personal choice when I got married four years ago…

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Finally, what do you like about the French Riviera?

It is an amazing place! For me, it is magical to sit on the beach and see the mountains capped with snow. Italy is very close. Every town by the sea has its own charm and style. The little villages around are talking history and it seems that you are in a different reality.

Many thanks to Nadia for taking the time to talk to us. To find out more about Nadia’s work, be sure to visit her website

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All photos courtesy Nadia Fry

GRACE KELLY – THE MAGICAL YEARS

Quelques mois après son expo consacrée à Jackie Kennedy, la Galerie Ferrero à Nice salut la mémoire de Grace Kelly. A few months after his exhibit dedicated to Jackie Kennedy, the Galerie Ferrero in Nice pays tribute to Grace Kelly.

The wedding of Oscar winning-actress Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco remains a fairy tale story that still fascinates people the world over.

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When it comes to iconic figures, few women can compare with Grace Kelly. Just a few months after celebrating another fascinating personality, Jackie Kennedy, Galerie Ferrero in Nice has decided to relive the timeless magic of this love story, as well as the following decade that saw the movie queen blossoming into a real European princess.

Not surprisingly, the exhibit ‘Grace Princesse de Monaco’ starts with pictures of the actress on the set of “To Catch a Thief”, the Alfred Hitchcock movie that brought her to the French Riviera for the first time.

It follows on with the photo shoot for an editorial feature organized by Paris Match in 1955 between the American beauty and the Prince of Monaco. Grace, who was only 26 years old at the time, was attending the Cannes Film Festival while the Monegasque royal, at nearly 32, was one of Europe’s most eligible bachelors. Dressed in a beautiful floral dress, we see her wandering through the palace’s gardens and small zoo as she is falling in love with her prince.

Less than a year later, the whirlwind romance led to a beautiful religious ceremony, held at the cathedral in Monaco on the 18th of April, 1956. In front of 600 guests, the American actress became Her Serene Highness, Princess Grace of Monaco, and that was the beginning of what seemed to be for most onlookers an enchanted life on a little hilltop overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

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Through more photographs and official portraits, as well as a few personal artefacts, family memorabilia and movie posters, the exhibit goes on to explore both Grace’s public and private lives. It immerses the visitor in the years that followed the exchange of vows, the birth of their three children, and the new royals first steps into high society. The exhibition ends in the late 1960’s, with the movie star-turned-princess just celebrating her 40th birthday, having achieved the status of beacon of beauty, style and sophistication, a status that she still holds today, more than 30 years after her death.

Grace Princesse de Monaco’ runs until the 31st of August at Galerie Ferrero in Nice, and admission is €5 (€2 for students). Opening hours are Monday to Thursday from 2pm to 7pm and Friday and Saturday from 10am to 12pm and from 2pm to 7pm.

CONTACT DETAILS
Galerie Ferrero
6, rue du Congrès
06000 Nice

Tel: + 33 4 93 88 34 44

 

RUN’BOW COLORS™ COMES TO THE FRENCH RIVIERA

Le mois d’avril devrait être coloré sur la Côte d’Azur. The month of April should be colorful on the french Riviera.

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Colour runs are all the rage at the moment the world over, and La Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur welcomes one of these “happiest 5Ks on earth”.

After the first run in the south of France last October in Aix-en-Provence, the spotlight is now on Saint Laurent du Var, which hosts the first Run’Bow Colors™, to be held in early April. The run promotes fitness and good times in a friendly and non-competitive atmosphere for all participants.

Inspired by India’s Holi festival during which celebrants signify the death of winter and rebirth of spring by throwing coloured powder at each other, the event is a unique 5k that has already taken the U.S. by storm, and is now invading Europe. The first French edition was organized in 2014 in Paris and attracted about 13,000 runners, as well as one in Marseilles five months later.

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The race is only intended as pure fun – the goal is not to run fast or to challenge oneself but just to complete a 5km course while being plastered with non-toxic and non-allergic powdered paint (made of 100% natural food-grade cornstarch) in every colour of the rainbow.

Pretty much anyone can take part in the event, old and young, sport aficionados and first-time runners; the only requirement being for all participants to wear white clothing! Once the race starts, then it becomes a real colour fest: After the first kilometre, runners are doused in blue, after the second red, and so on, until the finish line when they are covered head-to-toe in every imaginable hue.

