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The English-language newspaper for the French - Italian Riviera & Monaco since 2002 Issue 141 - December 2013 2.50 e

13 It can't be denied that the south of France had an excellent year for tourism; the statistics talk for themselves. Yet while politicians and hotel owners revel in their continued success, figures from the L'Express newspaper have revealed that public safety in some of the region's biggest cities is not a subject they want to boast about. More than 11 million visitors to its shores, over nine per cent of France's total holidaymakers and one per cent of tourism worldwide in 2013 have fortified the Côte d'Azur's position as an internationally favoured destination. Foreigners accounted for half of the vacationing population on the Côte d'Azur this year, with Italians (19 per cent) and the British (18 per cent) as usual topping the list with Americans, Scandinavians and Russians following close behind. While three quarters are return visitors and nine out of 10 told the Observatoire du Tourisme de la Côte d’Azur that they were very satisfied with their stay, a L’Express' report into national public safety shows that there is also a different side to this sunny lifestyle. Aggression, violence, burglary and theft aren't often topics that grace tourism books, but the crime rates from Nice, Cannes, Saint Tropez and Marseille have proved that this is an area that needs attention. Continued on page 18

Monaco celebrates Noël and NYE


Filming in Liguria Authentic Cinecittà


Two worlds Sea and snow in one day


Polar faces of the Côte

Christmas village spirit Riviera style

In just an hour and a half from the coast you can reach the slopes of the lower Alps’ exceptional selection of skiing and snowboarding resorts


ea to snowy slopes in under two hours gives this corner of the Mediterranean a unique edge when it comes to the winter season. The sun continues to shine on the coast, while up in the mountains, it seems like Christmas really has come early with steady snowfall in the last few weeks. Cross-country skiing in Limone, sea views from a snowy vista at Isola 2000,

technical and demanding Auron, and Valberg's family friendly routes are complimented by a dozen little known stations dotted around the mountainsides of Grasse and the Pays Niçois. With so much on your doorstep, it's time to get your snow boots on. France has retained its title as the world's top destination for winter sports this year, owing its strength on the global market to an extremely favourable end to the 2012/13

season. French resorts across the country are also optimistic about what this winter could hold, with abundant snowfall having been recorded during autumn in some of the more high altitude regions. According to forecasters, the signs are all good so far for yet another strong skiing season. In major ski stations such as Tignes, Alpe d'Huez and Val Thorens, which was recently voted as being the world's best skiing destination by the

World Travel Awards, skiers and snowboarders are already on piste and opening dates for much of the Alps stand at the start of this month. While the famous names of Courchevel, Méribel and Val d'Isère will see millions of foreign enthusiasts on their slopes this winter, the Côte d'Azur and nearby Italian Riviera have plenty to offer snow bunnies of every ability. Continued on page 14

Also in this edition: Real Estate The Riviera Times continues its tour of the Gulf of Saint Tropez. Discover property in Sainte Maxime.

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Inside this edition:


NEWS News in brief ................................................................................ Automotive special .................................................................... Political column ..........................................................................

4 4 5

LIGURIA Cinecittà under an open sky ....................................................


MONACO Celebrate in style ........................................................................ The original ad man: an interview with Michael Ferrier .. Tax transparency ........................................................................ Fifth of the fifth ............................................................................

7 8 8 9

LIFESTYLE Perfume of nostalgia: Krigler ................................................... 10 British ambassador visits Nice ............................................... 11 Charm of Provence ..................................................................... 11

CHRISTMAS Christmas village spirit .............................................................. 13

SNOW SPECIAL Altitude and attitude .................................................................


GOURMET The oil of princes ......................................................................... 16 A touch of heritage: Jan ............................................................. 17 Wining and dining ...................................................................... 17

BUSINESS & FINANCE Go global ......................................................................................


REAL ESTATE EU eases on heirship laws ....................................................... Property series: Sainte Maxime ..............................................

19 19

EVENTS Comprehensive events calendar ............................................ Subscription forms for home delivery ..................................

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CLASSIFIEDS Listing everything from jobs to local businesses ..............


rrrr! Winter has certainly arrived on the Riviera, but despite the snow on the mountains to the north and a definite chill on the coast, the Côte d'Azur is still a hive of activity. Even if it means pulling on a pair of gloves and a woolly jumper, there is no stopping those enjoying the end of year sunshine in the cafés and restaurants of the region. Who says al fresco is just a summer thing? Up in the Mercantour, ski stations are gearing up for the season and whether you're a pro or a complete novice like myself (one week snowboarding in Les Deux Alpes that was mostly spent with a glass of mulled wine in hand hardly counts as experience), the likes of Isola 2000 and Valberg have a piste for every skill set. If you've already tried and tested these more famous slopes, why not bank off the usual route this winter and give one of the lesser known resorts a whirl. This month, The Riviera Times takes a look at some of the best winter sports destinations in the area, prepping you with all the information you need to head to the hills in the coming months. I was amazed - and impressed - to discover the rich variety of places that are within an easy drive of the coast, particularly when it comes to resorts near Grasse and the backcountry of Nice. Of course, more accomplished skiers and snowboarders will prefer the technical courses at Valberg and the endless snowy kilometres of Limone in Italy, but the easy-on-the-pocket pistes of Gréolières and Val d'Allos are a wonderful alternative to the sometimes hectic lines at busier resorts. When all the skiing is done, I'll be retreating to the familiar sights of the coast and perhaps even braving a dip in the sea in an attempt to fulfill that dreamy Riviera day snow by morning, beach by afternoon. Every city, town and rural village in the region is getting into the spirit of Christmas and from my apartment in the city centre, the smells of roasting chestnuts, crackling pork, gooey raclette and heady tang of vin chaud are a delicious reminder that the festive season is upon us. Here at The Riviera Times, Editor Cassandra Tanti will be returning from maternity leave to the helm of the newspaper. Until then, have a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!


SERVICES Your survival guide to living in France ..................................

From piste to beach and back again


On maternity leave: Cassandra Tanti

Elsa Carpenter

The Riviera Times is published monthly and distributed at the following locations: Nice Côte d'Azur International Airport, Toulon-Hyères International Airport, to passengers boarding British Airways flights, on board Delta and Swiss Airlines, and at over 1,000 strategic points of distribution between Marseille and Genoa including international news stands, hotels, banks, golf clubs, schools, car rental agencies, consulates, international associations, and in most international doctors' practices. For subscriptions, please refer to page 20.

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Landmark ruling in PIP scandal Courts decide in favour of victims in light of quality control failure


major step in favour of victims of the Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) worldwide health scandal was taken in November as a French court ordered TÜV Rheinland, the company in charge of performing safety checks and audits at PIP, to pay out millions of euros in compensation. While the German corporation is said to be planning an appeal against the decision, the civil court ruling has been described as a landmark move by domestic and international commentators. According to the BBC, 1,700 of the women who received the sub-standard silicon breast implants will be given "an initial payment of 3,000 euros for surgery to have the implants removed". Mainly of South American origin, the group of women who sued TÜV Rheinland for its failure in its duty to quality control the implants also include British and French plaintiffs. Six distributors from plants in Bulgaria, Brazil, Italy, Syria, Mexico and Romanian are

among the successful winners of the November law suit. Reports vary on TÜV Rheinland's audit efforts during the 17 years that the company awarded PIP its European Safety Certificate. As a global provider of technical, safety, and certification services, TÜV Rheinland says that its official certification ensures a "manufacturer's products have met applicable safety requirements and quality standards" and that it has been investigated by an accredited third party and "supported by regular surveillance audits". But the local press, notably Var Matin, the department in which the shamed PIP corporation was based, has claimed that the auditor never checked the content of the implants or even the PIP factory. Plaintiffs in the case, which went before a Toulon court, have argued that even a cursory inspection of the defective implants and PIP premises would have revealed the use of industrial grade silicon in the manufacturing process. On 10th December, a final

verdict is expected to be made against PIP owner Jean-Claude Mas, his infamous company and a number of former PIP executives. It has been reported that prosecutor Jacques Dallest is pressing for a four year prison sentence, hefty fines, and for Mas to receive a lifelong ban from working within the medical industry as well as from running a company. The massive health scare that was sparked in March 2010 when the PIP was shut down has spread across the globe, with an estimated 300,000 women in 65 countries being affected. Around 80 per cent of PIP's implants are believed to have been exported. The faulty implants have been connected with high rupture rates and also cancer, however the European Commission quashed these claims in a report in 2012. If a verdict is finally reached on 10th December, the decision could set an imporant benchmark in the future protection of consumer rights. Elsa Carpenter

Political Column by Julian Nundy The Riviera Times’ political commentator in Paris

In the headlines


he headlines were more and more alarming. "Can François Hollande still do anything?" asked one. Another spoke of "the risk of social implosion". "It's cracking all over,'' said yet another. A leading newsweekly editor said on television that France was "in a pre-revolutionary state." On 11th November, Armistice Day, scuffles broke out on the Champs Elysées when President Hollande, down to a record 15 per cent approval rating in opinion polls only 18 months after his election, drove to lay a wreath to commemorate the sacrifices of French soldiers. More than 70 people were detained. Some of those involved in the violence, condemned by political parties from Hollande's own Socialist Party to the far-right National Front as inappropriate on such a solemn day, were wearing the red woollen caps - bonnets rouges - that symbolise revolt in the France of 2013. The question, however, is who's wearing the caps and representing what? For the satirical and investigative weekly Le Canard Enchaîné, the red cap movement

that began in Brittany has turned into a mishmash from across the political spectrum of workers turfed out of their jobs: farmers, small businessmen as well as the extreme right. The movement started on the left, founded by Christian Troadec, the independent leftwing mayor of Brittany’s Carhaix, a town of some 7,600 inhabitants. The anger, as various Breton firms such as a slaughterhouse and a plant turning out frozen chickens closed and threw workers on the street, was exacerbated by a new écotaxe applied to heavy goods vehicles to penalise and restrict carbon dioxide emissions. Steel gantries have already been constructed over major roads with equipment to monitor truck traffic and collect levies electronically. Although Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault’s government hurriedly suspended the tax, Breton protesters set about dismantling the gantries, ultimately destroying more than 40 speed trap radars in the region in the first two weeks of November. One who praised the protesters' actions was Ségolène Royal, the Socialists' un-

successful candidate in the 2007 presidential election and the mother of Hollande's four children. Royal said she considered the red caps' movement "comforting". Ironically, the ecotax came into being under the former government of President Nicolas Sarkozy in a law that was passed unanimously by Parliament. Under fire for backtracking, the current government stressed that the suspension was temporary and promised to bring the tax into full effect next July once municipal and European Parliament elections are out of the way. With no visible end to the turmoil, several Socialist parliamentarians called on their president to take quick action, at the very least with a reshuffle of his government and the nomination of a new prime minister. But the consensus was that the problem was not the prime minister but Hollande himself, who is seen as dithering and immobile. Le Point newsmagazine took the issue a step further with a cover showing Hollande facing Sigmund Freud. "Can he change?" read its headline, with the subtitle, "Hollande as seen by shrinks."

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News in Brief Riviera and Monaco among the French, with countries such as China, Russia and neighbour Italy moving ahead of the population when it comes to the anglophone mother tongue. France has come a lowly 35th place in the table, making it the worst countries in terms of proficiency among all European countries.


PARLEZ-VOUS anglais? Europe as a whole may be moving towards better English language proficiency, but France is on an entirely different trajectory, says Education First. The latest figures from the international education organisation have revealed a trend of steadily declining skills in English

Nice's Socialist leader Patrick Allemand has spearheaded a renewed attack on the controversial second tramway line in Nice, saying that, if voted mayor in the coming elections, he would cancel the planned underground sections of the project in a risky bid for the mayoral race. "I'll do to Estrosi what he did to Peyrat," Allemand declared on his Twitter account on 12th November, alluding to the previous mayor's town hall construction project, which was scrapped when Christian Estrosi assumed his position in 2008.

