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Set in the heart of the French Riviera between Nice and Cannes, Antibes has long attracted the wealthy and creative. Everyone from rock stars and Hollywood celebrities to struggling writers and artists have flocked here to soak up the warm sun, striking light, and laid-back air of this seaside town.

Antibes, French RivieraAlthough the surrounding coast is largely developed, inside Antibes' 16th-century ramparts the old town rambles along a series of narrow, sometimes pedestrian-only streets to sheltered squares, lively markets and sandy beaches. Elegant yachts bob in the marina and elaborate mansions guard the shore of nearby Cap d'Antibes.

Guy de Maupassant, Claude Monet, Ernest Hemingway, Graham Greene, Dorothy Parker and F Scott Fitzgerald all lived or worked here at one time. The town's most famous resident, though, was Pablo Picasso. The 14th-century Grimaldi Castle, a seafront fortress where the artist once had a studio, is now home to a museum dedicated to the 245 works he created while living here. The collection of drawings, paintings, ceramics and lithographs is accompanied by photographs of him at work in the town.

Regardless of your interest in art, a walk along the waterfront is a quintessential Antibes experience with expansive sea views leading all the way to Cannes. In the morning, fishermen sell their catch on the docks, while in the afternoon, cafés tempt you to linger over a lazy seafood lunch. By night the giant contemporary 'Nomade' sculpture of a figure looking out to sea glitters on the Bastion de Saint-Jaume against a backdrop of super-yachts.

From the seafront, you can wind your way down the narrow, cobbled streets that lead inland to discover the character of old Antibes. Graceful buildings line the streets and you'll inevitably find yourself at the town's bustling market, the Marché Provençal. Set under a traditional cast-iron roof, the market is a great place to pick up olives, regional cheeses, freshly-baked bread and fruit for a picnic in one of the sandy coves. One of the  best picnic spots is Plage de la Gravette, the small central beach.

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