And if after all that, you feel that there is still something missing, then let the official DJs of the Run’Bow Colors™ carry you away on a wave of sound to wrap up this festive occasion.

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Run’Bow Colors™ takes place on Sunday 3rd of April at 2pm in Saint-Laurent du Var

 

All images courtesy Run’Bow Colors™

LA PAUSA IN CAP-MARTIN ACQUIRED BY HOUSE OF CHANEL

Premier article de l’année pour Riviera Buzz. first article of the year for Riviera Buzz.

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A splendid villa overlooking both the Mediterranean and Cap-Martin, uninhabited since 2007, and recently acquired by the House of Chanel.

88 years after one Gabrielle « Coco » Chanel purchased the land to built her dream vacation home, La Pausa, the House of Chanel has acquired the property and after renovation work to restore the villa to its original spirit, the famed fashion house is planning to dedicate the place to the brand and its values. The villa is the only of her houses that Mademoiselle had specially designed, built and decorated for her.

 

Chanel fell in love with the French Riviera during the 1920s while vacationing in the company of the Duke of Westminster with whom she had a long affair. Together, they commissioned architect Robert Streitz to build a villa in their image and likeness. So, while the duke’s bedroom was somber, Coco Chanel’s suite was full of colour, decorated with a pink canopy, mirrors and chandeliers. It was furnished in a simple and modern way and had many references to the the architecture of Aubazine, the former abbey transformed into an orphanage where Chanel spent a large part of her adolescence.

In La Pausa the couple would welcome some of the biggest artists of the time such as Jean Cocteau, Serge Lifar, Salvador Dali, Pierre Bonnard and Winston Churchill.

In 1954, following the Duke of Westminster’s death, Mademoiselle sold the villa fully furnished to Emery Reves, an American writer and publisher, who kept much of the decor in its original condition but brought a new burst of life back to the residence inviting friends such as Greta Garbo and Jackie Onassis.

The villa has however always held an important place in the fashion designer’s life and one of the perfumes of the collection Les Exclusifs is even called 28 La Pausa, with is not only a reference to this special place, but also to the year in which its story began.

 

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Lead image The Great Hall of La Pausa (as reconstructed at the Dallas Museum of Art) By Photo: User:FA2010Own work, Public Domain; image of La Pausa perfume courtesy Chanel website

 

Nice to Pay Tribute to the Amazing Work of Charlotte Salomon

Dernier article en date pour Riviera Buzz sur l’incroyable exposition des œuvres de Charlotte Salomon en février prochain à Nice. Latest article to date for Riviera Buzz about the the incredible exhibit of Charlotte Salomon’s work this coming February in Nice.

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All throughout 2016, the city of Nice will commemorate the dark years of World War II (1940-1944) with a wide and varied programme.

Included in the commemorations are ceremonies, tributes, meetings with personalities such as Serge Klarsfeld, as well as an incredible exhibit of no less than 300 pieces from Charlotte Salomon’s compelling artwork, Life? Or Theater? An Operetta. This will be a unique occasion to discover, or rediscover, the tragic tale of this young German artist who created her masterpiece right here on the French Riviera, while living as a refugee from Nazism.

Structured like a play and comprised of various scenes, dialogues and musical references, this massive work is a testament to Salomon’s unique artistic vision but also to her life, which started on the 16th of April, 1917 in Berlin. Born to Albert Salomon, a surgeon, and Fränze Grunwald, she was, despite her dad’s reluctance, named after her deceased aunt. When she was only nine, Charlotte’s mother committed suicide but in order to protect her from her maternal family’s terrible secret, the little girl was told she had died of influenza.

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After the Nazis came to power in 1933, the young Charlotte had to drop out from school. She still managed however to get admitted to the prestigious State Art Academy in Berlin a few years later, which only allowed 1.5% of Jews. This is during that time that she met and fell in love with Alfred Wolfson, a Jewish musician twice her age, who became the first person to believe in her. But then came Kristallnacht in 1938 and Charlotte was sent to live with her maternal grandparents who had found refuge in l’Ermitage, a beautiful villa located in Villefranche, at the invitation of Ottilie Moore, a wealthy American of German origin.

