16 Vintage Photos That Will Make You Lust for the French Riviera's Golden Age

16 Vintage Photos That Will Make You Lust for the French Riviera's Golden Age

These snaps make us want a plane ticket and a time machine.

By Alesandra Dubin

With the Cannes Film Festival squarely underway, we're over here dreaming of the Côte d’Azur, also known as the French Riviera. And while the destination — which includes rich-people playgrounds like Nice, Monte Carlo, St. Tropez, and of course Cannes — is uber-glamorous now, it's also been at the top of well-heeled travelers' lists for more than a century.

Matter of fact, the region's heyday was in the midcentury period — on fire in the '50s and '60s — when the biggest stars from Hollywood and around the world came to sun, play, canoodle, and otherwise flaunt their wealth. Check out these 16 photos that make us long not just for the French Riviera... but for its most glamorous era.

Sunbathers strolled on a deck in front of the beach outside the Carlton Hotel in Cannes in 1948.

A couple looked sharp in an MG sports car in St. Tropez, around 1965.

Sunbathers strolled amid boats on the beach at Cannes in 1948.

Diners played cards on the beach in Cannes in 1948.

How amazing is this pool at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Cap d'Antibes? (It's Josh Flagg's favorite.) The photo is circa 1965.

When in St. Tropez in 1965, bounce on a trampoline.

Brigitte Bardot posed with Pablo Picasso at his studio in Vallauris on the Cote d'Azur, during the Cannes Film Festival, in 1956.

Grace Kelly lounged in sunnies in 1955.

Michael Caine promoted his film Alfie during Cannes, by surrounding himself with women using their bums as ads.

Could anyone look chicer than Brigitte Bardot running barefoot in Cannes?

Sammy Davis Jr. borrowed a cap from a group of Italian sailors during Cannes in 1966. He was there promoting A Man called Adam.

Before he was the governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger was an actor promoting his documentary Pumping Iron in Cannes in 1977.

English actress Jane Birkin went for a jaunt on a pedal boat during the Cannes fest in 1974.

Yes, another one of Brigitte Bardot — since we can't get enough. Here, she's chilling on a boat with French actor Alain Delon in St. Tropez in 1968. 

Mick Jagger and Bianca celebrated their civic wedding ceremony in St. Tropez in 1971. And we're dead.

A festive and glamorous fireworks celebration in 1957 pretty much sums up how we feel after going down this memory lane.

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