The French Riviera: Places to Explore

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Port-Grimaud

Although much of the coast has been targeted with new construction of extraordinary ugliness, this modern architect's version of a Provençal fishing village works. A true operetta set begun in 1966, the village has grown gracefully over the years, and offers hope for the pink concrete–scarred coastal landscape. It's worth parking and wandering up the village's Venice-like canals to admire its Old Mediterranean canal-tile roofs and pastel facades, already patinated with age. Even the church, though resolutely modern, feels Romanesque. There is, however, one modern touch some might appreciate: small electric tour boats (get them at Place du Marché) that carry you for a small charge from bar to shop to restaurant throughout the complex of pretty squares and bridges.

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