The reprieve did not last long. Soon after she arrived, her grandmother committed suicide in 1940 and Charlotte finally learned the awful truth that had long been kept from her, that is that eight other members of her family, including her mother and aunt, had taken their own lives. Terribly distraught and convinced she would be next, the young woman then decided to break the vicious circle and “to paint her life rather than to take it.” To do so, she moved to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat , and started working on her masterpiece in the gardens of the Hôtel Belle Aurore, overlooking the Mediterranean. In the space of two years, the young artist produced more than 1,370 notebook-size gouache paintings – only 795 were kept for the final version – with the bright colours used to recount her early life, darkening as the story moved along. To coordinate the various drawings, she included dialogues, at times witty, ironic or sad, to introduce the characters, scenes and situations, as well as some music, both classical (Schubert, Bizet…) and popular (famous German songs), anthems and even prayers. The project was finished in 1942 and if it may have been intended as a diary, the final result is first and foremost a spectacular and deeply moving piece of art.

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In one of the latest captions accompanying her paintings, Charlotte wrote “I will live my life for them all.” She unfortunately never had the time. In September 1943, the Italians, who until then had occupied the south of France, surrendered and the Germans moved into Nice. Soon thereafter, Nazi war criminal Alois Brunner, a top aide to Adolf Eichmann, started organizing some of the war’s most violent raids and on September 24, 1943, Charlotte and her husband were arrested in Villefranche. Deported to Auschwitz, Charlotte who was four-month pregnant, was immediately sent to her death.

Her short legacy however did survive. Probably feeling she was in danger, Charlotte had indeed managed to entrust her work with her physician and friend, Dr. Moridis of Villefranche “Keep this safe. It is my whole life,” shortly after finishing it. Dedicated to Ottilie Moore, it was donated to the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam by Charlotte’s father and stepmother after the war.

This museum is now lending all the pieces of art that will be on display from the 5th of February to the 24th of May at Musée Masséna. The vernissage will take place on the 4th of February at 7pm in the presence of Mayor Christian Estrosi and popular author David Foenkinos who recounted in 2014 the real life story of the painter in his book Charlotte.

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CONTACT DETAILS
Charlotte Salomon Vie ? ou Théâtre ?
Musée Masséna
65, rue de France
06200 Nice

Open every day except Tuesday from 10 am to 9 pm

 

Lead image “Charlotte Salomon painting in the garden about 1939” by UnknownMuseum page. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons; “Charlotte Salomon – JHM 4762 -Kristallnacht” by Charlotte SalomonMuseum page. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons; “Charlotte Salomon – JHM 4351” by Charlotte SalomonMuseum page. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons; photo of Musée Masséna courtesy Ville de Nice

 

LA FÊTE DE LA TRANSHUMANCE IN ROUBION, WHERE THE SHEEP IS KING

Récit dans riviera Buzz d’un dimanche ensoleillé à Rubion pour la Transhumance. Story in Riviera Buzz of a sunny Sunday in Rubion for the “Transhumance”.

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Every autumn, thousands of sheep leave behind the upland pastures where they spent a peaceful summer to find shelter in the low-lands.

And every year, this procession gives rise to the traditional Fête de la Transhumance in the village of Roubion, a perched village located on the descent from the Col de la Couillole.

Last Sunday, just a few hours after torrential rains transformed most of the French Riviera into a terrifying flood zone, the sun was back and people turned out in large number to cheer on the farmers, their dogs and their adorable woolly quadrupeds as they passed through the 12th century old village on their way to the Var.

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The festivities started at 8:30 am with the baking of bread, some traditional dancing and a craft market. Then it was time for everybody to gather on the main square to welcome the colourful and noisy procession (the sheep wore tags and the few goats that accompanied them tinkling collars) in a friendly atmosphere.

A bit behind schedule, the animals finally arrived around 11:45 am to the applause of the waiting crowd. If today most flocks are moved by large double-decker trucks, this annual celebration offers a unique opportunity to witness the sheep being herded down the small roads and to walk with them from the village to the station of Roubion Les Buisses, just a couple of kilometers away, to the sound of traditional Provençal music.

The hike is easy and takes about half an hour but for those who cannot walk, free shuttles are also available.

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Once in the station, the sheep continued grazing on the lush green pasture but the festivities did not end for the bipeds. Many stalls offered delicious food (cheese, sausages, ham, socca…), home-made jams and local wines, while a small farm provided for some great entertainment.

Roubion has been hosting this annual transhumance fête since 2003 and this year’s celebration once again offered a breath of fresh air – a nice parenthesis in a somewhat difficult weekend on the Côte d’Azur.