DAILY COMMUTES can put a downer on any day if there's traffic about. But for Marseille and Nice, who respectively placed first and fourth in terms of France's most congested cities, the morning drive is particularly frustrating. TomTom has found Marseille to be the fifth most congested city in Europe while Nice came in at 11th. Drivers in Marseille and Nice spend 99 and 84 hours respectively stuck in traffic per 30 minute commute a year. Tuesday evenings were found to be the worst times to travel by car and drivers in Nice are delayed by an average of 35 minutes during peak times. SPIKED STRIPS; more breathtests and increased general awareness about the dangers of alcohol; devices in cars to warn drivers they are too close to the car in front; a sound alarm system when cars stray over the line; a red braking light on the front of vehicles so pedestrians can see if a car is slowing down for them to cross the road or not; and a more generalised use of bluetooth and hands-free

gadgets in the car are just some of the latest recommendations for cutting road deaths in France. The motorists who suggested these changes were responding to a campaign by the 40 millions d'automobilistes association. LUXURY HOTELS in the south of France has noted a price rise across its four and five star establishments as well as a boom in interest in its most prestigious addresses. Cannes' glamourous establishments have come out on top of the high-end market, with rooms costing an average of 169 euros a night an increase of three per cent. The iconic Film Festival backdrop beat the French capital to the hot seat of pricey locations, with Paris' figures remaining stable. In the Principality of Monaco however, which recorded a virtually sell out season this summer, prices rose by 17 per cent in the same period, going from 166 euros to 194 euros. The top 10 rankings for favourite French destinations exclusively among foreign tourists remained stable for

The first European natural park has announced its candidacy as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The French and Italian candidates, which include the Mercantour and the Alpi Marittime mountain ranges, will present their natural and cultural assets on 18th October 2014 in Breil sur Roya. If accepted, the new World Heritage Site will cross over six natural parks in France and Italy, covering 1,285 square kilometres. Both parks signed a European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation back in June, uniting them as the first European natural park.

the most part, with Riviera cities Nice (second), Cannes (third), Marseille (fifth) and Antibes (sixth) dominating the scoreboard. TERRORISM SCARES at H么pital Saint Roch in Nice city centre led to 40 officers being called to the scene. Four dentistry students were reportedly arrested following the incident after a concerned member of public alerted authorities to their suspicious and potentially dangerous behaviour. The group is believed to have been dressed in traditional Arab clothing. The barrel of a gun was spotted sticking out of bag of one of the suspects.

LUXURY RESIDENCE prices have stalled in the third quarter of 2013. While the first half of the year saw 6.6 per cent of growth across the world's top 27 'luxury' real estate cities, in July to September the rise was much more minimal at little over one per cent. Monaco is currently in 17th position, with a yearly growth of 3.2 percent between Septemmber 2012 and September 2013, and a stable 1.5 per cent in the third quarter. Other nearby hubs such as Zurich (23rd), Geneva (24th) and Paris (25th) a few points behind the Principality and London remains in 10th position in terms of prime property prices.

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Cinecittà under an open sky Alessandra Bergero launched one of Italy’s first film commissions The Riviera Alpi del Mare film commission was an admirable idea. Founded in 1998 by Alessandra Bergero, it continues to promote the Province of Savona as a setting for films and documentaries - both an image booster for the region of Liguria and an excellent source of economic revenue. "The only thing that can prove difficult is that innovative projects like ours have problems launching in such a traditional country like Italy," says Bergero. "Even if we have great results, we still have a hard time getting proper public funding to run the film commission."


lessandra Bergero lives in a 13th century house within the city walls of Cisano sul Neva. She gradually acquired the three floors plus a stunning terrace, all of which had previously been owned by three different families, and built her very Ligurian kingdom. It is a mirror of the unusual life of an unusual woman. The culture shock must have been huge when Bergero moved from her native rustic region to the big city of New York in 1982 to study at the Parsons School of Design, where she learned the art of photography and video alongside luminaries such as Helmut Newton. She quickly discovered her talents and became very active in the local art scene. Bergero's photographs, interviews and films of the burgeoning graffiti artists in the Bronx were later bought by the New York Museum of Modern Art. From there she went on to work as curator at some of the most influential and international film festivals worldwide: Cannes, Berlin and Los Angeles, as well as in her adoptive New York. She would ultimately return to her Italian roots in 1992

armed with a wealth of experience, contacts and savoirfaire. It was with new eyes that she saw her home region. "Suddenly, Liguria revealed itself to me as a region wonderfully suitable and adaptable to films of any kind," says Bergero. "I realised how much I love this area!"

ation supported mainly by the Agostino De Mari Foundation of the Ca.Ri.Sa. Bank and the Province of Savona. "Cinecittà under an open sky, this is Liguria!" she says proudly. "The variety of locations, the climate, the Mediterranean light and the close proximity to the international airport in Nice makes the Italian Riviera very attractive to producers from around the world." All of these alluring offerings have been compiled into a book with magnificent photographs of the region's best assets that is destined for the desks of the world's movie elite.

Drama on Ligurian roofs: a scene from Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart

The film bug that she had caught in the U.S. would not let go and Bergero wanted to implement what she had learnt in the 'land of opportunity' in her native corner of the Mediterranean. Soon after founding her independent production company Monna Productions, Bergero, together with her brother Raffaele, launched the Riviera Alpi del Mare film commission. It is a non-profit organis-

The pair work tirelessly to advertise Liguria as a set location at trade fairs such as Cannes' MIPTV. The priceless edge that the film commission offers is that the Bergero’s provide their innate skills and insider knowledge for free. Alessandra also speaks perfect English and knows Liguria like the back of her hand. They supply tailor-made services for each individual film project so it's no wonder that countless

producers and directors hold her and her staff close to their hearts. The diversity of documentaries and feature films that have been created thanks to the siblings is rich in contrast. Their biggest success so far is the 60 million dollar box office hit Inkheart, based on the novel by Cornelia Funke. "But producers aren't lured here by money," says Bergero, "it is instead through our efforts." She is perhaps alluding to the city of Barcelona, which is said to have offered Woody Allen a large sum so that he would set one of his films there because, of course, success in the cinema means an increase in tourism and the corresponding economic impact. The areas of Balestrino and Laigueglia for example, in which Inkheart was filmed, took around five million euros in post-release revenue. "We accomplish extraordinary things with very little money," says Bergero, "although we had to make a huge personal effort, using all our passion. The saddest thing is that if the film commission had been properly supported at the start, for example by developing local infrastructures for film and TV production, it could have created more career opportunities for young people, who instead are forced to move away from here if they have dreams,” she muses. But despite all this, nothing will change Bergero's motivation and enthusiasm for her work. Petra Hall Elsa Carpenter

Top: When the team for Inkheart arrived for filming in Balestrino, the whole town was turned upside down. Above: A relaxed get together after work with (l-r) Alessandra Bergero, actress Helen Mirren, Inkheart author and producer Cornelia Funke and Executive Producer for New Line Cinema Diana Pokorny

Munch exclusive

Little certainty

Beyond the realms of reason in Genoa

Changes to the transfer of real estate assets

enoa is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Edvard Munch with an exhibition exclusive to Italy that explores the artist's work from 1880 to his death near Oslo, Norway, in 1944. Alternating between 80 paintings and etchings, this major exhibition (until 27/04/14) retraces the work of a troubled, ground-breaking artist who went against everything that had existed up until then. Curated by Marc Restellini in the magnificent Palazzo Ducale in the city’s centre, it offers an enthralling journey, intimate, almost voyeuristic, along Munch's artistic and existential path; a testimony of the passage from impressionistic naturalism to a bold new approach that laid bare the emotions and made such a definitive contribution to 20th century art.

With paintings bearing titles like Despair (1892) and Melancholy (1892-1893), Munch’s fragile mental state was on full display at the height of his work, although Scream does not feature. A side show entitled Warhol after Munch, encompassed within the main exhibition, features works by the king of pop art that were inspired by Munch’s paintings. It offers an intriguing insight into how the darkest emotions of the troubled Norwegian artist were interpreted by the man once described as the “master of the surface”. Entry costs 13 euro, 11 euro for reductions, and is open Tuesday to Sunday 10am-7pm and Mondays 2pm -7pm. 1) Jappe Nilssen in a Wicker Chair, oil on canvas of Munch’s closest friend and supporter. 2) Bathing Boys, oil on canvas




Photographs courtesy of The Munch Museum


he break of New Year will bring a wave of changes into the taxation of real estate transfers in Italy. Full disclosure or at least proper clarification - is, according to DLA Piper's Italian office, yet to come, but the framework for change announced by the government has already led to more than a little uncertainty and doubt. From 1st January 2014, changes regarding the current tax-free exemptions and registration tax systems are set to come into force, with the price of buying a second or holiday home likely to skyrocket. First time buyers and those looking to purchase a primary residence in Italy will receive some respite under the new rules as registration tax drops from three per cent to two per cent. However, within the second home industry, registration tax will jump to nine per cent.

Existing exemptions and reliefs for the transfer of real estate assets will be abolished, but full clarification on the 'wording' of the new rules from the Italian Tax Authority is still to be announced, says DLA Piper. Under the new rules, registration tax for the transfer of agricultural land and places of historical, artistic and archaeological interest will be subject to a nine per cent tax instead of the current three per cent taxation. "Together with the change in the registration tax rates, some amendments are also provided for mortgage and cadastral taxes," says DLA Piper. "Mortgage and cadastral taxes will always be applied at the fixed rate of 50 euros when the nine per cent or the reduced two per cent registration tax rate applies." Elsa Carpenter

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Celebrate in style With a reputation built on glamour, where else to spend the festive season than in Monaco? The Principality is poised to bring 2013 to a spectacular close with a calendar of ultra chic end of year festivities planned for the Christmas and New Year period. Heralded as the epitome of luxury and glamour, some of Monaco's grandest and most exclusive establishments invite you to don a tuxedo or slip into a ball gown and pearls for evenings of champagne, fine dining and world class entertainment.


rom lavish galas in Place du Casino to night-long parties by the sea in Port Hercule, the next few weeks in Monaco will see a show-stopping programme of high society and high energy activities. The swanky private soirées of the fashionable elite may be a little much for the average pocket, but no budget is left unattended this holiday season and there is something for every eager partygoer this month. Fit for a king International royalty and the glitterati pack will launch the festivities on Saturday 7th December at the annual Christmas Ball in Hôtel de Paris' iconic Salle Empire. This

year's theme puts an upscale spin on the traditional, and guests will be treated to an extravagant Yellow Gold and White Christmas - noël blanc paré d'or - décor in homage to the Principality's prosperous watch and jewellery industry. Prince Albert II's patronage of the event is well known, but this edition will also see support from Zegg & Cerlati as well as Hublot. An auction in support of the Action Innocence Monaco association, which is organised by Sotheby's, leads the philanthropic side of the occasion and will be followed by a unique tombola hosted by Victoria Silvstedt. Complimentary champagne Hôtel Hermitage continues the festivities with a number

Elegant dining and the most coveted view in Monaco at the Hôtel de Paris

of intimate lunches and banquets planned for the Christmas and réveillon - New Year - season. This five star establishment is a major player when it comes to refined and relaxed luxury in Monaco and the beautiful Salle Belle Époque will be the centre of its celebrations. On Christmas Eve, guests can enjoy an à la carte menu with a complimentary half bottle of champagne from 120 euros. Evening dress is required for this sumptuous restaurant, but the hotel will be letting its hair down for lunch the following day, when diners can celebrate Noël with a laidback buffet-style meal and flute of champagne for 135 euros. New Year sees the Hôtel Hermitage up the ante, with an elegant haute cuisine evening beginning at 8pm in the Salle Belle Époque. From 385 euros, visitors can dine on a luxurious menu and welcome in 2014 with half a bottle of

champagne per person included in the price. And if heads aren't too heavy the next morning, a casual lunch will be served in the grand hall from noon. Top end A cornerstone of the famous Monte Carlo triangle d'or, the Hôtel de Paris will certainly be living up to its reputation as a glamour hotspot for socialites and celebrities this holiday season, with three über pricey events on the cards in the Salle Empire. Music will set the celebratory mood in this distinguished establishment on Christmas Day with a lunch for 149 euros per head, New Year's Eve's 815 euros dinner and champagne extravaganza, and 1st January's delicious lunch at 202 euros. Elsewhere in the luxury hotel, guests in formal attire can feast on a spread of gourmet dishes in Le Grill from 498 euros per person and not including drinks as the clocks chime in 2014.

