Cannes is the sister city to Beverly Hills and the chic epicenter of the French Riviera – a world of exclusive boutiques, palm-lined avenues, starlet-studded beaches, and elegant sidewalk cafes. While most famous for its Film Festival in May, at the colossal Palais des Festivals, when international celebrities gather to screen films and make deals, it glitters every month with swimming and sunning by day, and a club and casino scene by night. Cannes is the archetypal Mediterranean resort city, discovered by wealthy English nobles who came to the sunny south of France to escape their draughty old castles during the dreary British winters. Cannes' high-flying lifestyle has attracted notables and the notorious ever since.
St. Margherta, Italy
L'Ile Rousse, France
L'Île Rousse, developed by Pascal Paoli in the 1760s as a "gallows to hang Calvi", simply doesn't convince as a Corsican town; its palm trees, smart shops, neat flower gardens and colossal pink seafront hotel create an atmosphere that has more in common with the French Riviera. Pascal Paoli had great plans for his new town on the Haute-Balagne coast, which was laid out from scratch in 1758 as a port to export the olive oil produced in the region. A large part of the new port was built on a grid system, featuring lines of straight parallel streets quite at odds with the higgley-piggley nature of most Corsican villages and towns. Thanks to the busy trading of wine and oil, it soon began to prosper and, two and a half centuries later, still thrives as a successful port.
This is something that we are often asked, and the simple answer is all of them! The beaches are clean, the water clear and warm and they all have something to recommend them, it just depends what you're looking for as to which will suit you best.
There are so many fabulous beaches in Corsica that it would be impossible to list them all. However, the best beaches and coves are often tucked away unmarked, so don't be afraid to explore - you might discover a hidden gem!
It's amazing in this day and age to find a Mediterranean city that looks like it stepped right out of the travel diary of a 19th century Grand Tour. Bastia's gracious Italianate buildings were created to house the administrative offices of the capital of Haute Corse. In the Musée Ethnographique in the massive stone Citadel, discover how Corsica's continuous wars for independence from Genoese invaders split families for generations and gave rise to the dreaded vendettas.
Sailing into Portoferraio, you can see why Napoleon chose Elba for his exile; an island of pink granite, pine forests, and pristine beaches. The contrasts of the Elba countryside – from its typical fishing villages and high mountain passes to its stylish summer resorts on the coast – are enchanting. Elba’s restaurants feature excellent seafood, and small private vineyards produce local Moscato and Aleatico wines.
From his villa in Portoferraio, Napoleon, no longer Emperor of France, looked out over the waiting ships in the harbor and dreamed of returning to glory. Today you can enjoy a local vineyard tour, and near Portoferraio, discover the remains of an ancient Etruscan civilisation.
Porto Vecchio, Corsica, France
Porto Vecchiois a fashionable resort town which lies on the magnificent Gulf of Santa Giulia near the southern tip of Corsica. Combine a day at the beach with a visit to one of the prehistoric sites nearby.
Porto Cervo, Sardinia
Porto Cervo is an Italian seaside resort in northern Sardinia. The village is the main center of the Costa Smeralda, on the gulf of the same name. It was created by Prince Karim Aga Khan. Porto Cervo has a resident population of less than 200 inhabitants.
Porto Cervo is home to the Monte di Mola (MdM) art gallery, which is the most important gallery on the Costa Smeralda.
The center of the marina is the village, where there are shops, a newsagent, and a supermarket. Close by is the exclusive Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. The end of the marina holds a shipyard capable of repairing large luxury yachts.
It is also the location of Hotel Cala di Volpe, which is featured in the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me. The Presidential Suite of the hotel, billed at $32,736 per night, is listed at number 7 on World's 15 most expensive hotel suites complied by CNN.
Though it's grown massively since being built by the Aga Khan in the 1960s as a village retreat for the rich, Porto Cervo still manages to combine glamor with laid-back cool in a way that's uniquely Italian and perpetually fascinating. And the aquamarine water and spectacular coastline of Sardinia are every bit as beautiful as the people. Summer is the key season, of course, but it's also delightful in September and early October, when the weather is often superb.
Nowhere gives you more of the feel of Porto Cervo than having a bite to eat at the restaurant of the Yacht Club. It's the natural habitat of people who actually buy the kind of swimwear featured in Vogue, and half the fun is pretending you do, too, while casually checking out the film stars and supermodels. Less high-maintenance is Sole e Mare which does alfresco pizza and pasta in the main square of Baja Sardinia.
Civitavecchia (Rome Return)
2,500 years of history are woven into the fabric of modern Rome. You can feel it in the remarkable Pantheon, considered to be the most perfect architectural statement of the ages. Or as you wander side streets that open onto piazzas, fountains, Bernini sculpture, and elegant courtyards. Famous treasures are legion in Rome: the Colosseum, where gladiators fought to the death, the ancient Forum, St. Peter’s Cathedral in the Vatican, with its breathtaking Sistine Chapel, newly restored to its former glory, the Trevi Fountain (don't forget to throw a coin for luck), the Spanish Steps, where all Rome passes by.
Take time out between sights to do as the Romans do: enjoy a three-hour lunch, shop, people-watch, or savor the best gelati in the world. Life is not lived if you haven't been to Rome!