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The enchanting gardens of the Côte d'Azur have significantly contributed to the area's reputation as a leading tourist destination harboring an exceptional wealth of botanical heritage. The Côte d’Azur was the playground of the 19th century aristocracy and botanical enthusiasts wintering in the area had plenty of time on their hands to acclimate many of the species they brought back from their travels to the Mediterranean environment; thus creating extraordinary gardens. These included botanical and acclimatisation gardens, conservatories of fragrant plants for perfumes and exquisite and rare flower beds. Many of these sites can be found both on the coast and on the mountains and several have earned the accolade of “Remarkable Gardens” of France.
A new event on the Côte d'Azur
In celebration of this priceless heritage, the Alpes-Maritimes celebrates this botanical achievement with the introduction of a new event that will be known as The Côte d’Azur Garden Festival and will take place between 1 April and 1 May 2017 centered around the theme “Awakening Your Senses”’.
The celebration will consist of a two-fold festival known as “IN” and “OFF”
The IN Festival consists of a competition in which participants will create 200 m² temporary gardens in several town centres that are among the most beautiful places in the region : Cannes – the Villa Rothschild gardens; Menton – the Biovès gardens; Grasse – the Honoré Cresp Esplanade; Nice – the Albert I gardens on the Promenade du Paillon; and Antibes – the Gould pine grove in Juan-les-Pins. The competition was first launched at the “Jardins, Jardin” event in the Tuileries Gardens in Paris on 3 June.
The OFF Festival will allow the entire Côte d'Azur to celebrate in unison the region's lush and remarkable botanical heritage. The program will consist of activities, conferences, exhibits, open houses and guided tours.
Discovering the Cote D’Azur with a new theme
This event is an opportunity to honor throughout the year the nearly sixty Côte d'Azur gardens open to the public via discovery routes and short break plans that allow visitors to fully immerse themselves in these exceptional sites. Visitors can meet for example, fragrant flower producers and horticulturists many of whom are working to be nominated for UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage lists for the “Perfume plant expertise” in the Grasse area. The gardens will also be celebrated through cuisine and the many festivities scheduled on the Côte d'Azur between January and December.