Tables in the adjoining American Bar can be had on reservation only, with hushed up live music booked for the evening. Soundtrack for the New Year Staying true to its DJ roots, Monegasque nightlife legend La Rascasse will be providing the soundtrack to partygoers' celebrations right the way through the month. Open from 4pm until 4.45am the next day, the bar and club will be keeping clients entertained with resident DJs and special guests every night until the Big One on 31st December. La Rascasse has promised to keep its tariffs the same as usual so locals won't be getting a fright when they hit the bar. Finger food and snacks will also be served at regular hours, but management say they are keeping a few entertainment surprises under wraps ahead of the fiesta. Back up in the heart of Monte Carlo, the Buddha Bar has organised a New Year's Eve dinner with a DJ session to follow. Prices begin at 290 euros per person and one glass of Dom Pérignon is included Family friendly Festive spirit will be taking over Quai Albert Ier on Port Hercule from 5th December. The Christmas village has been a regular fixture on the marina since its inception in 1999 and is organised by Monaco City Hall.

The flavours and smells of gingerbread, roasting meats and other Noël novelties will fill the air and local artisans will be displaying their unique products in specially constructed chalets. From 9pm to 3am on New Year's Eve, Port Hercule will become a dance floor as DJs blast out tunes. A spectacular firework show, in the signature style of the Principality, is also set to illuminate the bay in all its glory on the stroke of midnight. Elsa Carpenter

Down on the harbour, the festive spirit fits all pockets. Above, La Rascasse is keeping its tariffs the same as usual for partygoers

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The original ad man The Riviera Times talks to author Michael Ferrier about his latest book and life in Monte Carlo


hen Michael Ferrier retired from the advertising business after four decades in the game and living and working in over 15 countries worldwide, he asked his wife where she wanted to live. "We went to Vancouver, Hawaii and Florida where we built a dream house, (and sold it nine months later!) and goodness knows how many more places on her ‘bucket list’, but she couldn't decide. I told her to take her time and in the meantime we'd go to Monaco.” Almost 20 years later, the couple are still living in the Principality, but split their time between numerous properties abroad: they have just purchased an apartment in the Cayman Islands. "We were in Florida for a while, but it was very restrictive. Everything is happening here in Monaco. Any night of the week, there are concerts, operas, rallies, horse shows and even a circus. Name me one thing that Monaco doesn't have," says Michael. He's participated in various events with Prince Albert II, and loves to banter with “this warm and so approachable Prince”. Michael

also jokes about the billionaire buddies he's had over for dinner. But outside of a bustling social calendar and an enigmatic friendship group that includes many of the celebrities who make their home in the Principality, Michael also finds time to try and give back something to the society that he has made his home. After his hugely successful career with the global McCann Erickson ad firm (the world’s largest at the time), this duty to “give back" manifested itself into him joining the board of the International School Monaco, teaching at the International University of Monaco, and hosting such events as the annual Next Generation Entrepreneurs Forum. In between all this and frequent travelling, he has still he has found time to focus on a few of his own projects. With two successful novels under his belt - The Little Brown Diamond and its sequel Mayhem in Monte Carlo – and a third novel just about finished, plus a book of poetry on the way that Michael describes as a mesh of smut and silliness, this advertising heavyweight has made a seamless transition from copywriting to penmanship.

"My style comes from my experience in advertising," says Michael of his punchy, fast paced and vivid writing. "That's why my books come across as they do." The latest, which sees art auction fraudsters, drug runners, Russian 'oiligarchs' and central character Paz inhabit the

world of Monte Carlo, promises to open the reader's eyes to the fabled lifestyle of Monaco. But far from knocking his adopted nation - Michael was born in Amsterdam, grew up in Montreal and has British citizenship as well as having recently become made a ‘privilégié’ resident of the Principality - this original ad man revels in the cultured and dynamic environment of the mini-state. As we chat about Michael's newest writing project (a love

story set in the Cayman Islands) in Café de Paris, it is difficult to balance the image of the relaxed novelist in front of me with his impressive C.V. One of the most prolific achievers and the only man with McCann Erickson to have ever

Left: Michael Ferrier in his adopted Monte Carlo. Above: His latest novel, Mayhem in Monte Carlo

managed four of the group's five continental regions, Michael speaks five languages confidently and has worked with some of the world's biggest brands. He may be 'retired', but Michael still does the odd copywriting project to "keep up to date". Discover his brazen take on the drama and dirty underworld of Monaco in Mayhem in Monte Carlo, available from or Kindle, and soon from the new BOMA Emglish bookstore in Monte Carlo. Elsa Carpenter

One step closer towards tax transparency Monaco releases letter of intent for OECD covention


n an ongoing process to embrace fiscal transparency, Monaco has announced that it will sign the OECD’s multilateral convention to facilitate the exchange of information on issues relating to tax. José Badia, Minister of Foreign Affairs signed a letter of intention this week albeit with one major proviso. Ever since the Principality’s name was taken off the OECD’s (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) black list of “uncooperative” countries in September 2009, Monaco has insisted it will sign the convention when the playing field is level. Although one step closer with this letter of intention, the proviso remains: “As soon as the automatic exchange [of information] becomes the standard applied to all States concerned and their market places, the Principality will be part of this movement,” says the official statement. Intention to sign in 2014 However, Monegasque Finance Minister Jean Cast-

ellini has now told the press that Monaco could be signing the convention by the end of the first half of 2014 once procedures are in place to administer it to OECD standards. Otherwise known as the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, it has since the G20 summit in Cannes in 2011 been opened to countries outside the OECD. Today 58 states have either become signatories or, like Monaco, have stated their intention to do so. Assumptions about what it will mean to foreign residents in Monaco can be made from past initiatives undertaken by the Principality. Since signing its first bilateral agreements on tax information exchange with individual countries early 2009, it now has 27 in place. Although they include some rather obscure States like the Faroe Islands, Samoa and Saint Marin, key players also feature such as India, the United States of America and Australia. Difficult discussions are

ongoing and have been for a couple of years with the UK, Poland and Italy. All three have already signed the OECD convention, which should speed up the process. The government promised then that it would not allow “fishing expeditions” and that any requests for information on its residents would have to be based on proven suspicions. This year, for example, they have received around 15 requests for information on individuals, mainly Europeans. 27 bilateral agreements already in place Monaco has already signed bilateral agreements on tax information exchange with Andorra, Germany, Argentina, Australia, Austria, the Bahamas, Belgium, Denmark, the United States of America, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Greenland, Iceland, India, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mali, Mauritius, Norway, the Netherlands, Qatar, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Marin, Samoa, the Seychelles and Sweden. Claire Lathbury

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Fifth of the fifth


n a symbolic gesture of friendship and goodwill between the nations of France and Monaco, the Palais Princier hoisted the French flag above its ramparts on 14th November as François Hollande and his entourage drove through the Principality's old town to the gates of the famous palace on the Rock. Touching down at Nice Côte d'Azur Airport just before noon, the French President arrived in the Principality at 12.20pm and greeted Monaco's sovereign Prince in the courtyard of the palace. Hollande, his delegates, Prince Albert II and Monegasque officials lunched in the Salle du Trône of the palace. Following the private occasion, the two leaders made their way to the Fontvieille

workshop of Venturi electric vehicles. Gildo Pallanca Pastor, the entrepreneur behind the company and a member of one of Monaco's most prestigious families, is believed to have driven and accompanied the pair on their visit to the atelier. The Scientific Centre of Monaco in Port Hercule was next on the list for the heads of state, who then made a trip to the Oceanographic Museum. Here the signing of five conventions between the two nations were completed, sealing partnerships within scientific research and development as well as the environmental sector. An agreement regarding telecommuting was also on the agenda for Hollande and Prince Albert. Some 35,000

French citizens commute to Monaco each day for work, but there are also countless others who work from a distance for companies based in the Principality. One highly anticipated topic was the fact that French nationals living in Monaco are the only French expats worldwide who must pay taxes to France. Hollande reportedly met with a small group of the 8,000 French people resident in the Principality, but for the moment there will be no changes to the tax status of this affected group. The official visit comes almost a year after Prince Albert's trip to the Champs Elysées on 7th December 2012. Hollande became the fifth French president of the Fifth Republic to make an

official voyage to the Principality and told the press, "My presence [in Monaco] follows a tradition." The French leader thanked Monaco's Prince for his warm welcome, saying that it was testimony of the "historical and profound relationship between France and Monaco". Hollande said that France would support the Principality in all its endeavours to move closer to the European Union, adding he was happy to raise a glass to future collaborations between the two states. Prince Albert II made a formal speech in the presence of the many French and Monegasque delegates, concluding, "Vive la République Française, vive la Principauté et vive l'amitié franco-monégasque!" Elsa Carpenter

National pride Positive GDP energy C. Gallo/Centre de Presse

19th November sees population out in force

Left to right: Pierre Casiraghi, Princess Charlene, Prince Albert II and Princess Caroline launched the opera season at the Grimaldi Forum


ational Day came to a close with a masterful performance by Monte Carlo's Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Gianluigi Gelmetti, which also celebrated the opening of the Principality's opera season. Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene, along with other members of the

princely family, were present at the elegant evening in the Salle des Princes of the Grimaldi Forum. Earlier in the day, hundreds of Monegasques came out to celebrate their National Day despite the weather, with red and white flags only being outnumbered by umbrellas.

IMSEE notes growth for the Principality


onaco has every reason to make its GDP report for 2012 readily accessible to the public on the website of the statistics body, IMSEE. As the global economy continued to decline, down two per cent, the Principality's gross national product grew by 0.9 per cent in 2012 (after adjustment for inflation) to 4.48 million euros, driven by healthy employment figures. While France stagnated (zero per cent) and Italy continued its downward trajectory (-2.5 per cent), Monaco's GDP was back to pre-crisis levels. It is not all good news however. The net EBITDA of companies was down -3.7 per cent compared to 2011 when it jumped 9.2 per cent, while the economic performance varied widely by sector. For example, the sector entitled ‘other

services’ soared by 36.8 per cent, but the wholesale industry was down nearly 20 per cent, mainly due to the downturn in global trade. The two largest sectors, accounting between them for over a third of Monaco's GDP, are healthy, up nearly 10 per cent in the scientific, technical and administrative services category with the financial sector climbing a more modest 2.3 per cent. GDP per employee in 2012 reached 80,415 euros When the global financial crisis hit, the Sovereign Prince Albert II instigated a road map of measures with a three-fold objective - generate sustainable growth, contain the budget deficit and move into the black in 2012. It appears to be going in the right direction. Claire Lathbury

Ed Wright

French President François Hollande made a landmark visit to Monaco

The world of the Big Top arrives in Monaco for the extravagant International Monte Carlo Circus Festival from 16th to 26th January 2014

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Perfume of nostalgia Benjamin Krigler retraces family footsteps As Benjamin Krigler boards a flight from Nice to Munich, he reflects on his family history. Their story takes the Kriglers from Germany to France, Russia and later America, where the young businessman now resides.

I 4

n 1860, when Albert Krigler was born in Berlin, Nice had just been absorbed into France and the Côte d'Azur was a succulent haven of fragrant jasmine, rose and mimosa. The talented, young Albert Krigler studied chemistry and was later hired by the then very famous perfumer Rallet in Grasse, who sent him to Moscow. It was there that he met his future wife, Charlotte, the daughter of a French perfumer. In love, Albert perfected a special fragrance for his beautiful fiancée in 1879, Pleasure Gardenia 79. Since then, his perfumes had the year integrated into their names and many define poignant moments of his life. Albert was too ambitious to spend his career working under the reputation of someone else. In 1904, he founded his company in Saint

Petersburg and within a year had opened a store in his hometown at the Hotel Victoria Unter den Linden. Krigler was ahead of his time: what perfumers today in the French Riviera consider a novelty, Albert offered his customers as standard - mixing and creating individual scents. Riviera bound However, Albert's wife, whose family came from Antibes, was homesick for life in the south of France. The Russian branch of his company had to close and the couple bought a small house in the old town of Antibes where they would produce many of Krigler's future perfumes. Without the knowledge of his wife, Albert acquired an estate in the Champagne region of France and created Château Krigler 12, the first light, floral fragrances using iris and mimosa. The scent became a sensation at a time when perfumes of this kind were difficult to achieve. Albert continued to shuttle between Berlin and Nice, each way a day-long trip on

the train. With the outbreak of WWII, he was forced to choose between having German or French nationality. He chose the latter and worked until his death in 1954 on French soil. Defying the times In 1914, his daughter Rose was engaged to a young man she loved deeply. Fate sadly stood in the way of their marriage, with the death of Rose's beloved in WWI. In a touching commemoration of their love, her father created Lieber Gustav 14, despite it being wildly controversial to give a perfume a German name at that time in France. By 1919, Krigler had opened shops in Nice - English Promenade 19 - Cannes, Monaco and Paris. He bought a plot of land close to Hôtel Eden Roc at La Garoupe and opened an atelier-style café and small studio where people could create their own perfumes and take their coffee in the elegant setting. It would be from here that many of the signature scents of his career would originate. Icons of an era Marlene Dietrich visited the atelier in the 1930s and lost her heart to Lieber Gustav 14, the first unisex perfume. The same fate befell Zelda, the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Audrey Hepburn chose English

Promenade 19, while Cary Grant picked Blue Escapade 24. Coco Chanel was a frequent customer in the Monte Carlo store and she was looking for someone to design fragrances for her. "Albert was afraid of her and he was already happy with what he had," says Benjamin. "He could have created Chanel N.5, but marketing was never a strong point for my family. We consider ourselves to be more like artists." It is because of Benjamin's grandmother Lea that he is today living in the U.S. In 1929, she married an American and moved to New York City where Krigler launched a boutique at the Plaza Hotel. This is where Grace Kelly, in 1952, discovered her lucky charm: Château Krigler 12. America One 31 was compiled for Ernest Hemingway and made famous by John F. Kennedy. "This fragrance is for leaders and is still one of our best sellers," says Benjamin, who is an architect but in 2000 decided to revive the success story of his ancestors. As before, the perfumes are crafted by hand in Mouans Sartoux and follow Albert's recipes. It is no easy task to relaunch the name and brand in a market dominated by powerful multi-million dollar groups and enterprises.

