On May 16, a curtain will rise on the French Riviera, heralding the start of the 65th annual Cannes Film Festival. A lightning storm of flashes will flicker above the azure waters and dance across the whitewashed luxury hotels of La Croisette as Hollywood starlets and next generation "it" girls promenade into cinema history.
Home to the world's most prestigious film festival, Cannes explodes with excitement. The iconic Côte d'Azur cove lives for these 12 days and indeed depends on them to douse the city with enough sparkle to last a year.
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The revered festival offers a menu of forthcoming cinematic delights, but it also reminds us of the glamor that awaits in the greater French Riviera.
In the early 19th century, wealthy French, American, English, and Russian tourists flocked to Cote d'Azure, transforming the once-humble fishing ports into exclusive resorts for the rich and famous. When Cannes Film Festival began in 1946, it cemented the region's reputation.
But beyond the festival lights, here's a look at Cannes and the greater French Riviera.