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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Vieil Antibes, or Old Antibes, is the historic centre of the city. It is the site of the Graeco-Roman city of Antipolis which became today's Antibes. Although little remains of the ancient past, Vieil Antibes has retained a certain mediaeval character, with its narrow streets and Mediterranean architecture, typical of small towns in this region. Parts of the city's mediaeval wall have survived intact and add to the charm. Attached are photos taken in Vieil Antibes.
There are usually ten or more boats in at any one time - and you are free to walk around to admire them, though don't even think of boarding - strictly no admittance.
Pictured here, in 2003 Paul Allen's 416 ft "Octopus" briefly took the number one position as the world's largest yatch. Costing Allen a mere $200 million she has a permanent crew of 60 people, including several former Navy Seals, two helicopters, seven boats and a remote-controlled vehicle for crawling on the ocean floor. Its "James Bond" interior includes a dry dock for a submarine, which has the capacity to sleep eight for up to two weeks under water. Microsoft's "accidental zillionnaire" Paul Allen - worth $20bn according to Forbes, third richest man in America - owns three yacht monsters - Octopus, Tatoosh & Méduse.
Nothing stands still. Octopus was toppled from its number one position by Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellisdon's "Rising Sun" - a full 12 metres longer. Paul also owns the magnificent Villa Maryland on the Cap Ferrat, allowing him to host parties during the Cannes Film Festival that allow him to associate with Hollywoods most top celebrities. Not to be outdone, Larry Elisdon parked Rising Sun in the bay off the Croisette during this years Cannes Film Festival (2009) to host bigger parties. You mean you weren't invited?
In the yacht-world size is everything, so no one retains the coveted number one position for long. The Crown Prince of Dubai ordered a 160 metre yatch "Platinum". With oil reaching $140 a barrel the Crown Prince had to find even more extravagent ways to spend those petrodollars. Roman Abramovich then commissioned a new world number one built in Germany, over 300 metres in length. Within weeks of his new commission he was also rumoured to have lost $12bn in the meltdown of the Russian stockmarket, and ex-wife Irina since walked off with a mega divorce settlement including his then largest mega-yacht.
Its not easy being extraordinarily rich is it?
Briefly among the top ten, Carinthia VII is evidence these superyatchs are not just boys toys, as it was commissioned by Heidi Horton, heiress to a German retail fortune. The sleek water-dynamic lines of its blue hull are just perfect, making Paul Allens Octopus look like an overbloated toy from the bathtub.
A true beauty, she has been more or less a permanent fixture of the yacht club for a number of years, suggesting she doesn't get out much any more. Octopus on the other hand is rarely out of the playground of the West Indies or the jewels of the Indian Ocean.
Le Marché Provençal, a local farmers' market, has been in existence for centuries. Every morning, from 6am until 1pm, one could purchase all kinds local produce and artisanal products. If you are in Antibes in the morning, then it is definitely worth stopping by. In the afternoon, when the market is gone, the adjacent cafés and restaurant stretch out and place tables under the cast iron roof.
Marineland is part of a group of amusement parks located just outside of Antibes.
It functions as both a study aquarium and an amusement park. It is open everyday to the public and offers sea mammals and birds shows.
You can buy a ticket for the park alone and work your way through the attractions (pay extra for special evening shows, mostly during the summer) - or pay a double or triple ticket and visit some of the other parks around (like the little Far West barn, the Golf Course and Aquasplash).
The main attractions are the sea mammals shows and the shark tunnel.
The facilities in the park are: parking, restaurant / cafe, lockers, prams, electric wheelchair
Price: 29E/20E adult/child
Remember the playful killer whale in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou? Well, those scenes were shot in the Marineland in Antibes.