In a world where famous faces often make the success of a perfume, Krigler is among just a few exceptions with a true, authentic history in the field of perfumery. Krigler perfumes are today featured in the Fairmont Hotel of Monaco and once again in the Plaza Hotel of NYC. Munich is also in the pipeline. For those inspired by the Krigler story, you can go online to where you can relive the moments that defined Albert Krigler's century-spanning career and buy samples of his signature scents. It is a perfume of nostalgia and history. Petra Hall Elsa Carpenter 1) An elegant perfume bottle from Krigler. The Great Gatsby film featured the original Lieben Gustav 14 bottle. 2) Audrey Hepburn like many other celebrities attended the Krigler studio at Cap d'Antibes. She chose English Promenade 19 and wore it during the recording of A Roman Holiday. 3) Albert Krigler and his wife at Cap d'Antibes. 4) In 2000, Benjamin Krigler decided to revive the success story of his ancestors

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United in past, Charms of Provence present and future Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort adds to its accolades

British ambassador to France Sir Peter Ricketts visits Nice


hat would Nice be like without its iconic Promenade des Anglais and historic ties with the British Isles? This capital of the Riviera and cosmopolitan jewel of the coast may have its own distinct Franco-Italian style, but the long history the city shares with England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland have undoubtedly injected a certain je ne sais quoi into Niçois life. The elegant Villa Masséna in Nice's carré d'or quarter hosted a grand soirée for Sir Peter Ricketts' official visit to the capital of the Riviera on 18th

November. Local politicians including Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi, head of tourism for the city Rudy Salles and President of the Alpes Maritimes General Council Eric Ciotti were among those who welcomed the senior diplomat with pomp and ceremony, as well as British Consul General for Marseille and Bordeaux Simon Taylor, and prestigious figures from the British expat community in the south of France. "This is my second trip to Nice in six months!" said Sir Ricketts at the event. "Nice is an important place in the

Left to right: Tourism director Rudy Salles, Lady Suzanne Ricketts, British ambassador to France Sir Peter Ricketts and Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi

history of the relationships between France and the U.K." Cementing modern ties with a city that grew to prominence as the affluent winter sun destination of British royalty and aristocrats in the 19th century, Nice is today a thriving place for the Anglophone community and holidaymakers from across the U.K. "The British continue to be the most important tourism market for Nice," said Salles. "They make up the largest proportion of visitors to the city and there are more than 20 flights to London daily.”

British Consul General for Marseille and Bordeaux Simon Taylor

Only the finest! The value of experience chez Miele


iele has made its mark on the Côte d'Azur. Launched this autumn, the firm’s new showroom in Cap 3000 is home to two floors of premium appliances steeped in technology and efficiency. Aside from the electronic excellence tucked away under stainless steel hoods and pristine surfaces, the Germancrafted machines are ruthlessly simple and practical. It is this balance of modernity and integrity that has made Miele the brand it is today. More than a century in the

business and Miele is still setting trends. Is it the mechanics? The glossy finish and minimalist style? The added touches of brilliance that make Miele stand out from the crowd? Whatever it is, the company has conquered leading cities around the world and now has its sights firmly set on the south of France. "The person who buys property down here is the typical Miele customer," says great grandson of the company's founder Reinhard Zinkann. "Whether for a home or

even yacht, we can provide the essential items for people across the Riviera." Miele is for the home and for the professional. Acclaimed chef Alain Ducasse attended the launch of the store and revealed that he has been using Miele appliances for more than five years and will continue to do so. With a promise that a Miele-made appliance will outlive its competitors by up to a decade, the machines are not only at the forefront of design and technology, but also durability as well as energy awareness.

Above: Two floors of kitchen appliance heaven at the new showroom in Cap 3000. Left: Fan of the brand chef Alain Ducasse (left) gets a closer look


nrivalled location, pure Provençal charm and five star facilities that include indoor and outdoor pools, a soul enriching spa, two golf courses and even a luxurious residential estate, Terre Blanche's position among the world's leading hotels is indelible. The prestigious resort in the forested greenery of the Var's Tourrettes village has added to its extensive range of accolades this autumn following a London evening at the International Hotel awards. On 3rd November in the English capital's Grosvenor House Hotel, the Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort won France's Best Resort Hotel title as well as the country's Best Spa Hotel. "Receiving both of these awards on our first participation is wonderful news," says General Manager Gilles Fouillerous. "It is recognition of the quality of service provided by our hotel team and we are very honoured to be highlighted and rewarded for excellence." This isn't the first time in 2013 that Dietmar Hopp's suite and villa hotel has featured on a golden shortlist.

Above: The view from a private villa’s terrace. Right: Pure five star indulgence in the hotel’s spa

Earlier in the year, Terre Blanche also picked up the Best Golf Resort Hotel in Europe by IAGTO title, as well as being voted France's Leading Resort by the World Travel Awards. Room rates at Terre Blanche begin at 295 euros a night, but the price tag also includes a purely Provençal breakfast in the hotel. Elsa Carpenter

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Away in a manger

Santons Fouque

Santons Fouque

The santons of Provence bring together Christian and local traditions

The quaint figurines represent every day villagers from old Provence

Renaude and Le Coup Minstral are two of the usual faces of the santons


in admiration, to Bartomio, a drunk who offers Jesus a dried cod, there is a story within every character and the custom is to make a new addition to your set every year. Within the region, some 100 workshops continue to mould, fire and delicately paint the brightly coloured figures and not much has changed since the first santons appeared on mantelpieces. It is a truly family affair and the santon industry is made up of generations of santonniers - the name given to makers of

ings, shepherds, angels, and the chestnut seller; the santons of Provence have been putting a local twist on the traditional nativity scene for more than three centuries. Baby Jesus is still asleep in the cradle with Mary and Joseph standing by, but as well as visitors that came bearing gold, frankincense and myrrh, in the provençal crèche there are a village's worth of characters from daily life in old Provence. The santons - little saints count a fishwife, gypsy girl, balding priest, metal grinder

and the local fool among their number. Drawing on inspiration from the world around them, the early makers of the santons of Provence created a whole new cast of members for their nativity scenes in the late 18th century following the cultural and religious shift that was borne out of the French Revolution. Each of the figurines has its own unique persona and part to play in Provence's take on the Christian tradition. From Lou Ravi, distinguished by his arms that are raised to the sky

the quirky figurines - such as the Fouques in Aix en Provence. Fairs dedicated solely to the santons spring up across the Riviera each December. Marseille plays host to the oldest market, which was held for the first time in 1803, and runs until 31st December in Place Charles de Gaulle. Further east, Mouans Sartoux's médiathèque is hosting an exhibition until 24th December, where you can find out more about the art and take home your very own little saints.

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The sounds of laughter, skates on ice and copious cups of mulled wine mean one thing: the festive season has arrived on the Côte d'Azur. The Riviera Times takes you through our top three favourite Christmas villages in the region to help you make the most of this precious time with family and friends. Where will you go first?

Saint Tropez


hroughout December, the seaside town of Saint Tropez is taking on a whole new character. With the official 'turning on the lights' ceremony and the opening of the ice rink in Place des Lices on 5th December, the holiday season will get off to a glowing start. Chocoholics will love the three day chocolate and other sweet treats fair from 20th December, while those hoping for a more cultural twist to Christmas should head down to the rink to watch the Ice Skating School of Briançon perform a majestic presentation. The

Bolchoï Ballet will also be putting on a show on 22nd December. Little ones will love the (perhaps unconventional) arrival of Father Christmas as he steps off his sleigh-styled boat in Saint Tropez's harbour on 24th December and the whole family can join in with community celebrations outside the walls of the wonderful Saint Tropez Chapel on 28th December.

Christmas village spirit Pick up everything you need to make this festive season special in one of the French Riviera’s best themed villages



nder a canopy of firtrees and glittering lights, Nice's city centre will be the perfect winter snowglobe until 1st January. In Place Mas-

The heart of Menton undergoes a festive makeover with lights and installations

Skaters twirl on Saint Tropez’s rink at the annual Christmas village

séna's artisan village, the square almost unrecognisable beneath its icing sugar and gingerbread dusting, more than 60 local craftsmen and women will assemble their festive wares and Christmasthemed items. Nearby, from just five euros the ice rink is a wonderful place to head to with friends or family and don't be put off if you've never skated before they offer novice sessions too! On the newly opened Promenade du Paillon, a choreographed show is programmed for 28th December. The popular Ferris wheel will also be back as will the children's games and entertainment. The town hall has organised for six special postboxes to be installed around the city and any letters sent off to Santa Claus will taken to Père Noël’s chalet in Place Masséna where children can meet the man himself. Music is aplenty in Place Garibaldi over the holiday period, with concerts planned for 22nd through to 31st December. The Fête de la Sainte Lucie, a beautiful part of celebrations in Nice, will take part on 14th December at the Anglican Church and in Place Fontaine du Temple.



hristmas in the FrancoItalian border town of Menton is always a special moment, but this year it will get an added dash of glitz and glamour with New York City featuring as the guest of honour! In keeping with the theme of the Big Apple, a programme packed with cinematic delights, shows, fanfare and illuminations will light up the town centre - it’s a journey through the American dream. Taking on the persona of the 'city that never sleeps', pompom girls and marching bands will fill the streets while out on the ice rink, the public is invited to try out this iconic Central Park-style attraction all day long. Known for its all-out attitude when it comes to celebrating, in addition to the yellow taxis and stateside foods, Menton's month long Christmas village (7th December to 5th January) also offers all the quintessential market stalls and Nativity shows that you normally find in at Noël - they just have that extra sparkle. Elsa Carpenter

Aix en Provence Christmas market for children. 11/12. Centre Franco Allemand Antibes Juan les Pins Ice rink, activites, market. 3/12 to 11/01. Town exhibition space Beaulieu sur Mer Festive concerts and gatherings. 20 to 24/12. Town centre Biot Christmas lights, skating, fireworks, stories for children. 20/12 to 05/01. Town centre

Marseille The world’s biggest Santons de Provence market. Until 31/12. Place Général de Gaulle. Christmas market. Until 31/12. Vieux Port Monaco Christmas village on the marina. 05/12 to 05/01. Quai Albert I. Special gourmet Christmas chocolate fair. 21 to 24/12. 3pm to 6pm. Hôtel Hermitage Monte Carlo Mougins Plenty to keep the children busy with pony rides and Father Christmas. 14 to 15/12. Town centre

Cannes Tea and cakes, Christmas gifts and produce, jewellery, tombola, children's games. There's something for everyone come! 07/12. Holy Trinity Church, Avenue Branly

Saint Raphaël A bustling Christmas village. 06/12 to 05/01. Esplanade Delayen. Festival of lights. 06/12. Town centre

Cap d’Ail Traditional Christmas market with stalls and entertainment. 23 to 24/12. Town centre

Valbonne Sophia Antipolis Three days of festive heaven at this Christmas market. 17 to 19/12. Town centre. Special festive holiday concerts. 12 to 13/12. 8pm. Eglise Saint Blaise

Grasse Local produce and festive treats for the whole family. 07 to 08/12. Saint Antoine quartier

Villeneuve Loubet Workshops for children with music, entertainment and stalls. 24/12. Town centre

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Altitude and attitude CRT

Hit the slopes with insider knowledge this winter There aren't many places in the world where you can spend the morning on piste and the afternoon soaking up a few rays of sunshine by the beach. But on the Riviera, snow covered mountains with magnificent sea views are the norm and the superb choice of skiing destinations within an easy drive from the coast gives this region of the Mediterranean an edge over its landlocked competitors. The Riviera Times' takes you through the local leaders and little known stations as well as giving you a taste of adventure with some further away gems for winter sports.

