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Mougins

Passing through Mougins, a popular residential community convenient to Cannes, Nice, and the big Sophia-Antipolis business park, you may perceive little more than sleek, upscale suburban sprawl. But in 1961 Picasso found more to admire and settled into a mas that became a mecca for artists and art lovers; he died there in 1973. Over the decades, others of note also colonized the town, including Cocteau, Man Ray, Léger, and Christian Dior. Despite overbuilding today, Mougins claims extraordinary (yet distant) views over the coast and an Old Town (which is a zone piétonne, or pedestrian zone), on a hilltop above the fray, that has retained a pretty, ultragentrified charm. You'll see a few off-duty celebrities here and any number of wealthy Parisians who have chosen to buy a Riviera pied-à-terre here. Where they go, noted chefs follow, and Mougins is now a byword in gourmet circles. If you're not coming here specifically for the food, the town also has plenty of galleries and a handful of expensive cafés with pleasant terraces.

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