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The appropriately named Alpes-Maritimes is in the extreme southeast of France and bordered by Liguria in Italy to the east and the départements of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Var in the west. Its inhabitants are known as Maralpins or Azuréens after the Côte-d’Azur.

The population in 2016 was about 1.1 million and the land area is 4299 square km. The capital city or prefecture is Nice and Grasse is the sub-prefecture.

The Alpes-Maritimes is more or less synonymous with the old County of Nice or Contea da Nizza which was part of the Kingdom of Sardinia and as a result much of the region is very Italianate.

Nice is the capital town of the Alpes-Maritimes and also the main town of the French Riviera. Also dotted along the Riviera are the fabulous resorts of Menton, Villefranche-sur-Mer and Monaco-Monte-Carlo.

Behind this beautiful coastline there are the mountains of Nice Beyond which lead up into the wonderful Mercantour National Park with its high peaks and great mountain resorts such as St Martin-Vésubie and Tende.

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French Riviera/Côte d'Azur

Les Plus Beaux Villages de Provence

Nice Beyond (L'Arrière Pays Niçois)


Perfume City

La Turbie

The Trophy of the Alpes

Text © Paul Shawcross

Images by © Paul Shawcross, Photo by Paul Shawcross