Hi from Rick: Richness of the Riviera
A century before countless resorts sprouted up as "destinations," there was the original getaway for those lucky few who could travel away from grimy cities and re-charge in a world of fresh air, sea, and sun. This original getaway was the French Riviera, where I'm filming a new TV show this week.
Trendy with the poodle-tethered long before World War I, the region was discovered by artists between the wars...and by one in particular after World War II.
1946 was the year that 65-year-old Pablo Picasso was reborn. With World War II at an end, Picasso could finally escape the gray skies and gray uniforms of Nazi-occupied Paris. Enjoying worldwide fame and the love of 23-year-old Françoise Gilot, he moved to the Côte d'Azure fishing town of Antibes.
After decades in the city, Picasso rediscovered the joys of village life. Shopping at the local market, he'd return home and turn groceries into masterpieces. He spent his days swimming in the Mediterranean, nights partying with friends, and the wee hours painting like a madman.
|Picasso's "Joie de Vivre" exemplifies his passion for his new life on the French Riviera.|
In his painting titled Joie de Vivre, you can clearly see the painter's flower-child, Françoise. She kicks up her heels and dances across a Riviera beach. Flute-playing satyrs, centaurs, and fauns announce the newfound freedom of a newly-liberated France...and a newly-liberated artist.
Travel is freedom, and now is a great time to kick up your heels in Europe. In our June Travel News we'll help get you in the spirit, with more tidbits about Picasso, tips on Euro-driving, a stroll through Urbino, and an irreverent German wine-tasting report from a fellow traveler.
In our online Travel Store you'll find my hot-off-the-press "Easy Access Europe" guidebook, new TSA-friendly luggage locks, great deals on travel bags...and maybe even a free copy of my 1,200-page "Best of Europe" guidebook.
I'm no Picasso, but something about the Riviera is helping me film better-than-ever shows for this coming fall. It's...liberating. Wish you were here!