There are many individuals who share our love for Cap d’Antibes. And no one relishes it more so than photographer and blogger, Naneen Rossi. Naneen is British and has lived in the South of France for nearly 14 years. Her blog, ‘I Love Cap d’Antibes’, explores the people, places and beaches of the Cap. Most importantly, it is a beautiful visual representation of what it means to live as a local on the Riviera. Read on to find out Naneen’s story as well as glean some insider tips and local recommendations.
What brought you to the South of France?
I was lucky enough to spend much of my twenties visiting the South of France. My mum was based in Monaco and I was living in London at the time. I often dreamt of the sunny Riviera and toyed with the idea of leaving the city rat race behind. In 2007, my partner and I decided to take the plunge and move out here – pretty much on a whim. We threw everything we owned into our battered old 4×4 and moved to Villefranche-sur-Mer.
We both got jobs and my partner started spending more and more time in Antibes, fitting out luxury yacht interiors. After some time, we decided to move to Antibes to be closer to his work – and everything started to click. Having studied photography at university, I started securing local photography jobs. Moreover, we moved to an apartment that was once owned by the famous Meilland rose growing family. (They are well-known for rose cultivation and most famous for creating the ‘Peace Rose’ to celebrate the end of WW2.) We’re actually in the process of buying the apartment now, having rented it for 10 years. We love it so much!
How do you find living in Antibes?
In two words: super easy. As a Brit, everyone on the Côte d’Azur speaks English so you can easily get by without speaking French. That said, it is nice to be able to speak the language. So, as a resident, I would recommend it. The locals appreciate it!
If you’re considering a second home on the Riviera, being a part-time resident is not a challenge. The huge yachting community here is very international and the area is full of friendly ex-pats. Further, there are a number of exceptional private schools. Between the beautiful weather and the surroundings of the sea and mountains, it’s impossible not to love Cap d’Antibes.
Tell us about your photography
After leaving university I worked as a photographer for various music and fashion magazines as well as private clients. Ever since we moved to the South of France, I have continued to be a voracious snapper. About three years ago I realised I had a huge bank of pictures – and no one to share it with! Consequently, I set up I Love Cap d’Antibes in order to share my shots of the area. I wanted to show a different side of the Cap – the lesser-known spots and quieter moments. I also loved taking pictures of regulars I saw in Cap d’Antibes. This wasn’t easy, as people are very private here. However, I have had the chance to interview many wonderful locals. You can read about them here on my blog.
Nowadays I’m fortunate enough to work with a number of private clients. I offer a range of lifestyle landscape and portraiture photography, which you can see on my website. The natural light and plethora of beautiful locations make this an incredible part of the world to work in. I’m also regularly asked to capture visitors’ holidays. I love nothing more than documenting someone’s time here in this special place.
What do you love most about the area?
The view is one of my favourite things about the area. To leave the Cap you have to drive along the coast. Not a day goes by when I don’t drive along the coast and marvel at the beauty. It changes every day and always manages to take your breath away.
Ultimately though, what I love most about Cap d’Antibes has to be the amazing climate. I don’t like the cold! I think I’ve spent every Christmas Day here in the sunshine. If you like the sun and spending time outdoors, this is definitely the place for you.
Can you name some of your favourite spots?
There are so many! The coastal walk from Antibes is a favourite. I love to walk through the quiet back streets admiring the architecture. Another option is taking a paddle board or boat from the Cap to see the Côte d’Azur from a different perspective. In addition, the annual amfAR Cannes Gala is always a highlight at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc. The organisers block off all roads and celebrities descend to raise money for AIDS Research. I’ve always enjoyed snapping all the A-listers!
What are your top local recommendations?
- Café Kanter on Boulevard Albert 1er: This is one of my favourite restaurants. It’s been there for many years and is super popular with locals, especially at lunchtime. They do the best mille-feuille in town and you get a massive jar of Haribo with your bill!
- Le Vieux-Cannet (84.3km from Parc du Cap): This is a stunning old part of the Riviera. You’ll find lovely little streets and restaurants with fabulous views over Cannes and l’Esterel. It is also the home of ‘Le Mur Des Amoureux de Peynet’ – a mural by renowned French artist, Raymond Peynet.
- The Maeght Foundation museum: I absolutely love this place. It’s a fascinating modern art museum but also a great architectural building.
- SeaZen: This company in Juan-les-Pins does brilliant solar-powered boat trips around Cap d’Antibes. Ask for Mylène Muller.
- Cap d’Antibes Carpentry: I had to mention my partner Dominic Morris’s fantastic furniture making business. He has over 20 years’ experience as a furniture maker and makes superb bespoke pieces.
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