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living a life of luxury on the french riviera. well, the riviera part is true.

Never in a million years did I imagine I’d wind up living on the French Riviera (or any Riviera for that matter).   I figured I would have to be rich and fabulous.  But here I am.

I live in Antibes now, which is smack dab in between Nice and Cannes.   The population is about 75,000 which may seem small by urban US standards, but is huge compared to Vidauban (population 8,000), which is where I was originally.

The vibe in Antibes isn’t in the least bit fancy schmancy. Where Cannes is leathery skin squeezed into tight, trendy, un-age-appropriate clothes, trout pout and faces that aren’t quite human, Antibes is leathery skin in shorts and flip flops.   Well, that’s not exactly true.   There are a lot of Brits here, so there’s a lot of pasty skin as well.

Here are a few other reasons I love Antibes:

The weather 

Mostly sunny.  Not too hot, not too cold.  It’s like living in California without the Californians.

The train station Every train stops here, so I can get to a lot of places quickly and easily.  No car necessary.   It’s 20 minutes to Nice, 12 minutes to Cannes, 35 minutes to Monaco, 40 minutes to St. Paul de Vence (with a bus transfer), 5 minutes to Biot or Cagnes sur Mer, 1 hour 15 minutes to Italy, and so on.

The daily market (marche provencal)

Most villages have a market once or twice a week.  Antibes has one every day except Monday, plus a bunch of antique, clothes, crafts and flea markets.

One of the best ancient medieval villages ever



The new part ain’t bad either

Ten minute walk to the beach

Or 10 minutes to a morning cup of coffee on the ramparts overlooking the Mediterranean with the alps looming in the background..

Little shops

Art, culture, history

Antibes has been around for millennia.      It used to be called Antiopolis.   They’re not sure if the “anti” means opposite from Nice or Corsica.   Ligurians, Ionians, Phoenicians, Etruscans frequented the place before the Greeks settled in 5th century BC.    It fell into obscurity in the 1400’s, and was rediscovered in the early 1900’s (the jazz age).   Napoleon, Monet, Picasso, F. Scott Fitzgerald, all hung out here at one point or another.   And now me.

There are museums, theaters, concerts (the Jazz festival in July is pretty famous).   There must be hundreds of paintings by dozens of famous artists of the place.  No wonder.

Killer views

I may not be living in a lavish villa with a view of the sea (try a one bedroom apartment with a view of another apartment building, lots of sky and palm trees), have no yacht, Rolls Royce or even a car, but to me,  living somewhere this awesome is a luxury in itself.

More pictures of Antibes

15 Responses

  1. A most excellent travelogue for Antibes. You should send it to the travel bureau there.

  2. Swamp, all I have to say is shhhhhhhhh!!!!

  3. Jealous.

  4. totally jealous! while i’m blogging about living in the peruvian ghetto, i’m reading this blog and living vicariously!


  5. In few years I’ll be there also 😉

  6. Hi, I liked your post. How much is it to live there and how much do you pay for rent!? Maybe me and my GF would like to live around there for a while.

    Thank you

    • Thanks Guillermo. Rent can be anywhere from 500 Euros per month to 1500 (or more, if you’re rich and fancy), depending on size, space and whether it’s furnished or unfurnished and what ammenities it has. It’s probably one of the more expensive parts of France to live, aside from Paris. But you do save money because you don’t really need a car here and health insurance and healthcare is much more affordable than in the US.

  7. It is perfectly understandable to want to settle in this city on the French Riviera to enjoy the sunny weather and the delicious food all along the year.

  8. Excellent article. Thank you very much.

  9. Lovely article! So glad I stumbled across it. The hurricanes in the Caribbean have me temporarily “homeless.” I’m spending the holidays with family in the states but contemplating Antibes for the rest of the winter. Can you tell me what winter weather is like there? Thank you and thank you again for a lovely write-up on Antibes!

  10. I’ve been here for 17 months now and I couldn’t agree with you more! (M.)

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