This month, we’ve decided to tell you about some of the towns and villages near Antibes which can be reached by public transport. When you learn French in France, you have the opportunity to discover the wealth of architectural, artistic and gastronomic delights our beautiful region has to offer. The Côte d’Azur is not just about sea and sand, it’s also a group of quintessential communities full of local history and heritage...
Biot is unquestionably a perfect spot for those looking for somewhere peaceful and picturesque that is characteristic of the region (a quick tip on pronunciation: unless you want to be taken for someone from Northern France, remember to sound the ‘t’ at the end of the word...). A visit to Biot is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy great walks along the Brague, a charming river that will distract you from the hustle and bustle of the coast. Did you know that Biot owes a large part of its fame to its quarries producing tuff, a type of volcanic rock which was once used to build ovens? Today, Biot is first and foremost associated with ceramicists, potters and, most of all, master glassmakers who practise their art in the town’s six glassworks.
Vallauris is one of the neighbouring towns which deserves close attention. Napoleon disembarked here on 1 March 1815 after escaping the island of Elba. If you hop over to Golfe-Juan, you will see the famous Route Napoléon which goes all the way to Grenoble. The town is now inextricably linked with pottery and ceramics. Picasso was particularly fond of this place: he moved here in 1948 and stayed for several years, devoting himself to ceramics (he produced more than 4,000 pieces in total), though he also took an interest in linocut. Not to be missed on any account is his monumental fresco War and Peace, which the artist completed in 1952.
Mention Valbonne, and people immediately think of Sophia-Antipolis, the vast technology park founded nearly 50 years ago which is the pride of the region (it was the first technology park in Europe – just saying!). But though Valbonne stands out due to its innovation and modernity, it also knows how to maintain tradition. For example, have you heard of the servan? It’s a type of local table grape that, in ancient times, was preserved so that the fruit could be eaten until Easter. It almost disappeared, but a handful of fans of the vine managed to give this variety a new lease of life... So, after French lessons at the Centre International d’Antibes, there’s no shortage of ideas for outings!