LEADERS OF THE PACK end (two day) pass will cost you 62.30 euros.

Auron Auron is both the most technical ski park in the Alpes Maritimes as well as the biggest. Over 135 kilometres of pistes in a generous mix of difficulties are accessible by 20 lifts from the village, which stands at 1,600 metres above sea level. Four principal areas make up the Auron domaine: Las Donnas, Sauma Longue, Demandols and Lieuson. A one day adult pass costs 32 euros, and a weekend is available for 62.30 euros.

Valberg Noted for being the most family friendly international

ski station in the Alpes Maritimes, Valberg has been awarded the Famille Plus label for its dedication to creating a space that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Sitting at 1,700 metres above sea level, Valberg village is a treasure trove for parents with infants and teenagers alike. With a crèche for children from three months old to six years, parents can indulge in some free time and hit the multitude of downhill skiing pistes - 90 kilometres worth as well as 25 kilometres of cross-country skiing facilities.

On the slopes, the more daring skiers among you can head to the huge inflatable crash mat, aka the Big Air Bag Freestyle, practicing and perfecting your skills. A one day adult pass costs 30.60 euros and a child's (under 12) is 22.70 euros. Each adult pass gets you 50 per cent off an accompanying child's ticket. An adult weekend pass is 57.50 euros.

Limone A short drive into the Italian mountains will take you to skiing haven Limone. Though

some of Limone's slopes are suited for beginners, most of its 80 kilometres of ski trails require an advanced technical level. Snowboarders will find wide enough slopes, but might enjoy the 3,500 square metre snowpark better. Rising up to 2,085 meters above sea level, Limone's ski resort is also almost entirely equipped in artificial snow cannons. If endurance wins over speed, cross-country skiers will enjoy nearby centres Panice Sottana and Vernante. A one day adult pass costs 33 euros while a weekend pass is 66 euros.

WORTH THE DISTANCE Courchevel All glitz and all glamour, Courchevel is part of the coveted 'three valleys' region in Savoie, which brings together other popular resorts such as Méribel and Val Thorens as well as holding the title of the largest connected ski destination in the world. It is fashionable, expensive and a favourite among the international celebrity, socialite and royalty circle, but is also a wonderful place for beginners to earn their stripes on its gentle nursery slopes. Its select clientele has allowed Courchevel to continue building its illustrious image as the number one stop for luxury skiing. Coupled with its 150 kilometres of alpine runs that crisscross the mountains from valley floor to glacial peaks is Courchevel's outstanding portfolio of services. Need a spa or detox following a hectic day on the piste? Want to splurge on the resort's enviable designer shopping streets? Or even dine on Michelin starred and

globally acclaimed cuisine? Everything and anything is available here, all you need is that piece of platinum plastic. A one day adult pass in the Courchevel resort is 48 euros and a seven day ticket is 269 euros. For wider use of the region, get a daily 'three valleys' pass for 57 euros and a weekly one for 320 euros.

Val d’Isère Massively popular with novice and intermediate skiers and snowboarders, Val d'Isère is the resort with the biggest British fan base. In the Tarentaise Valley of the Rhône Alpes region, this destination is a very short drive from the Italian border. It is a regular host of winter sports competitions, owing its presence on the world stage to its access to cities such as Lyon and Grenoble. Val d'Isère's strongest advantage over competitors such as Chamonix and Morzine is that very few major ski destinations are able to offer the same level and variety of


With its views out over the Mediterranean and fluffy snow underfoot (or under ski), Isola 2000 has dominated skiing among foreigners in the Alpes Maritimes for over four decades. High in the Tinée Valley, the now well-established resort was 'discovered' by British army officer and ski champion Peter Boumphrey, who opened up the area to the world in 1972.

Boasting 120 kilometres of pistes, you can always be confident in the snow of Isola 2000 thanks to its snow cannons, which can provide solid cover for up to 70 per cent of the slopes. Its snow park, found at 2,300 metres above sea level, comes complete with exclusively snowboard-targeted obstacles as well as handrails for adventurous skiers. An adult pass for the day costs 32 euros while a week-

Stan Aron

Isola 2000

wide sweeping routes, difficulties and experiences as this Savoie resort. Go off piste or take your first tentative steps onto the snow, regardless of your skill ability, Val d'Isère has a refreshing diversity for every snow bunny. A one day pass is 48.50 euros exclusively for the Val d’Isère valley while a week is 275 euros.

Val Thorens Famous for being the highest altitude resort in Europe, Val Thorens is overlooked by six glaciers. It is the most impressive of the eight resorts in the

Three Vallées ski area, which boasts some 600 kilometres of runs. Over 99 per cent of the ski area is above 2,000 metres and has something for everyone carving, off-piste, ski touring, snowpark, boardercross and even télémark skiing, all with spectacular views from the legendary Glacier de Péclet to a 360 degree panorama of 100 Alpine summits (French, Swiss and Italian). Day adult ski passes for the three valleys (Val Thorens, La Orelle and La Vallée des Belleville) start at 57 euros for one day, up to 628 euros for 14 days. Family and Tribu passes for groups are also available.

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global crowd. Piste des Melezes.

7/8 Dec: Rock on Snowboard Tour Never done it? This is your chance to give it a try. Demos, free trials and the latest kit from 30 brands.

15 Dec: Xmas Fair in nearby Saint-Etienne de Tinée, Salle des Fêtes. 9-5pm.

13-15 Dec: International Wine from the Mountains Fair with wines produced above 400m from France, Corsica, Italy, South America & Canada. Wine tastings, cheeses, salamis, etc. Salle Polyvalente. 3.30-8.30pm. 10-11 Jan: Car race on ice for top drivers battling it out for the Andros Trophy.

In Auron... 9-12 Dec: FIS SuperG international competition with a


9-12 Dec: FIS giant slalom international competition.

26-28 Dec: Astronomy Days Observe the sun in the day and the stars at night with lectures, films & starlit walk. 11-11pm. Front de Neige.


In Valberg... Every weekend in the village square you can enjoy the ice rink with hot drinks and food for five euros. A fun day out for the whole family. 29 Dec: Truffle market all day. .Village square. 31 Dec: New Year’s Party with music & dancing. From 10.30pm. Tickets from the Tourist office.


Val Pelens At barely a two hour drive from Nice, this brand new ski

Val d’Allos For medium level and more experienced skiers, the whopping 230 kilometres of ski trails split between both Val d'Allos resorts should provide plenty of entertainment. Between the altitudes of 1,800 and 2,600 metres, in the southern Alps, the resorts are at a two and a half hour drive from Nice. Children and beginners are welcome, as there is a healthy portion of easy slopes, plus a snowpark in Val d'Allos la Foux for snowboarders.

A one day pass costs 35 euros, two day passes are available for 66.50 euros.

Beuil les Launes


Being the resort closest to the sea in the Grasse area - barely 20 kilometres' drive away you'd be hard pressed to find a better view of the French Riviera than from the top of Mount Cheiron. You might even be able to see the Alps and Corsica on a clear day. Its 30 kilometres of slopes include a healthy balance of beginner-oriented and more advanced trails, half of them being for experienced skiers. Cross-country skiers will find an extra 30 kilometres of trails just for them. A day pass costs 18 euros during the week and 22 euros on the weekend.

resort is perfect for children and beginners. Opened in December of last year, it has a picnic area for skiers at the bottom of its three kilometres of slopes. L'Auberge des Aiguilles provides food, accomodation and equipment. One day costs 13 euros, a full week pass is available for 65 euros.

With its 90 kilometres of pistes ranging from beginner to expert, with a healthy amount of each, Beuil les Launes has the added benefit of being a medieval village. Just an hour and a half’s drive from Nice, the station offers passionate skiers plenty of enjoyment on the slopes all day and there are still plenty of things for them to see in the evening. To top it off, the snowpark at the summit of the resort makes Beuil les Launes a well-rounded holiday setting for all those who love winter sports. A day pass costs 27.90 euros, two day passes are available at 52.40 euros.


Gréolières les Neiges

Excellent snow conditions in the French Alps have allowed many major destinations to open their slopes to skiers and snowboarders earlier than imagined. In the Mercantour mountain range, Isola 2000, Auron and Valberg are preparing to launch the 2013/14 season on 7th December (snow permitting) so eager snow lovers could be snapping on their boots, boards and skis for good quality days out within the next few weeks. Dates for other ski stations in the south of France and Italian Riviera are expected to be slightly later, but weather forecasters have predicted snows months ahead. Skiers and boarders should keep looking to the skies as, if the blustering and icy weather at the end of November is anything to go by, perfect powder could be just around the corner.

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The oil of princes Discovering Casa Olearia Taggiasca with Marco Bonaldo, a company that produces some of the best olive oils in the region 5

green tint. It is a truly exceptional elixir that we only make to order. Some chefs celebrate it in their menus as an exclusive event. 4

1) Settimino: a speciality of Galateo & Friends. 2) Taggiasca cultivar olives have been sought for their extraordinary quality for centuries. 3) Innovation: the salty oil, Twist. 4) Marco Bonaldo has been passionate about high quality food and, of course, the best olive oil since his youth. 5) Terre Bormane: cold-pressed olive oil of the highest quality with a wonderful aroma


THE RIVIERA TIMES: How do you become an official purveyor of olive oil for Prince Albert II of Monaco? MARCO BONALDO: You must have more than a decade of experience working with Société des Bains de Mer (SBM) to become a fournisseur breveté - a licensed supplier. The SBM's portfolio includes the Principality's major hotels and restaurants, such as Hôtel de Paris, Hôtel Hermitage,


Sweet universe Jérôme De Oliveira expands from Cannes to Monaco


érôme De Oliveira, the youngest ever World Pastry Champion, opened his first salon de gourmandises, the poetically named Intuitions by J., in the ideally located Five Seas Hotel in Cannes back in 2012. One year and a half later, he continues the adventure and has launched a second pastry boutique in Monaco. Intuitions by J. is a true sweet enchantment where your can discover a various range of delicious temptations including macaroons, pastries, chocolate and other confectioneries... What better

What distinguishes your oil? To achieve an extremely low acidity level, we strive to press the Taggiasca cultivar on the same day that they are harvested. In addition, and thanks to our machines, we are able to preserve the nutrients in the olives and thus ensure a superior taste. As a high quality and expensive product, how is Casa Olearia Taggiasca performing in the current economic climate? With exclusively high quality products comes, of course, price. From the very beginning, our



Summer Sporting, Monte Carlo Bay Hotel, Monte Carlo Beach…You also have to have been supplying the Prince's Palace for at least 10 years, with three prestigious endorsements on the quality, reliability and professionalism of the company. We have had the honour of being recommended by three of the Principality’s top starred chefs.

opportunity to surprise your guests during the Christmas holidays than with a selection of Intuitions delights? Concerning special events, he can also create custommade products to order, making your event a wonderfully unique moment. Be ready for a fantastic and enticing journey into Intuitions by J.’s world this winter.

goal was to position ourselves in the upper echelons of the market. We aim to satisfy a very demanding and erudite clientele who appreciate excellence and finesse. Our brands Terre Bormane and Galateo & Friends are names synonymous with outstanding quality and many of our customers want personalised products. We have recently realised a number of special collaborations and projects with luxury hotels Burj Al Araband Burj Kalifa Atmosphere in Dubai as well as Raffles in Singapore, Mezzaluna and Sky Bar in Bangkok, and the Ritz in Paris among others. Partnerships of this kind are in our blood and we pride ourselves on the signatures of the world's best chefs and designers that adorn our products. What makes your company, Casa Olearia Taggiasca, stand out from other olive oil producers? We lay great emphasis on

excellent service as well as impeccable quality standards. This approach has, over the years, set us apart from other companies. The fact that we work so closely with the best chefs worldwide allows us to fulfil their expectations, demands and wishes. How do you see northern Europe as a market in terms of olive oil? We have always worked with a lot of foreign companies. Firstly in France, where our principal market is, but also in the U.K. Switzerland, Russia and other northern Europe countries. We hope to tap into the eastern European market too. Tell us about your specialty: the settiminoolive. The settimino is a unique type of olive oil that we create from prematurely harvested olives. Normally, oil is produced in mid November, but we had the idea to bring the date of harvesting and production forwards to the first week of October. Not yet ripe olives provide a very fruity aroma and a rich oil with a wonderful

