The Côte d'Azur, often known in English as the French Riviera, is theMediterranean coastline of the south eastern corner of France, extending from Menton near the Italian border in the east to either Hyères or Cassis in the west.
This coastline was one of the first modern resort areas. It began as a winter health resort for the British upper class at the end of the 18th century. With the arrival of the railway in the mid-19th century, it became the playground and vacation spot of British, Russian, and other aristocrats, such as Queen Victoria and King Edward VII, when he was Prince of Wales. In the summer, it also played home to many members of the Rothschild family. In the first half of the 20th century it was frequented by artists and writers, includingPablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Edith Wharton, Somerset Maugham andAldous Huxley, as well as wealthy Americans and Europeans. After World War II it became a popular tourist destination and convention site. Many celebrities, such as Elton John and Brigitte Bardot, have homes in the region. Officially, the Côte d'Azur is home to 163 nationalities with 83,962 foreign residents, although estimates of the number of non-French nationals living in the area are often much higher