Right now, the weather on the Côte d’Azur is not the best. (Do you need tips what to do on rainy days? Have a look here.) Somehow it seems to lag a month behind. Last year we were already bathing in the sea at this time. But the locals say that it’s always rainy when the film festival takes place in Cannes. Why breaking with traditions?
And so it rains – and as usual, it always does on weekends. Last Sunday I had “a day off” (means no dog and no man). I could do what I wanted and I wanted to see this artist quarter in Cannes and when I’m already there, the film festival spectacle. And afterwards, I wanted to go to Cagnes-sur-Mer and finally see Renoir’s house. But that’s another story I’ll tell another time.
Today I’m taking you to Cannes during the festival season.
At such big events, I am always amazed that everyday life just goes on and on. From the media and in conversations one gets the impression that the world should actually stand still when events of such dimensions take place. At least there’s hardly someone talking about anything else. For all residents it’s a incisive experience, be it the restaurateurs preparing for a rush (or wondering why it is not coming), the commuters complaining about the closed streets or the neighbours taking the weather conditions during the film festival as a reference for daring forecasts. That’s why I struggled with myself for a while if I should even dare to throw myself into the feared turmoil just to visit this gallery or if I’d better postpone it to “afterwards”. But no, don’t be a coward!
And as I have already indicated: there was hardly anything noticeable in the surroundings. Really amazing. Sure, there was a lot going on at the harbour and the traffic was creatively diverted. But apart from that, everything was as usual. As usual, the whistling and wildly gesticulating policemen increased the chaos during rush hours. The market also took place as usual at the well-known place with the usual offer. And even next to the Boule-Place directly opposite the palais de festival, antiques and junk were offered for sale like on every other usual Sunday.
So there is absolutely no reason to avoid Cannes during festival time!
But I actually wanted to see the suquet des artistes. Since 2015, 4 artists from Cannes reside in the former morgue of the city – huhu! – meanwhile nicely renovated, on approx. 850 sqm, up in the old town not far from the church (address: 7, Rue Saint-Dizier, 06400 Cannes).
I prepared myself well too: I googled the opening hours and address and set off in time – only to find myself standing in front of (half) locked doors. Because as befits France, the studios are open when the artist is there. (When he arrives – who knows?!) So a visit remains connected with a certain adventure, but I could imagine that the chance during the week is a bit higher than on the weekend. (Can you give more reliable information? Please write a comment.)
But there is also a large exhibition area where other artists can exhibit (admission free) and this exhibition can definitely be seen. By the way, you will find modern art in the suquets des artistes.
Nevertheless, I wouldn’t want to miss the visit, the surroundings look great and if you are already strolling around in the old town, you can make the little side trip with no effort. It’s a secluded corner behind a pretty little park and if the tourist hustle and bustle of the suquet has exhausted you, you can get some rest here.
And now off to the Suquet, the old town of Cannes
For le suquet I can only recommend you warmly to get lost extensively. Admittedly, this is a bit difficult, because the area is not very large, but what I actually want to say by this: turn into a few of the narrow alleys, go away from the main roads. The area, where the locals live, is so pretty. And quiet and peaceful. There is another small park through which you can get from the church back to the harbor, where the “real” hustle and bustle welcomes you. Or as on this Sunday: the film festival!
Cannes Film Festival
Cannes buzzes during the 11 days the festival takes place. But you can also get out of the way and just have a sniff if you feel like it. I was on site around noon, shortly before a new film started. The lucky ones, who had tickets or invitations, stood in line at the security checks, all less lucky ones stood in front of the barrier and tried to get hold of cards. This year, 6,000 Cannois were invited to the festival – probably so that the locals would not be left out. Or perhaps in recognition of a special achievement…
But as everywhere on the Côte d’Azur, you only have to turn around a corner to find ease – although you are actually still in the middle:
There is one more thing I should mention, and that is the – let us call it – maritime state of siege. In front of Cannes, there anchor so many boats in the versions “big” and “bigger”. And those who want to (and have the necessary small change) can find accommodation for the duration of the festival on one of the luxury dinghies, which are located directly in the harbor next to the festival area and thus offer a central advantage. But this place always looks like an extremely expensive camping site on water to me: everything is made of plastic and the neighbour is not one meter away. But additionally, the boat is rocking – not my cup of tea.
By the way: I didn’t see any stars. But I didn’t looked for either. I have much more fun at such sights:
Cannes can also be visited during the festival season, there are enough quiet places to relax from the hustle and bustle. Or have you experienced it differently?