How did your passion for olive oil begin? I have had this passion since my teenage years and I've always had a love for good food. I saved so that I could go and eat in a star restaurant. Following my university studies, I worked in the field of olive oil production and later founded Casa Olearia Taggiasca thanks to the Guasco and Ghu families. That was two decades ago and my enthusiasm remains unabated. Indeed, many of the projects and expansions continue to inspire me to do more, but I also have another passion: art and graphics. Both have helped me to introduce our products into the world of fashion and design. Names such as Paola Navone, Carla Sozzani and Tricia Guild, for example, have designed some of the labels of our oil bottles. With French designer Jacqueline Morabito, we have designed a line called Home. It was an important direction to take and it is essential to always offer new and different products. Our salted oil, Twist, to name just one, is the perfect accompaniment to any salad or gourmet dish. The products of Casa Olearia Taggiasca can be bought locally in the showroom in Arma di Taggia as well as in some of the best delicatessens in the Côte d'Azur. Petra Hall Elsa Carpenter

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A touch of heritage Wining and dining T

he hottest thing on many people's lips right now is Jan, a new contemporary restaurant in the port of Nice. Headed by South African chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, Jan offers a very distinguished modern French cuisine with a touch of South African heritage. Complimented by a classy old Victorian dining room and impeccable service, Jan has quite possibly cemented the future of this emerging chic and trendy quarter of Nice.

"From a farm in South Africa to the shores of the Mediterranean," Jan takes his diners on a culinary journey to a place where he himself is constantly discovering the joys of local ingredients. Pork belly with scallops, parsnip,

vanilla, cabbage and a Porto jus; salmon tartare marinated in beets and horseradish served with avocado, lemon tempura and parmesan; caramel pudding with a quince and ginger compote delivered with housemade vanilla ice cream. These are just an example of the delights available in a constantly changing menu created according to the daily market. I love trying new flavours and combinations, and Jan offers just that. We had a delicious mussel soup

Clockwise from top: Red salad with snapseed. Chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen. The façade of Jan’s in the Nice Port

prepared with tonka cream - a bean native to Central America with a fragrance reminiscent of vanilla, almonds,

cinnamon and cloves. That was followed by the most perfectly cooked seabass served on a bed of just-crunchy green beans, courgette tagliatelle and champagne beurre blanc. For dessert, a pavlova was finished with fresh fig and nuts, milk sorbet and a delectable crème anglaise. Each dish excepting dessert is served with warm housemade bread loaf with quality olive oil and balsamic on the side. It is a rare occasion that I cannot find fault in a restaurant dish, but I must admit my meal at Jan was pretty much perfect. The wine is composed of primarily local and organic wines, featuring a great New World selection from New Zealand, South Africa and Australia. A delicate blend of "happening" and classic, says chef Jan. Lunches in this fine-dining restaurant are actually quite relaxed - they happily accommodated my giant pushchair and cooed at my threemonth-old little girl. Dinner is a more formal affair, with elegant white tablecloths and soft vocal jazz in the background. The dinner menu sways towards the expensive with degustation options, and the lunch menu is great value ranging from 18 to 26 euros for two to three courses. Options are limited to the set three-course menu of the day, a potential problem for vegetarian/vegans or fussy eaters, so it's a good idea to befriend Jan on Facebook to see what they're serving up. But I can guarantee that lovers of fine food will not be disappointed here. And if you are anything like me, you will be counting down the days to your next Jan experience. I lasted about a week. Cassandra Tanti

A little something for the angels at La Part des Anges


ynamic in vision yet rustic in appearance, La Part des Anges has remained true to its all organic and all natural roots since its launch as a unique wine cellar in the south of France back in 1998. This quaint wine bar and shop combination on Rue Gubernatis in Nice was the first of its kind in the city and its patrons continue to appreciate the genuine and unfussy charm of the cave. Others may have sprung up over the last few years, but La Part des Anges' personality has proved both popular and successful, as owner Olivier Labarde explains over a glass of wine. "I arrived from Paris two decades ago although I'm originally from the south," says Frenchman Labarde. "Nice had nothing like La Part des Anges and I wanted to create something different." But it's not only the style and atmosphere of the wine cellar that sets it apart from the rest. La Part des Anges has, from the very beginning, deliberately chosen to only feature organic and ecologically produced wines. In the early days of his career, Labarde had a chance meeting that changed his perception of 'natural wines', which are still a rarity in France. "The bio and organic fashion arrived much later in wine than it did in fruit and vegetables, for example," says Labarde, "but we don't follow trends here. It is a commitment for us."

Photography: Cristina Martín Amorín

Blends of flavours and styles in Jan's contemporary cuisine

Open Monday to Thursday from 10am until 8.30pm, with extended hours until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, La Part des Anges invites wine drinkers to sample wines from across France in its bar à vins, dine on delicious dishes of cheese and charcuterie in the bistro, and purchase bottles of wine from its stores in the front of house shop. An edge that La Part des Anges has over other bars is its vast range of prices, from the easily affordable weekly choices to a selection of grands vins. It also has no corking fees - droit de bouchon. The wholly chilled out atmosphere is both inviting and enveloping. Artwork and wine bottles line the walls, while the chatter of customers and the inevitable twists of a corkscrew provide a gentle backdrop hum

while you enjoy a glass in a space as comfortable and familiar as home. For those who like something more substantial on their plate, there is always the sister restaurant La Mise au Verre a few streets away. This is one place you won't want to leave, one too many glasses of wine or not! Elsa Carpenter

Jacques Gantié’s Restaurant recommendations Jacques Gantié is the author of the only regional restaurant guide, Guide Gantié, which is available in French in hardcopy, and electronically in English. It contains hundreds of great insider tips for eating out.

MIRAZUR Mauro Colagreco is a master when it comes to herbs, condiments and his garden, changing the menu daily in this light-filled restaurant that overlooks Garavan port and the old town. The Italian-Argentine blends fragrances, textures and cultures to transform his fish of the day, meat dishes and desserts, accompanied by black truffles, lemons, fresh peas, Mediterranean-

inspired flavours: a bold, adventurous cuisine that wears his heart on its sleeve. The wine list includes impressive vintages from Argentine and flavoured distilled waters. Closed Mondays (Tuesdays in some periods). Parking. MENTON 30 Avenue Aristide Briand 06500 Tel: 04 92 41 86 86

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All aboard Cruise market booms in Marseille

Go global From Nice Côte d’Azur Airport to the rest of the world...


he Nice Côte d'Azur Airport is cementing its status as one of Southern Europe's leading air travel hubs with revitalised winter routes and brand new professional valet services that will add a special touch to your travels. Prague and Moscow Domodedovo have joined the growing ranks of the airport's destinations and passengers can also benefit from increased routes to London Gatwick and Bucharest. Over 60 cities are now within reach this winter, just take your pick! Nice Côte d'Azur Airport has introduced four weekly

flights to both Prague and Moscow Domodedovo, taking the total of routes to the Russian capital up to 13 per week this winter. An additional two routes to London Gatwick on Mondays and Fridays have been set up by Norwegian as well as two extra weekly flights to Bucharest on Thursdays and Sundays with Tarom. The latest additions to the airport's glowing portfolio mean that there are 63 direct destinations within a few hours from Nice this winter, representing 25 countries in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

Travellers headed further afield have access to over 30 daily flights to some of the world's leading international hubs such as Amsterdam, Dubai, Frankfurt, London, Paris and Zurich. Staying local (ish), there are an average of two flights each hour to Orly and Roissy. Following on from the recent additions of online car park and Club lounge bookings, the airport has just launched a professional yet pocket friendly valet service meaning airline passengers can now drop off their vehicle within close proximity to the departure area and pick it up

on their return without delay. The 29 euros valet, not including parking costs, can get a luxurious top up, with a car wash and tank filling extras available for 89 euros. Under the normal tariff, vehicles will be stored in the P6 area of the airport, but those using the premium option will be reassured to know that their car will be kept in the secure G1 or G2 blocks. Booking is essential for the seven days a week service and must be done at least 24 hours in advance. Head online to to reserve your place. Elsa Carpenter Continued from front page...

The figures, which come from last year's crime rates, consider five categories: aggression, property offences, physical violence, burglary, and vehicle theft. Nice ranked poorly under the heading of theft and crime related to personal property, coming in 401 position of out a possible 408. Niçois citizens reported 75.2 cases per 10,000


assive investment and the lure of European Capital of Culture attractions have paid off for France's second biggest city. By the end of 2013, Marseille will have seen its cruise ship business jump 30 per cent, having breached the symbolic one million passenger barrier at the end of autumn. A delighted President of the Marseille-Provence Cruise Club, Jacques Truau, told the press that unstoppable growth in the cruise market looks set to propel Marseille into the top five Mediterranean cruise ports by 2016. The club, an association uniting the Marseille-Provence Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the city's Grand Port Maritime (major seaport) and the City Council, was formed in 1996 to spearhead development of maritime activities. The number of port-port cruises departing from Marseille, as opposed to just calling in, will total 300 by end of 2013 and is expected to rise by 25 per cent to 400 in 2014. It's an important statistic as many passengers are often tempted to either stay overnight at the end of a cruise or take up shore

excursions, all of which is good for tourism. Nine companies offer cruises from the Phoenician city and when stopovers, which total 450 this year, are included, that number rises to 38. In all, 76 ships moored in the port over the last 12 months. The old fishing port's facelift and European Capital of Culture events have proved big enough bait to get the high-end market on the line. So far, 45 luxury cruise ships have tied up at the J4 pier near the brand new Europe and Mediterranean Civilisations Museum, MUCEM. However, the city cannot afford to rest on its laurels. The CCI in particular is urging the tourism sector to prepare for "after 2013" and to build on the city's revitalised reputation. Investment has played a key role. A 71 million euro injection led to the opening of two new cruise terminals among other facilities. A further 35 million has been earmarked to make it easier for the big 350m ships to manoeuvre and to moor near the Vieux Port, the old fishing port. Claire Lathbury

inhabitants, a figure marginally higher than in Marseille (70.3 cases) and nearby Cannes (67.2 incidents). The rates of physical violence in Marseille and Nice also put the cities at the lower end of the scale with a 11.73 and 8.45 incidents. Burglary continues to be a major issue in the south of France, particularly in communities with a high number of second and holiday homeowners. Nice saw 11.34

break-ins per 10,000 citizens during 2012, while jet-set Saint Tropez experienced a similar 11.24 cases. Director of the French National Supervisory Body on Crime and Punishment Christophe Soullez warned that the statistics shouldn't be completely relied upon, however, because "they only represent the number of crimes actually reported to authorities". Elsa Carpenter

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EU ease on succession rights Total change in two years’ time ross-border succession is a headache for many an expat. All is set to change in 2015, making it significantly simpler for the 450,000 testators and heirs who struggle through the current system each year, as new European Union regulations come into force. Responding to what the EU has described as "the need for legal certainty and easier proceedings", the future uniform rules will be applicable to all international wills and successions from 17th August 2015 following a period of transition. Back in July 2012, a major move was made in favour of European citizens' inheritance rights with the creation of a European Certificate of Succession and the adoption of the No. 650/2012 motion. Although the legislation has been accepted continent-wide, it will in no way infringe on national substantive rules. Deciding who is to inherit the share of assets for children or spouses will remain under national law in the same way as tax arrangements for assets in a succession. The property and family laws of a European

country will also continue to be domestic issues. According to the European Justice Commission, the new rules will, however, ensure that crossborder successions are treated coherently under a single law and by a single authority. The move will allow European expats to choose whether the law used in their succession transaction is that of their nationality or their place of habitual residence. Pivotal in the agreement is that testators and benefactors will be able to avoid the complicated parallel proceedings and conflicting judicial decisions that often dog international successions. No. 650/2012 has also provisioned for the creation of a European Certificate of Succession, which will enable individuals implicated in a will to prove their status and rights if they are the estate's administrator or executor of the will without having to go through higher authorities and formalities. Cross-border successions are to become cheaper, more efficient and much easier in summer 2015. Elsa Carpenter



