Destination: French Riviera
Viewing French Riviera
Viewing French Riviera
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The Shaping of the French Riviera

c900 BC First signs of human settlement.

500-400 BC Greeks set up trading posts at St-Tropez, Antibes, Nice and Monaco.

c300 BC Celtic invasions of Provence and Côte d'Azur.

125 BC Romans conquer southern Gaul and name it Provincia.

58-52 BC Caesar's conquest of Gaul.

6 BC Alpine Trophy at la Turbie constructed.

476 Fall of Roman Empire. The Riviera becomes part of the Visigothic Kingdom of Italy.

536 The Riviera comes under Frankish rule.

8-10th century Saracens invade southern France; the Riviera becomes part of the Carolingian Empire.

1032 Provence becomes part of Holy Roman Empire.

1297 Francesco 'the Spiteful' seizes Monaco for the Grimaldi family.

1308 A member of the Grimaldi family purchases the estate of Monaco from the Genoese.

1388 Nice hands itself over to the Count of Savoy.

1450s The first Nice School of painters is formed; fine Renaissance altarpieces created in many of the region's churches.

1691 Nice occupied by the French, but returned to Savoy in 1696.

1720 Great Plague kills over 100,000 people.

1793 Nice is reunited with France.

1799 Napoléon lands at St-Raphaël on his return from Egypt.

1814 Napoléon leaves St-Raphaël for the island of Elba.

1815 Napoléon returns from Elba, landing at Golfe Juan.

1830s Beginnings of tourism on the French Riviera.

1848 Menton and Roquebrune successfully revolt against Grimaldi rule from Monaco.

1860 Nice votes to join France.

1865 Monte-Carlo is founded and the first casino opens.

1878 Development of a winter tourist season on the Riviera.

Late 19th century St-Tropez School of painting founded.

1902 First Monte-Carlo Rally.

1908 Renoir moves to the Riviera, where he lives until his death in 1919.

1917 Matisse settles in Nice, and stays until his death in 1955.

1920s-30s Riviera becomes fashionable, achieving status as an international summer resort.

1940 The Italians occupy Menton.

1942 Nazis invade southern France.

1944 Allied troops liberate Provence and the Côte d'Azur.

1947 Picasso moves to Antibes.

1947 The First International Film Festival is held at Cannes.

1949 Prince Rainier III of Monaco accedes to the throne, and in 1956 marries American actress Grace Kelly.

1959 Floods in Fréjus kill 421.

1962 Algerian war of independence; many French North Africans (pieds-noirs) settle on the Riviera. Nice-Côte d'Azur Airport opens.

1970 Autoroute du Soleil completed.

1980s Extreme right political parties gain popularity in key coastal cities.

1982 Princess Grace is killed in a car crash on the Moyenne Corniche above Monaco. Graham Greene publishes a pamphlet on organised crime on the French Riviera called J'Accuse: The Dark Side of Nice.

1989 Law passed to toughen measures against forest fires, which pose an increasing threat to the region.

1990 Under indictment for misuse of public funds, Nice's right-wing mayor, Jacques Médecin, flees to Uruguay to avoid trial for corruption.

1997 700th anniversary of the Grimaldi dynasty in Monaco.

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