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Stairs, Stairs & More Stairs

What comes down must go up

One reason you must have very comfortable shoes on the French Riviera is because everywhere you go, and everywhere you turn, there are stairs, stairs and more stairs. You're often either going up or coming down.

Train stations, monuments, parks, cities - up, up, up, down, down, down.

All along the French and Italian Rivieras, you will find that the cities have been built on the hillsides, and people have lived for centuries walking from town to town along ancient trails built of stone, along the sea, and through the pine trees, meandering, winding, perched on a ledge or with the water crashing up on the trail, up, up, up, down, down, down.

I LOVE this actually, this up and down, these old stone paths, these cities that fight with the cliffs and the sea to survive. It's wild and alive, and it makes your blood flow as you take a simple walk from your hotel to the market, to the restaurant, to the bus, to the train. If you love to walk, this is your place.

There are a few cities on the French Riviera where you needn't climb so much. Nice, for example, would be the perfect place to go if you have any difficulties with walking or climbing. The Promenade des Anglais along the sea wall of NIce is flat and paved, and you can amble along for miles on a bike, roller blades, a skateboard, or a wheelchair. Menton is another lovely city with miles of flat waterfront to stroll on.

In most other cities, however you must be prepared to climb. Villefranche-sur-Mer, Monaco, Eze. There is a reason the French people are beautiful. They eat well, and they walk. Be prepared to be transformed.

For more tips about the French Riviera, see The Beginner's Guide to the French Riviera: Stop Dreaming & Start Packing.

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