Property series: Sainte Maxime Family time with sea views and sandy beaches


Real estate valuation Buyers and owners will have access to new service by the end of the year


hen estimating the value of a property, the French tax administration system has access to a database. This database lists all the back catalogue of property and provides the average cost of the property type in a region or a town per square metre. It also allows the tax administration to check values in wealth tax declarations or for donation

according to market prices. From now on, tax payers will have access to this database too. It will be available for free via by the end of the year. The new online service, Rechercher des valeurs immobilières or Patrim Usagers, can only be used for fiscal purposes. Jean-Philippe Gioanni Chartered Accountant Cannes

M O R T G A G E Financial Institution

Contact Thomas Nielsen Camille Marne

sister. In the heart of the village and close to the centre, there are old detached houses dating back to the beginning of the 1900s and earlier. These have often been either renovated or entirely redone. Small houses with no sea view are priced at 500,000 to 700,000 euros; expect to pay around 100,000 euros for a small central studio. Close to the centre in the sought-after Avenue Berthie Albrecht quarter, you find houses with character, sea views and rapidly rising prices. Sea front apartments can sell for 800,000 to one million euros, says Provensal. As you leave the old village you quickly gain a little in height, which makes districts like the Sémaphore popular with prospective purchasers because they remain close to the centre, but villas have more open aspects; some have views across the gulf to Saint Tropez. Properties may have been renovated or razed and rebuilt to provide contemporary homes. Prices begin around 500,000 to 600,000 euros for an old house and can rise to up to three to four million euros.

he family seaside resort of Sainte Maxime, which has always paid particular attention to les petits, was awarded in 2010 the Famille Plus label. The most populated of the 12 Golfe du Saint Tropez communes, it has over 11 kilometres of sandy beaches and mariners will be pleased to know that the port, with 800 moorings, caters year round to boats of five to 25 metres. Sainte Maxime was a Greek trading post prior to becoming a small Roman agglomeration. Following the departure of the Saracens, pillaging continued for a few more centuries. Fishermen settled by the sea when peace returned, but the small port only regained its commercial activity in the 18th century thanks to a fleet of sailing ships that transported timber, cork, oil and wine to Marseille and Italy. In August 1944, other ships transported troops to the Nartelle, Croisette and Eléphants beaches - part of the Allied landings in Provence. The appropriately named Agence Immobilière Provensal, founded in 1889, is today run by Eric Provensal and his

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Other popular residential areas, also in slightly elevated locations and with similar prices, are La Croisette to the west and Nartelle to the east. Provensal recently sold a 1950s house for renovation on a 1,200 sqm plot with "belle vue mer" over the bay and of Saint Tropez in the La Croisette sector for circa 900,000 euros. There are no separate hamlets in the commune they were snapped up by last month's acquisitive commune, Le Plan de la Tour, which spent most of the 19th

century wresting land and hamlets from its coastal rival. As you move away from the coast, the lack of sea views is reflected in prices, but all sectors remain popular in Sainte Maxime. "C'est une ville attractive." The great plus point of Sainte Maxime, says Provensal, is its position offering the picture postcard view of Saint Tropez opposite and "having a south-facing aspect with the land oriented towards the sea and Saint Tropez." Carolyn Reynier


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Villa with 2,150 sqm of grounds between Sainte Maxime and Grimaud and four bedrooms: 1,695 million euros. Photo: Agence Provensal



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01 Sun Dec Concert. Promising SouthKorean conductor Seung-Ryul Yang performs Mozart classics with Evelina Pitti and Nicolas Autricourt. 4.30pm. Théâtre Croisette. Info: Cannes (L) Concert. Discover or rediscover the voice of the world famous jazz vocalist Stacey Kent. 5.30pm. Acropolis. From 31.20 euros. Info: Nice (N) 3 Tue Dance. The Kiev Municipal Academic Ballet Theatre presents P.I. Tchaïkovski's masterpiece "Nutcracker" ballet in two acts. 8pm. Acropolis. From 40 euros. Info: Nice (N) 6 Fri Cinema. Discover beautiful films at the International

festival of underwater images and adventure. Until 08/12. All day. Palais de Congrès. From 6 euros. Info: Juan les Pins (M) Concert. Beautiful redhead singer Mylène Farmer performs a highly choreographed show entitled Timeless 2013. 8pm. Palais Nikaïa. From 65 euros. Info: Nice (N) Concert. Wolfgang Doerner and harpist Cécile Maudire perform Mozart and Joaquín Rodrigo pieces for the Restaurants du Coeur. 8.30pm. Auditorium des Arlucs. 16 euros. Info: Cannes (L)

7 Sat Show. "Le Cirque de Venise" baroque circus show on the theme of Venise. 2.30pm. La Palestre. From 16.80 euros. Info: Le Cannet (L)

Show. Dance show by Denise Flynn and Jum Murrihy and music by Anthony Davis called Irish Celtic. 8.30pm. Acropolis. From 30 euros. Info:

"Moi je crois pas !", written by Jean-Claude Grumberg and produced by Charles Tordjman. Until 15/12. Times vary. From 8 euros. TNN, salle Pierre Brasseur. Info:

Nice (N)

Nice (N)

8 Sun Concert. Traditional and modern Christmas carols performed by the Vallée du Paillon choir. 3.30pm. Espace Neptune in Port Saint Jean. Info:

11 Wed Dance. Jean-Christophe Maillot celebrates his 20th anniversary at the head of the Ballets de Monte Carlo. 8.30pm. Salle Garnier Opéra de Monte Carlo. 20 euros. Info: balletsdemontecarlo. com Monaco (P)

Saint Jean Cap Ferrat (O)

Concert. Henri Pourtau performs the most beautiful vocal interpretations of Ave Maria. 4.30pm. Eglise Notre Dame de Bon Voyage. Free. Info: Cannes (L)

10 Tue Theatre. Pierre Arditi and Catherine Hiegel perform

12 Thu Concert. A massive lineup of French pop stars from the eighties perform cult classics. 8pm. Palais Nikaïa. From 36 euros. Info: Nice (N) 13 Fri Show. Nicolas Simon, Cécile Maudire et Florent Bontron perform three classic pieces by Mozart. 9pm. Espace culturel Jean-Paul Maurric. Info: La Crau (E)

14 Sat Sport. Chrismas regatta organised by the Société des Régates d'Antibes Juan-lesPins. Until 15/12. All day. Yatch Club d'Antibes. Info: sr- Antibes (M) Show. Horse drawn carriage, street performances, socca, belote tournament and show performed by children. All day. Quartier Beaverbrook and Château des Terrasses. Info: Cap d'Ail (P) Dance. Considered the world's most talented tap dancers, Savion Glover's tap shoes are set to ring out. 8.30pm. Salle Garnier Opéra de Monte Carlo. From 19 euros. Info: balletsdemonte Monaco (P) Theatre. An improvising theatrical battle by Counta BlaBla from Nice and AIA from Antibes. 8pm. Salle de l'Espace Associations. 6 euros. Info: Nice (N)

Show. NRJ Music Awards honouring national and international artists through popular votes in each category. 8.30pm. Palais des Festivals et des Congrès. Info: Cannes (L)

15 Sun Dance. Considered the world's most talented tap dancers, Savion Glover's tap shoes are set to ring out at the Monte-Carlo Opera. 4pm. Salle Garnier Opéra de Monte Carlo. From 19 euros. Info:

Monaco (P)

Concert. François Dumont perfoms an utiltimate piano masterpiece by Mozart, and Wolfgang Doerner delves in 20th century music. 4.30pm. Théâtre Croisette. Info: Cannes (L)

Concert. An hour-long concert of young talents on the organ for Les Amis de l'Orgue de Cannes association. 4.30pm. Eglise Notre-Dame de Bon Voyage. Free. Info: Cannes (L)

17 Tue Concert. Conductor Wolfgang Doerner and harpist Cécile Maudire perform Mozart and Joaquín Rodrigo pieces. 9pm. Théâtre Comœdia. Info: Aubagne (A)

18 Wed Dance. Living legend, Diana Vishneva is joined by Bernice Coppieters and Gaëtan Morlotti to perform Switch, a new work by Jean-Christophe Maillot. Until 19/12. 8.30pm Salle Garnier Opéra de Monte Carlo. From 19 euros. Info: Monaco (P)

20 Fri Dance. Cyd Charisse and tap

Eye on film with James Luxford CARRIE (4TH DECEMBER) Kick-Ass star Chloe Grace Moretz takes a whole new direction, starring as the title role in a new take on the Stephen King novel about a bullied young woman who uses a supernatural power to gain revenge on her high school bullies. While this modern horror is entertaining enough, it never really offers anything new on the already well known story. Still, it has a nice supporting cast, which includes award winning actress Julianne Moore as Carrie's strictly religious mother. *** STARS THE FIFTH ESTATE (4TH DECEMBER) British actor Benedict Cumberbatch caps off a stellar year, following up a scenestealing turn in Star Trek Into Darkness with a drama based

on real life. He plays Julian Assange, creator of the infamous Wikileaks website, which causes political upheaval the world over. This drama feels very much like a political version of The Social Network, a combination that doesn't work that well, and despite a strong performance from Cumberbatch the film is a little more sensational than the real life story demands. ** STARS WALKING WITH DINOSAURS 3D (18TH DECEMBER) From the makers of the awardwinning British BBC documentary series comes the 3D movie version, following a herd of dinosaurs as they migrate. An epic, interesting film that acts as part documentary, part narrative drama, with impressive visuals and a story that will keep you engaged. In a festive season

filled with family films that are high on spectacle but low on substance, this educational and involving film is ideal for imagination-filled youngsters this winter. **** STARS DON JON (25TH DECEMBER) Star of the moment Joseph Gordon-Levitt goes in front and behind the camera, directing and starring in the title role as Jon, a ladies man who's burgeoning new relationship with a glamorous but spoilt New Jersey woman (Scarlett Johansson) threatens to end before it's begun by his secret addiction to pornography. A sweet and funny take on sex and our relationship with it, with a mature and balanced opinion on the subject. Not perfect, but a strong directing debut from the Looper star. **** STARS

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dance star Fred Astaire perform together in a musical comedy combining music hall and Shakespearean tragedy. 8.30pm. Salle Garnier Opéra de Monte Carlo. From 19 euros. Info: balletsdemonte Monaco (P)

22 Sun Concert. The choir of NotreDame de Bon Voyage, accompanied by Catherine Hyvert on the piano and organ perform a stunning concert in honour of Bernard Navarre. 4.30pm. Eglise Notre-Dame de Bon Voyage. Free. Info: Cannes (L)

Theatre. Discover the traditional Christmas celebrations of the Provence with the theater company "Lei Pastouralie dou Lume". 5.30pm. Eglise de Fayence. Free. Info: Fayence (I)

25 Wed Concert. Celebrate Christmas with Henri Pourtau performing songs including "Minuit, Chrétiens". 5.30pm. Eglise Notre-Dame de Bon Voyage. Free. Info: Cannes (L)

26 Thu Dance. Jean-Christophe Maillot reinvents a stupendous nutcracker at the crossroads of the arts putting on stage a wide range of artists. Until 06/01. Times vary. Grimaldi Forum. From 19 euros. Info: Monaco (P)

Show. Tumble down the rabbit's hole with this wonderful Alice in Wonderland-themed performance. 8.30pm. Palais des Festivals. From 10 euros. Info: cannesdestin Cannes (L)

29 Sun Concert. Stéphane Catalanotti performs on the organ at the market for Les Amis de l'Orgue de Cannes. 11am. Chapelle de la Miséricorde. Free. Info: Cannes (L)

31 Tue Show. Celebrate the new year with a massive and magical fireworks show with friends or family. Midnight. Cannes Bay. Free. Info: Cannes (L)

Until 12/01/13 Art exhibition. 'Salon international des santonniers'. The santonniers - the craftsmen and women behind this traditional art - display their festive works at this international fair. Add something special to your Christmas Nativity set this December. Cloître Saint Trophime. Info: 04 90 96 32 14. Arles (A)

