In the last 2 weeks of July, I went with girlfriends on a fantastic trip to Europe
We flew into Rome and I navigated my friend Jessie out of Rome which was a feat.
Thank you so much to my client Edwina for the lovely itinerary you put together for us.
Jessie and I met up with 2 other girlfriends in the south of France and we had a blast.
Needless to say there were some difficult moments when I had my bag stolen out of the back of the car, dragging large suitcases up 17 flights of stairs once we discovered my bag was stolen and we could not leave anything in the car, wild boars ate my gifts, hiking 20 mins up a mountain to our accommodation Santa Margherita and making the bus to Cannes with only 30 seconds to spare!
Phew, that was all Italy and France was a breeze.
First stop was driving around the lovely Monte Argentario while we stayed in Ortebello.
Our itinerary looked like this
Rome – we all love Rome, on the menu was rabbit, tripe and brains. Navigating Jessie out of Rome was difficult shall we say; however we are still friends. Lol!
Monte Argentario/ Ortobello – the view from Rocco Spagnola just down the road from Porto Ercole is spectacular. You need to know how to drive on very windy narrow Italian lanes which they call “roads”.
Pietrasanta – the town where the sculptors live, it is near Carrara.
Tellaro – the light in this place is magnificent at 7-8pm everything glows, and you can eat outdoors by the sea in this quaint fishing village.
Parraggi – Loved this place, it has the best swimming beach with aquamarine waters.
Santa Margherita – such a great little town with the best shop that has everything from alcohol to sweets and gifts. I bought lots of vintage-looking tins that have sweets in them. You can find it all over Italy and France.
Portofino – I left my heart in Portofino, what more can I say?
Porto Venere – this has the best swimming bay.
Lerici – the Italian Richard Gere looking policeman (Carabinieri) whom I had to report to regarding my stolen luggage.
Camogli – great food and clothing markets – made in Italy linen and cotton.
San Fruttuosso – go there for a day to swim.
In the Cote d’ Azur we went to these towns, and I have listed the highlights of each place.
Cannes – highlight eating oysters, cured meats, delicious cheese from the market but we could take it to a café where we had sancerre and champagne (courtesy of Rosaria’s tours).
Le Cannet – The Bonnard museum.
Correns – Our friends, Australian sculptors Shona and Micheal Cartright, have renovated a 3 storey gallery which is now a studio and gallery in this quaint town. We attend the gallery opening and also our friend Craig Ruddy exhibited. The castle at Correns is the best place for a party which we visited for Shona and Micheal’s birthday.
Cortignac – best fountain.
Lorgues – the best truffle restaurant @chezbruno , the best experience ever. The whole restaurant is out of a movie set.
Vence – the Matisse Chapel, such beautiful simplicity in the lines of his work.
St Paul De Vence – the best photo ops and the prettiest perfume shop Mason Godet.
Tourrettes-sur-Loup – a medieval village that is sooo rustic and quaint.
Gourdon – high in the mountains where Les Miserables was shot for some of the majestic mountain scenery. It is great for a hot day.
Monaco – the Hermitage hotel, the gardens next to the aquarium, put on your big sunglasses ladies and don’t forget to bring the Ferrari.
Mougins – home of Picasso in his last years, the best food at Le Cave.
San Tropez – the last ferry left at 4.30pm but next time I heard we need to stay because St Tropez wakes up at midnight!
Grasse – the Fragonard museum and lots of great perfume shops.
Theoule sur mer – best swimming beach close to Cannes.
Esterele – gorgeous coves and homes on the Cote d’ Azur, Pierre Cardin’s house is a must-see.
Unfortunately, we did not get to see Nice or Antibes, Cap Jean de Ferrat, Chagall and Picasso museum… there is always next time…
We had a local guide my friend Rosaria who is based in Cannes, look her up if you are in the area. She has a business called Rosaria’s Tours.
You will find her on insta: rosariastours.
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Am I happy to come back? Yes… there was so much eye candy, some much culture and art that I need to absorb it all and go back of course!