CANNES AND BEYOND
Cannes serves a backdrop for students to study how international brands develop a winning strategy; and how the creatives charged with executing this strategy manifest it in ways that move beyond the boundaries of our imagination. The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity (www.canneslions.com) is the largest and most influential festival of its kind. During one week in June each year, Cannes transforms into a global meeting place for those engaged in branding, product innovation, marketing, technology, advertising, media, design, and entertainment. It is five days of talks, workshops, networking events, classes and awards shows for people in the branded communications, marketing, design, tech, media and entertainment industries. In short, Cannes Lions is a catalyst for great ideas.
PROVENCE + CÔTE D'AZUR
Provence and the Côte d'Azur are made for explorers. One of the joys of travelling here is touring the back roads and soaking up the stunning variety of landscapes: fields of lavender, ancient olive groves, clifftop roads, maquis-cloaked hills and even snow-tipped mountains. It's home to France's deepest canyon, oldest road and some striking mountain passes, all a dream come true for drivers. And then there's the Mediterranean itself, a bright mirror of blue reflecting back craggy cliffs, white beaches and endless skies. Take your time – getting there is half the fun.
OF COURSE, PARIS TOO
Your gateway into France will likely be Paris so either before or after our time in Cannes you may choose to discover the cloud-piercing, wrought-iron Eiffel Tower, broad Arc de Triomphe guarding the glamorous avenue des Champs-Élysées, flying buttressed Notre Dame cathedral, lamplit bridges spanning the Seine and art nouveau cafes' wicker-chair-lined terraces are enduring Parisian emblems. Despite initial appearances, however, Paris’ cityscape isn’t static: there are some stunning modern and contemporary icons, too, from the inside-out, industrial-style Centre Pompidou to the mur végétal (vertical garden) gracing the Musée du Quai Branly, and the glass sails of the Fondation Louis Vuitton contemporary-art centre. All this and so much more do in the City of Lights.
THEN THERE IS EUROPE
Europe’s almost unmanageable wealth of attractions is its biggest single draw: the birthplace of democracy in Athens, the Renaissance art of Florence, the graceful canals of Venice, the Napoleonic splendour of Paris, and the multilayered historical and cultural canvas of London. Less obvious but no less impressive attractions include Moorish palaces in Andalucía, the fascinating East-meets-West brew of İstanbul in Turkey, the majesty of meticulously restored imperial palaces in Russia's former capital St Petersburg and the ongoing project of Gaudí's La Sagrada Família in Barcelona.