From 16/12 to 29/12 Art exhibition. Explore the wonderful collection of prints from Linda Nissen Samuels oils, acrylic and watercolour. The artist's latest children's book will also be available from the exhibition. A talented painter, Nissen Samuels has won the International Grand Prix de Prestige de Cannes several times and has also curated her own art gallery. Office du Tourisme. Info: palaisdes Cannes (L) Until 31/12 Nature exhibition. Par monts et par vaux - Biodiversité des Alpes-Maritimes is an exploration of the rich natural history of the department. Follow the coast, rivers, valleys and mountains of the Alpe Maritimes. Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle. Info:

Nice (N)

Until 01/01/2014 Art exhibition. Discover the varied works of artists Gerald Panighi and Philippe Jusfargues. Galerie Eva Vautier. Info: Nice (N) Until 19/01/2014 Photography exhibition. Vivre pour Voir from photo journalist Marie-Laure de Decker, with pictures from places such as Vietnam and South Africa, as well as a collection of self portraits. with a focus on humans. Théâtre de la Photographie et de l'Image. Info: 04 97 13 42 20 Nice (N) Until 23.02. Art exhibition. 'La Provence. Terre de rencontres entre plasticiens et écrivains'. Drawings, sculptures, photos and paintings of Provence. Important artists like Rilke, Grenier and Magnan. Musée Regards de Provence. Info: 04 96 17 40 40 Marseille (A) Until 03/03/14 Science exhibition. 'C'est quoi le corps humain?' - an educational exhibition about the human body and all five senses. Eco'Parc de Mougins. Info: Mougins (L)

Open ended Nature exhibition. Sharks: a thrilling experience continues at Monaco’s world-famous aquarium. Get up close and personal with the giants of the sea and unravel their complicated tale in this unique place. Oceanographic Museum. Info: Monaco (P)

01 Sun Dec Festival. "Fiera del Vino" wine tasting and awards. All day. Molino Nuovo Andora (G) Sport. Moutain biking tour with the CAI (Italian Alpine Club). All day. Monte Rocca Burot and the Corvi. Info: 019 854 489 Savona (I)

13 Fri Fair. Christmas gift ideas fair entitled "Natalidea". All day. Fairground Genoa (N) Concert. "Sound castle" live music and DJ set. 20.30pm. Sala delle Botte at the Fortezza di Castelfranco Finale Ligure (G)

Genoa (N)

14 Sat Concert. Conductor Fabio Luisi leads the Teatro Carlo Felice orchestra with Sergei Krylov on violin. 8.30pm. Teatro Carlo Felice. Info: Genoa (N)

03 Tue Show. The Ice skating ballet of Saint Petersburg performs "The Nutcracker". 15.30pm and 20.30pm. Teatro Carlo Felice. Info:

16 Mon Concert. The Choir Monte Cauriol performs folk songs about mountains and mountaineers. 9pm. Teatro Carlo Felice. Info:

Genoa (N)

Genoa (N)

06 Fri Festival. "Inmare" film festival on marine protected areas. Until 8/12. All day Camogli (O) Concert. "Sound castle" live music and DJ set. 20.30pm. Sala delle Botte at the Fortezza di Castelfranco

21 Sat Sport. Orienteering through Nervi's parks. 8pm. Vittolo Ardizzone, Nervi district. Info: Genoa (N)

02 Mon Concert. Piano recital by Evgeny Kissin with the Giovine Orchestra. 20.30pm. Teatro Carlo Felice Genova

Finale Ligure (G)

Concert. Piano by Giovanni Allevi. 9pm. Chiabrera Teatro, Piazza Diaz Savona (I)

7 Sat Market. "Campagna Amica" farmer's market. 7am - 2pm. Piazza Caravadossi Carcare (H)

Concert. Opera performance of "La Traviatta" by Giuseppe Verdi. 5.30pm. Teatro Verdi Genoa (N)

8 Sun Concert. Disney movies soundtrack performance entitled "Magic al pianoforte". 6pm. Anglican Church Bordighera (B)

Our events calendar is updated daily! To ensure you don’t miss any of the exciting events happening on the Riviera this month, scan the QR Code on the left and be directed instantly to our website. It’s that easy!

22 Sun Market. "Arts and colors" craft market with creative programme for children between at 3pm. All day. Piazza della Chiesa Santo Stefano (D) 27 Fri Theatre. Opera performance of "Otello" by Giuseppe Verdi. Until 28/12. 8.30pm. Teatro Carlo Felice. Info:

28 Sat Concert. Celtic harp chamber concert. 4.30pm. Parish church in Sasso village Bordighera (B)

29 Sun Market. Chestnuts and mulled wine. 3pm. Old town Laigueglia (F)

Theatre. Opera performance of "Otello" by Giuseppe Verdi. 3.30pm. Teatro Carlo Felice. Info: Genoa (N) Concert. Museo Rosenbach performance. 9.15pm. Palazzo del Parco Bordighera (B)

30 Mon Concert. Monte Caggio Choir performance. 8.45pm. Anglican Church Bordighera (B) Dance. Madrid flamenco ballet performs "Carmen". 9.15pm. Ariston Theatre Sanremo (B)

3 Fri Jan Theatre. Opera performance of "Otello" by Giuseppe Verdi. 8.30pm. Teatro Carlo Felice. Info: Genoa (N) 4 Sat Market. "Campagna Amica" farmers market with small animal show. All day. Old town Laigueglia (F) Theatre. Opera performance of classic "Otello" by Giuseppe Verdi. Until 5/1/13. 3.30pm. Teatro Carlo Felice. Info: Genoa (N)

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FOR SALE Modern villa in Agay with fantastic sea views on 1,300 sqm of private land. Built in 2010 with 293 sqm of living space, four bedrooms, two bathrooms and separate toilet, bright kitchen with firstrate modernities, terrace, garage and planning permission for pool. Price 2,040,000 euros. Info and visits: +49 208 467 155 92 or

THE RIVIERA TIMES is looking for motivated editorial and sales interns, with placements of two months to one year available. Duties include writing news stories for the website and monthly news-paper. Applicants must be enrolled on a university course. Excellent writing skills are vital, experience in journalism is preferable, and a strong level of French: writing, reading, listening, speaking. Interested students should please send a cover letter, C.V. and examples of their writing to: TEST TELEPHONE lines in Monaco. Applicant must live in Monaco, have landline, internet connection, email. Also must be reliable and have knowledge of Excel. Immediate start. Send resume to:


Splendid isolation on the frontier between the Var and the Alpes Maritimes with rivers, waterfalls, olive groves and Roman ruins. 17th century stone farmhouse with authentic features. 4 bedrooms in main house, 2 bedrooms in guest house. Fully furnished. Closest main town is Fayence. Excellent buy to rent opportunity (average rental 4,000 euros). 1,160,000 euros. Contact: Large villa 25 minutes from Monaco with sea view, pool and excellent access. 595,000 euros. Contact: montecarlo

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Life support Your survival guide to living in France Dear Andy, I used to give a standing order donation to charities in the UK. I remember there was a tax credit applicable. After seeing the devastation in the Philippines and other disasters recently, I want to do the same, maybe even leave a permanent provision in my will. Are there similar ways I can give in France? I really want to help survivors this Christmas. Charitable, Villefranche Dear Charitable, Indeed, the holiday season makes some of us think of giving to those in need, and recently we have seen the images of the many thousands who will require shelter, food and medicine this Christmas. Fortunately, there are many French and international charities already mobilised, such as the Red Cross, Médecins Du Monde and even local firefighters who are taking time out to help with the rescue effort. They could all use your support and you should look up their websites, speak to your friends and ask around to see which ones you want to donate to.

The simplest way to donate is online with your credit card. The French government has in place a tax credit system that will credit you 75 per cent of total donations up to 521 euros then, if you give any more, up to 66 per cent of charitable donations as long as the donation does not exceed 20 per cent of your taxable income. This tax credit is only available to certain registered French and foreign charities who provide food, medical and shelter assistance to those in France and abroad, such as the Red Cross. When you make a donation you will receive a fiscal receipt, which you should include with your tax declaration. They will include a reduction of your tax bill automatically. Most charities of this type allow you to benefit from the tax credit whether it is a one time donation or you set up a standing order. Normally, this is quite easily done on the charity websites. If you wish to leave a donation or a provision in your will, there are mechanisms in place, all of which have to be drawn up by a Notary Public or lawyer. You could leave part, or all, of

your estate to one, or multiple charities. This is regularly done, but your will has to be notarised very well to avoid legal issues arising from the notoriously complicated French Inheritance Code. Another common method is to make a charity the beneficiary of your life insurance. This is easier to implement. Finally, you could donate the use or the benefits of your property. Due to the nature of French property law, you could donate the use of a property, usufruit, while staying owner of the property. Any rent income is to the profit of the charity. Inversely, you could give a charity the ownership of the property, nue-propriété, but maintain an exclusive use of it for yourself. The asset will be theirs but you can still live and use it. Or, you could allow the charity free use of your goods and property, the profit of which will be to the benefit of the charity. Happy Christmas!

2013 has been one of the best years for The International Club of the Riviera! Great events, starting with the sell out Star Spangled Banner to our summer highlight A Midsummer Night in Villefranche and ending with a joint event with the Riviera Business Club and The Business Person of the Year Awards as well as other wonderful events. It has been a great and diverse year! The generosity of our members and well wishers has been outstanding with the total contribution to our charity for children infected or affected by HIV/ AIDS rising to 27,177 euros bravo everyone! As we look forward to a new year, The International Club of the Riviera is already putting together a new program of events with some favourite, regular annual events as well as new and adventurous additions to the calendar. The first is an exciting partnership with the new Pijaubert Polo Club through which we plan great polo events during the spring and summer, with training

for all ages, including children, and offering our extended membership and well wishers a new series of sporting events to add to the golf, tennis and sailing that we already offer! Another new feature is the reactivation of The International Gourmet Clubthanks to a generous sponsor! Every other month starting in February, the club will have an outing to a Michelin star restaurant in the region for lunch or dinner and, here’s the icing on the cake, our sponsor will pick up 1/3 of the cost each time! Watch this space for all the latest news every month! A grateful thanks to our members, sponsors, well wishers and all our friends, including the staff at The Riviera Times, for your support during 2013! We look forward to your continuing support in 2014. A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all! +33 (0)4 93 72 11 89

Assistant editor Elsa Carpenter enjoys a glass of southern French wine at La Part des Anges with owner Olivier Labarde

Andrew Denison, Mon Ami Andy Rue Lascaris, Nice Port Tel: 04 83 50 84 78

Publishing Director

Petra Hall

Editor Cassandra Tanti

Assistant Editor Elsa Carpenter Contributors Stan Aron, Andrew Denison, Claire Lathbury, Julian Nundy, Carolyn Reynier

Art director Konny Strauss

Distribution Superyacht Distribution Manuscripts and photos will not be returned unless previously agreed. Articles do not represent the opinion of the Editor. The publishing house is not responsible for the correct content of ads. We are unable to consider unsolicited material and cannot return it.

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RT founder and Publisher Petra Hall with British ambassador to France Sir Peter Ricketts advertising legend turned author Michael Ferrier met Petra Hall at the Villa Massena in Nice

A voyage to Europe's secret capital

Mediterraneum Editions s.a.r.l. au capital de e 1.092.828,49

R.C.S. Nice 399 596 733, SIRET 399 596 73300036 ISSN 1632-8493 Dépôt Légal à parution AIP 0000712

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The Riviera Times is printed on recycled paper

Top: Former President of the European Commission Doctor Romano Prodi and Petra Hall. Above: Doctor Axel Diekmann, Angelika Diekmann, Petra Hall and former Chancellor of Austria Wolfgang Schüssel (left to right) at the Mensche in Europa event in Passau in late October

IN LATE October, RT founder and Publisher Petra Hall drove straight to the heart of Europe on an invitation from publishing power couple Angelika and Doctor Axel Diekmann from Verlagsgruppe Passau. For the last 17 years, they have organised the Mensche in Europa event in the beautiful, historic city of Passau, awarding and celebrating top personalities from different fields and cultures. Through this longstanding initiative, Passau has become a place of international exchange at the highest level and, ultimately, the secret ‘capital’ of Europe. In 2013, three great Europeans were honoured. Former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who was unable to be at the event but was present via a video display, former French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing and former President of the European Commission Romano Prodi.

RT December 2013  

Mediterraneum Editions: The English-language newspaper for the French - Italian Riviera & Monaco

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