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Picasso stayed at the Chateau Grimaldi for three months and then donated 23 paintings and 44 drawings he did there to the museum. His family has donated further work so there's a good collection.
There are other artists shown too and usually a visiting exhibit but Picasso is the bi draw . . . that and the views out the chateau windows. There is a marvelous painting of a grand piano by Nicolas de Stael.
They have recently opened after extensive renovation so if you haven't been there for a while, you might find it a new experience.
Be sure you go out into the garden where there are marvelous sculptures, usually a few cute cats and wonderful views along the coast.
Closed on Monday.
Written Oct 23, 2012
Address: Musée Picasso, château Grimaldi, 06600 Antibes,
Phone: +33 (0)4 9290-5420
Old Antibes is a magnet for everything from the mildly eccentric to the full-blown clinically certifiable. A cafe table at the Place Nationale or Avenue George Clemenceau guarantees you a ringside seat, though the price sometimes includes being busked at by an accordionist with portable Karaoke rhythm section.
The chap with Pocohontas as sidekick is living theatre: nautical striped vest and attitude in spades. It's the jaunty cocking of the head, the raised eyebrow, near full head of greying hair, the self-assured matching of white with black and white stripes. Wonderful.
Pocahontas is the bit-player to his peacock. Her beer glass is still three-quarters full, whilst his is down to the last few centimetres. Perhaps he was more thirsty? She defers to him to instruct the waiter with their requirements, her rich flowing black hair constrained into pigtails so not to compete. Or am I misreading the cues? Who knows.
Updated Jun 25, 2011
UPDATE: Eilenroc has recently has been closed to visitors. Handwritten sign on the front gates apologises for closure "due to security problems". Due to security problems of Roman Abramovich next door perhaps? Local visitors I spoke to were quite disappointed. Anyway, here is what you could have seen:
As was the fashion in the roaring twenties, wealthy American businessman Louis-Dudley Beaumont came to Cap d'Antibes with his wife Helen. He purchased the villa - dating back to the 1860's, and renamed it "Eilen Roc", an anagram of Cornelie. In the mid 1980s Helen Beaumont finally passed away in Monaco at the age 93 and gifted the villa and its vast estate to the municipality of Antibes.
The council have maintained and part restored it since and open it to the public - after a fashion. The gardens are open only Tuesday and Wednesdays, and entry to the villa - lower floor only - on Wednesdays. The entire property is closed throughout the most popular holiday months of July and August. It therefore remains virtually inaccessible to many would-be visitors. To the approval no doubt of its next door neighbour, billionaire Roman Abramovich and his now restored Chateau de la Croe, one time home of King Edward VII.
The Estate is vast, with woodlands, an olive grove, an orchard of apples citrus and exotic fruits, and a superb rose garden. At its southern tip it extends down to the sea and offers perfect tranquility with fine views to the Esterel. Used occasionally for wedding receptions and evening summer concerts, it is no classical Villa Ephrussi, but rather dark interiors, wood panelled and art deco 20's style not out of place in a bric a brac stall and a few personal effects in glass cases.
The best time to visit is late May to June, just before summer closure, when the gardens will be magnificent - especially the roses, which that nice Mr Abramovich can look out of his windows on. At ten or more acres, the value of this estate on the exclusive Cap d'Antibes must also be vast. Its nearest equivalent 11 hectare estate on Cap Ferrat, La Leopolda, whose sale recently to Russian for a rumoured 300 million euro went wrong. Entry to Eilenroc is free.
Updated Jun 25, 2011
Address: Avenue de Mrs LD Beaumont, Cap d'Antibes
As a warm up to the forthcoming Juan le Pins/ Antibes annual Jazz Festival "Jazz a Juan" , which is most certainly not free, the city puts on ocassional free jazz concerts. Set up in various locations around the town, the pleasure of sitting back in the hot Saturday afternoon sun, drinking in cool jazz in the open air. Twisting melodic adventures from the saxaphone, sweet rythmic chords vamping up and down the guitar neck, meanderings lines from the stooped double bassist. Few nicer more relaxed settings can be imagined. Jazz beneath the palms, the Oleander and Bouganvillea just coming into flower. Old Antibes.
The Jazz Festival is mid July, details via the link below
Updated Apr 4, 2011
In 1946, Picasso has been living several months in Antibes in Chateau Grimaldi and produced many different works, a lot of ceramic work, centaurs and toreador paintigs...etc.
The museum in itself is probably not the best you can see about Picasso, but still the scenery from this ancient acropolis is wonderful, and it makes a lot of sense after to understand how Picasso got his inspiration.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: Vieil Antibes
On the ramparts overlooking the sea is the 16th Century Chateau Grimaldi. Picasso was given a studio here after WWII and in gratitude he donated a number of works to Antibes. The Chateau is now the Museum Picasso.
Updated Mar 7, 2011
Like most towns and cities in the South of France, Antibes has an Old Town. An area of small winding streets full of little stores and cafes. Most of the stores are aimed at the tourists, but fun to stroll through and to pick up the "usual" gifts for friends back home.
Written Mar 7, 2011
If you like beaches, Antibes has a few for you. Most of them are small, but all of them are fun. Some local women like to go topless so if you're mindful of your kids (or your husband) you should make note. Most areas are free and you can plop yourself wherever you like. If there are umbrellas and/or chairs down, it probably comes with a small fee. The sand is white and soft. Nice to lay out on. All of them are small and most have some kind of eating facility on it, either a cafe or a small sandwich/gelato shop. Sit back and enjoy the water and the views.
Written May 27, 2010
Address: La Plage = Beach
The best things to do in Antibes are FREE. You won't find better views of the town than from on high while walking the Ramparts to and from Old Town. Starting just past the Square Levy, you'll make your way up the slightly winding roads along the ramparts where you'll be able to see the wide open views of the distant cities of Nice and Monaco with the mountains behind them... the vast expanse of the Meditteranean Sea... and back along the beaches and coast of Antibes. Cross the sometimes trafficy street and you'll be in the labyrinth of streets of Old Town Antibes.
Updated May 27, 2010
Address: Can't miss it
Dominating a hill on the peninsula of Saint-Roch, the star-shaped Fort Carré is graced by 360 degree views of the surroundings - not surprising for a defensive fortress. The location had been inhabited since ancient times and was the site of the Roman Temple of Mercury. The pagan temple gave way to the Christian church of Saint-Michel and later Saint-Laurent. Due to frequent wars in the 15th and 16th century, a fortress for the protection of Antibes was built on the site of the church and enlarged over time to become the structure we see today. Fort Carré makes a nice backdrop for the port of Antibes and is considered one of the symbols of Antibes. The fortress is open to visitors and contains a museum.
Updated May 2, 2010
Address: Avenue du 11 Novembre, presqu'île Saint-Roch
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