Destinations that have become mythical
They have the aura of the well-born, the rebellious or the mischievous, destinations that have that little extra something that has caught our imagination, forever desirable, eternally maintaining their ability to amaze us. From Cannes to Rio, from Capri to Palm Springs, from Biarritz to Saint-Barth, discover 6 emblematic mythical destinations, each of which encapsulating a art-de-vivre.09
From Capri, with love.
How can such a small island continue to be a magnet for those who want to escape the rest of the world ?
Some will say that Capri is over, what a cliché ! Like one of Ulysses’ Sirens, Capri continues to make your eyes widen with delight at so much wild beauty, whether it is the spectacle of nature, or the fantastic open-air theatre of the Piazzetta.
Because, really, everything here lives up to the myth. Remember Marisa Berenson looking sublime in her purple turban, Brigitte Bardot sunbathing naked on the terrace of the Malaparte villa with just a book to hide what needed to be hidden, Jacky Kennedy and her parade of huge sunglasses, glamour galore, a jet-set spirit and colourful characters.
There is also the blue of the sea, mysterious caves, majestic pools, even the staircases are mythical, like the one in via Krupp, a true movie set. Nothing minimalist here, Capri is like a psychedelic multicoloured print. We love it, like a timeless Eden, and long live dolce far niente!
From Saint-Barth, with love.
Here there is nothing bling or outrageous, a little corner of France in the Caribbean that lives up to the dream, a secret, discreet destination, a refuge since the 1950s for those, famous or not, who want to be left alone.
It cultivates a very chic-relax style and French art-de-vivre, with impeccable restaurants, the Avenue Montaigne in the tropics and beautiful hotels. The haunt of pirates has become the place for dreamy wanderings in Mini Moks in search of new treasures.
Saint Barthélemy, Saint-Barth, Saint Barts’? Whatever you name it, this confetti island is perfect, with its sumptuous, even unreal beaches: Plage de Colombier, de Gouverneur, de Grand Cul de Sac, de Saline… even their names sound like tender words to play Robinson Crusoe in totally carefree mode.
It had been hidden from the eyes of the world for so long, a little wild, very wonderful, we would like it to go on forever, to keep it just for ourselves, a little pearl set on the turquoise sea.
From Cannes, with love.
Strolling along the Croisette with stars in the eyes. But actually, what does it mean to be a mythical city ? If we were to keep only one, it would perhaps be this one, Cannes, the mere mention of its name conjures up a thousand images, of the sun shining brighter than elsewhere, of the sea glistening more prodigiously, of palm trees soaring with greater aplomb. All it took was a festival that started 76 years ago to make it the ultimate glamour destination.
Cannes, you’re a movie star ! Under the rhinestones and the sequins, hidden behind dark glasses, sheltered by the shadow of your sumptuous palaces, a photogenic city that is never more luminous than in the spectacle of your Croisette, a place to see and be seen, dreaming of your aura, of the world at your feet, illusory or real glory, we all want a piece of you. Other destinations would have burnt their wings with too much attention but you have remained perfect, like the star you are, one of the best arguments for the brand France for sure !
From Rio, with love.
Three letters and we hum a bossa nova tune, a city that exists in our imagination long before we set foot there for the first time, a bewitching, sensual, vibrant, disorganised, carefree cidade maravilhosa, like its cariocas for whom the city is like a large stage.
We love Rio’s architecture, its tropical modernism, its incredible contrasts, its mosaics along the beaches, the big ears of its telephone booths, rarely has an urban fabric been so exciting and so encapsulated in its environment. The city in the Mata Atlântica, the tropical forest that spreads its deep green right under the windows; the city in the shadow of its Sugarloaf; and the city in the sea. And what a sea ! Copacabana to start with, probably the most famous beach on the planet, which spreads its long ribbon of golden sand right in the middle of the asphalt.
And from one extreme to the other, jumping from the languorous swimming pool of the Copacabana Palace, a venerable and impeccable Arts Déco century-old hotel, to the gargotes just opposite on the beach, coconuts in hand, Havaianas on the feet, and maybe even a fio dental (“dental floss”, but this one has nothing to do with teeth!) de rigueur to melt into the joyful crowd.
From Biarritz, with love.
Enjoying the show of the ocean, the waves breaking with force on the steep cliffs, intoxicated by the sea breeze. On the Côte des Basques, the ballet of surfers unfolds, a praise of patience and connivance with fiery elements, small silhouettes and pirouettes, a free and sporty style, an air of freedom that has not always been the norm in this city, daughter of the Atlantic.
Corsets and long dresses, the socialites of the time partied in Villa Eugénie but sea bathing seemed a distant fantasy, before Gabrielle Chanel redefined the grammar of fashion in Biarritz, liberating the bodies, high-waisted trousers and striped knitwear, a beautiful new allure, innovative as these years were, a century ago, which anchored the communion of bodies with the ocean and nature.
In Biarritz a spirit of bravado and elegance remain, a way of being carefree, of not submitting to the passing of time, a heart beating in unison with the ocean, where winters are mild and summers joyous.
From Palm Springs, with love.
The beautiful Californian appears at the bend in the road, an incandescent mirage of very fine palm trees reaching for a cloudless sky, of convertible Cadillacs, of improbable grass in this mineral and terribly hot desert. It seems disproportionate with its horizontality, with only the mountains in the background breaking the rhythm. A chic refuge – a fake one even ? – the American dream under the permanent sun, for Hollywood stars in need of rest.
In this saturation of colours, houses spring up like a dream of architects whose only brief was to embrace their imagination, and the whole city seems to have been won over by their euphoria. Mid-Century Modern is 80 years old and it is so seductive here, an architecture of optimism, of less-is-more, and poolside cocktails.
At night, without a breath of air and without light pollution, the Milky Way stretches its long ribbon just above the palm trees. Palm Springs, pop, desirable, fascinating.