Mougins Travel Guide
Mougins is an immaculate, well-tended, tasteful little hilltop village on the French Riviera, with beautifully-restored medieval houses set upon narrow, winding pedestrian lanes, decorated with lush yet carefully arranged floral displays, tucked away behind manicured hedges. It has associations to a parade of celebrities, most prominently French surrealist painters Francis Picabia and Fernand Léger and American modernist Man Ray, all of whom settled here in the 1920s; French filmmakers-cum-writers René Clair and Jean Cocteau, who also made Mougins their home; actress Catherine Deneuve, the cool, flawless beauty, who was a regular visitor to Mougins; Christian Dior, creator, notably, of Miss Dior perfume, who lived and worked here at the height of his fame; and Pablo Picasso, who first visited Mougins as an emerging artist in the 1930s, painting murals on the walls of his hotel room, only to be told by the disgruntled owner to whitewash over them, and then, later on, returning to Mougins to spend the last 12 years of his life in the village. Mougins, in any case, now enjoys considerable notoriety for its fabulous restaurants and art galleries, together with its scores of resident artists. it also offers in itself a pleasant day trip from nearby Cannes, only a 15-minute drive away, while its old village, Vieux Village, affords commanding views of not only Cannes but even Grasse, the Valmasque Forest and the Esterel Massif. Ultimately, though, it must be fair to say that here is a centuries-old village, the face of the Middle Ages, with all its makeup still intact.
Mougins is situated on the French Riviera, just 4 miles (7.5 km) from Cannes.
Priorities in Mougins include its wonderful Automobile Museum and the Mougins Museum of Classical Art – or Musée d'Art Classique de Mougins – the latter with a fabulous collection of works by Picasso, Lautrec, Matisse, Chagall, Cézanne, Degas, Dalí, Dufy, Derain and Yves Klein, among others, as well as several hundred antiquities, some more than 2,000 years old, of Roman, Greek and Egyptian origin, and fascinating collections of period armory and helmets. To add to visitors' interest, there's also an 11th-century church in the center of the village, the Church of Saint-Jacques-le-Majeur, which is well worth visiting. And in September each year, the village hosts its annual International Gastronomy Festival of Mougins, or Les Étoiles de Mougins, an international gastronomic happening of sorts.
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