I took this photo of a giant bougainvillea during a summer day in Cannes, South of France. It was the summer of 2021 and I remember that it was very hot in July (as is often the case on the French Riviera) however, I had still decided to take a tour of the town because I was in the area.
During that year, the Cannes Film Festival had been moved to the month of July because of the pandemic (it is usually always held in May) so it was still taking place on the day of my visit and the town was swarming with tourists under a blazing sun.
I have known the city of Cannes since I was a child, when I used to spend the winter vacations with my family on the French Riviera (I was born and raised in Milan, Cannes and its neighboring towns are about four hours away from my city and my father has always loved to drive). Although we would spend time mainly in Juan-les-Pins, we would be in Cannes frequently, both in the winter time and in the warm season (Cannes is also where I celebrated my 23rd birthday).
I have always seen Cannes as a coastal city that mixes glamour and sophistication with the beauty of nature and art; not only the luxury hotels and high fashion boutiques on the Croisette, but also the sandy beaches, the numerous buildings with movie-themed graffiti painted on their façades, the Croix de Gardes Forest Park, connected to various points from which one can enjoy breathtaking views…and the Suquet, the oldest part of the city. Prior to my trip to Cannes on that sunny day in July, I had never visited Le Suquet in person, but I had seen some very nice pictures of the neighborhood online that made me want to visit. I had been especially struck by the pictures of this giant bougainvillea that blooms in the heart of Le Suquet in the summer season, so I very much wanted to see it up close.
Le Suquet (which means “top” in Provençal slang) stands on a sort of hill and is characterized by narrow streets that house quaint stores and typical restaurants. It is a very old neighborhood; in 1030 the monks of Lérins Abbey built the Castre Castle there, which was partially destroyed in the 18th century and went on to become a historical museum, Musée des Explorations du Monde (Museum of World Explorations).
Also in the Suquet area is the Gothic-style Notre-Dame-d’Espérance Church. Le Suquet is certainly one of the most visited places in Cannes, and having been there in the middle of summer I noticed that there were many organized groups of tourists wandering the streets of the neighborhood; the area is a bit steep but the walk is really pleasant (of course in hot weather it is best to dress in cotton, bring water and wear a hat, which may seem obvious but is essential when spending the summertime in Mediterranean areas). Also from the top of the Medieval Tower you can enjoy a breathtaking view over the Bay of Cannes to L’Estérel (a small curiosity: on clear days you can see the Massif de l’Estérel even from Italy, in fact here you can see a photo I took at sunset from my old house in Liguria, near the French border).
It was wonderful to see this giant purple bougainvillea, which is located not far from the Notre-Dame-d’Espérance Church (outside of which is a rooftop terrace with views of Cannes and the Gulf de la Napoule) and the Museum of World Explorations.READ MORE
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