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March Break Abroad: Antibes and Cannes

March Break Abroad: Antibes and Cannes

Bonne soirée!

We had another excellent day on the French Riveria on Wednesday. Our morning was spent visiting another seaside city on the Côte d'Azur with an utterly impressionable visit to the Picasso Museum in Antibes. 

Students boarded the bus with our two guides on the way to Antibes, a resort town between Cannes and Nice. Along the way, we learned the reason behind the name of Angels Bay on the Côte d'Azur, given that there are a series of fish who occupy the bay with fins reminiscent of wings. There was another mythological story involving two angels, however, Nathalie assured us it was due to the fish. Within a brief 25 minutes, we were there.

As with any seaside city in France, the marina was located just outside the city's fortified walls. We were once again introduced to a series of yachts and mega-yachts who call Antibes home as the spring tree buds were blooming amid the introduction to summer. Our guides brought us into the town and had us located right outside the central market, which included a series of local restaurants with tables stretching into the streets. 

Walking up to the Picasso Museum we could see the sea in the distant cracks hiding behind the small buildings which kept the horizon at bay. Our guides brought us out onto the terrace to provide us with a general overview of critiquing art, in addition to a brief biography of Picasso, the man, the artist, and the painter. Did you know that Picasso's time spent at the Grimaldi Castle was among one of his shorter-lived blissful periods? As we soon learned, this was evident in his art and style. 

One of Picasso's main stylistic features was being able to take common elements of the human form and render them in his own artistic interpretation. We can see that through the many ways in which key anatomical elements are thwarted and abstractedly positioned in various ways on the canvas. Students were introduced to a series of several key pieces from this period, in addition to a wall of ceramics which are also key to Picasso's work. Some students were taken aback by the work that they chose to stay and admire their time in the museum - bravo! 

After the museum, students then made their way down to the central market. We passed by several vendors with goods ranging from spices and lavender to local artisan meats and cheeses. With a quick passing walk, students were then free to roam in groups into the city center for lunch, shopping, and afternoon coffee. Some chose to stay within the immediate area while others ventured beyond into the bright, miniature alleys until they were able to find a quaint restaurant that served the delicacy of the day. 

As we near the end of our first March Break Abroad program, I am reminded of the endless experiential learning opportunities provided to students from Rome to Nice. This has been an excellent adventure abroad with a great deal of learning from history and culture to social and geopolitical realities as they exist today. 

Who knows where the world will take us next? 

À bientôt,