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Movie City: Cannes
Posted May 19, 2010 to photo album "Movie City: Cannes"
Cannes | A Sunny Home for Shady Types
By the 1880s, the French, spurred on by the writing of Guy de Maupassant––with lines from “The First Snowfall” like “She came to Cannes, made the acquaintance of the sun, loved the sea, and breathed the perfume or orange blossoms”––headed South to join the British. Soon the place was awash in artists, aristocrats and those who aspired to be them. Cannes, like the rest of the French Riviera, quickly became, in W. Somerset Maugham’s cutting words, “a sunny place for shady people.” In 1879, the first tennis courts were built in Cannes. In addition to the French and English, Russian aristocracy found their way south, rubbing elbows with counts and barons from other countries. During the Belle Époque, luxurious hotels were constructed along the palm-lined Croisette for the town’s new guests. When the vogue for sunbathing hit Europe, Cannes’ beaches filled up, making the town now a destination for both summer and winter visitors. Of course, the resort was not to everyone’s taste. In the 1920s, P.G. Wodehouse scribbled in a letter, “Of all the poisonous foul, ghastly places, Cannes takes the biscuit with absurd ease.”