To speak of France, one cannot but invoke the names of places, people, history, products and fine food to say it all: The Louvre, The Champs Elysees, Place de la Concorde, Arc de Triomphe, The Seine, The Loire, Versailles, Chateaux de Chambord, Mont Blanc, Mont Saint-Michel, Nice, Bordeaux, Marseille, Les Invalides, Napoleon, Moliere, Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Renoir, Monet, Louis XIV, Marie Antoinette, Jeanne d’Arc, de Gaulle, Brigitte Bardot, Yves Saint Laurent, The French Revolution, Bastille Day, Renault, The Monalisa the TGV, Champagne, croissant, Bouillabaisse…we can go on forever because each word stands for a thousand depictions of charm, refinement, romance, history, amusement, and everything that this grand cultural powerhouse of the world made famous throughout the world.
There’s always a need for a brain to produce all that culture, glamour, refinement, vivacity, and love of life; and nowhere can this paramount organ be but this primary metropolis of world. The arts, sciences, politics, and everything of extreme vitality exists in Paris, for all tastes, all ages, and all colors. Strolling through the streets of this utmost cosmopolitan city; enjoying a croissant at one of its many cafes; visiting the lady of world paintings, the Monalisa, at the Louvre; crossing The Seine into Place de la Concorde; promenading through the Tuileries Garden; enjoying a great reading in Montmartre; climbing atop of everything on the Eiffel Tower to feel the awe and beauty of this timeless city; attending a sumptuous fashion show; and dining at any fine restaurant are all fractions of what this cultural monument to the world has to offer to the millions and millions who not only visit, but who by visiting, pay homage to the splendor of human achievement. Paris can be more admirable by walking as one would perceive the marvel of its history and lively rhythm of its daily life. There are hundreds of museums, institutes (The Arab World is phenomenal), universities (The Sorbonne is a must), shops, restaurants, shops, palaces, parks, squares, gardens for visitors to start their day off, and no matter the time (and budget) devoted to this city, it’s never enough.
- Cote D’Azur/ French Riviera:
Perhaps the richest, most glamorous (and decadent!) stretch of coastline in the world is on France’s southeast coast. The coastline stretches for jyst over a hundred kilometers, each one dotted with sumptuous seaside cities like Nice, the largest in the region and home to the famous Hotel Negrescu, just a few yards away from the seaside Promenade des Anglais. Just a few kilometers north is sovereign Monaco, the outrageously posh playground of zillionaires and opulent tycoons. A few miles south is Cannes—with ridiculously luxurious hotels and restaurants, and the prime magnet of artists, politicians and movie superstars. During the famous Cannes Film Festival and throughout most of the summer, Cannes’ harbor becomes a packed with ultra luxurious yachts of the ultra famous and rich, lending the city a unique taste of superiority. With all the extreme exclusivity coupled with its extravagant glamour and decadence, Cannes puts to shame the likes of Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Further south is St. Tropez, the beach town of the rich and famous…and also of anyone looking for posh places by the Mediterranean and hoping to catch a glimpse of a renowned actor or profligate socialite basking under the sun. For a more ‘celebrity decadence’ quiet, but by no means boring, is Antibes, wedged between Cannes and Nice. There you can relax on its placid beaches or enjoy a visit to the remarkable Roman ruins, away from all the hectic petulance of the rich and famous. And while in the south, why not try their exquisite cuisine like France’s prime sea-food stew, Bouillabaisse, or their Daube Provencal preceded by a scrumptious Salade Nicoise.