Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 19, Ed. 1 Friday, September 23, 2011 Page: 22 of 48
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11 t A t l/l
There's more to this French sea haven than a film fest, as gay travelers know
Last week, we profiled the French Riviera gay
hub of Nice, but smaller, neighboring Cannes
may be even more famous. Renowned for its
legendary film festival each spring, Cannes
curves gently around a sheltered bay, its glam-
orous hotels and swanky beach bars strung like
jewels along La Croisette promenade, it has an
increasingly visible LGBT community (Cannes
Rainbow promotes gay tourism to the area).
This city of about 80,000 is perfect for strolling
and window shopping, rife as it is with antiques
and food markets as well as luxury boutiques
and department stores.
To get your blood flowing, climb the steep,
narrow streets to Suquet hill for majestic views
of the harbor, and then walk back down through
Old Town, perhaps stopping at a sidewalk cafe
Set aside a half-day for taking a passenger
ferry aqtjss the harbor to the Lerins Islands, the
most famous of which is lie Sainte-Marguerite,
home to the famed 17th-century Fort Royal, the
cliff-top fortress (now a museum) in which the
legendary Man in the Iron Mask was imprisoned
in the 1600s. The island is also home to the excel-
lent (seasonal) open-air restaurant, La Guerite,
which serves superb seafood, including the ad-
dictively delicious tiny fried fishes, called blan-
Wine is, of course, important to French cul-
ture, and rose is the most commonly produced
wine in Provence— locals consume it happily
at virtually every meal. If you're looking to pick
up a bottle or two, check out the outstanding La
Cave Bianchi wine shop in Cannes, The town
also has some favorite gay restaurants, including
breezy Restaurant le Vegaluna along the beach;
see-and-be-seen Le Sparkling et son Club, which
is also fun for pre-clubbing cocktails; and Bar-
barella, a romantic Spot with sidewalk seating in
at Old Town.
For gay nightlife in Cannes, the intimate and
rather ancient Zanzibar tavern makes a nice
starting point, perhaps before heading to the
city's top gay venue, trendy Le Night Disco.
Also, the nightclub and casino Palm Beach
Cannes occasionally hosts gay parties and is al-
ways very LGBT-welcoming.
You'll find a nice mix of swanky seaside hotels
and affordable gay B&Bs throughout the region.
Movie stars in Cannes regularly nest at the stun-
ning Carlton Inter-Continental Hotel — many
suites are named for luminaries from Sean Penn
to Elton John. The gay-popular Hotel 3.14 lies
just around the corner and is notable for its over-
the-top quirky rooms — floors have fun, if
bizarre, themes like American pop art and Mo-
roccan chic. The rooftop pool is a wonderful
place to while away an afternoon.
Picasso's stomping grounds
You don't have to plant yourself in only the
two biggest cities in the region to have a gay ol'
time. Between Cannes and Nice, you can visit a
pair of lovely communities, Vallauris Golfe-Juan
and Antibes, whose Roman fortifications over-
look the largest pleasure-boat harbor in Europe.
A walk through Old Town's narrow lanes leads
to the exceptional Picasso Museum, outside of
which a small sculpture garden looks over the
sea. Around the corner you'll find the city's fa-
mous city market, which hums with activity and
sells everything from fresh peaches to stuffed
Vallauris Golfe-Juan, where Picasso lived for
many years, has boasted a reputation for pot-
tery-making that dates back 2,000 years. It's
home to several art museums, including the
amusingly offbeat Museum of Kitsch, a celebra-
tion of jade-hued ceramic poodles and tropical-
fish ashtrays. More esteemed attractions include:
the Castle Museum complex, which comprises
three distinct art museums, including the Na-
tional Picasso Museum "War and Peace" (with
massive murals by Picasso).
Finally, there's Espace Jean Marais, a gallery
ALONG THE MEDITERRANEAN | A view from Fort Royal of lie Sainte-Marguerite looks across the
harbor to the hills of Cannes and the French Riviera. (Photo courtesy Andrew Collins)
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Nash, Tammye. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 19, Ed. 1 Friday, September 23, 2011, newspaper, September 23, 2011; Dallas, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth239186/m1/22/: accessed March 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.