Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook

PassPorter's Disney Cruise Line LIVE! Guidebook
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Villefranche and Cannes

Villefranche and Cannes

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Ahhh, the French Riviera! Its azure waters, terraced hills, and sun-bleached buildings are what many of us picture when we imagine the Mediterranean. The charming, small town of Villefranche is the gateway to the jet-set glitter of Monaco and Monte Carlo, the big city of Nice, and the sunny beaches of Cannes.

The enchanting Villefranche waterfront

AMBIENCE

Villefranche is nestled in a natural harbor between Nice and Monaco. It’s famous for its warm, luminous light, which we experienced on our visit. The three “Corniches” (the main roads between Nice and Italy, just beyond Monaco) pass through Villefranche. For our friends who enjoy the “Impressions de France” film at Epcot: Do you recall the waterfront scene of Villefranche or the sunbathers and Bugatti race cars in Cannes? You can see these magical vistas through your own eyes near this port!

HISTORY

Villefranche (pronounced Veal-fransh) literally means “town without taxes,” so named in the 13th century when King Charles II gave the town tax-free status to encourage the villagers from the hills to live in the town. The area’s history begins long before this with prehistoric settlements. Farming communities sprouted up in the surrounding hills. The Greeks and Romans valued the deep-water harbor. Fast-forward to the 14th century and we find the area in a tug-of-war between the Holy Roman Empire and France. Franco-Turkish armies occupied the city in 1543, prompting the construction of the large Citadel. The area changed hands several times, belonging to Savoy, then France, then Sardinia. In 1860, it returned to the French and became a favored spot for the wealthy to winter. Today it is France’s most popular cruise ship port.

FACTS

Size: 2 sq. mi. (5 sq. km.)
Climate: Mediterranean Temperatures: 67°F (19°C) to 80°F (27°C)
Population 8,000 (island) Busy Season Summer
Language: French Money: Euro ()
Time Zone: Central European Transportation: Walking, taxis
Phones: Dial 011-34 from U.S., dial 112 for emergencies

 

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Top Photo Slice: (℗ 53555) Photo contributed by © Jennifer Marx



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