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June 17, 2022

Wonderful Photographs Show What the South of France Was Like in the 1960s

The 1960s were the period of Post-war France, when the country was booming with a newfound sense of optimism and energy. It was the time of New Wave cinema, existentialism, Yé-Yé music, and streets filled with youth.

Photographer Charles W. Cushman captured moments of everyday life in the south of France from the 1960s:

The French seaside resort of Cannes has been a center for yachts for many years.

Here, picture of Cannes in the 1960s.

Cannes has seven kilometers of beaches that look out at the blue waters of the Mediterranean. The beaches are flanked by the glamorous promenade de la Croisette, where people stroll to see and be seen.

Men, women, and children would regularly go to relax on the beach in Cannes on Sunday afternoons.

The Carlton hotel was the prime place to stay during the Cannes Film Festival, the headquarters for movie industry deal-making, and a favorite stop for movie lovers.

The Hotel Martinez, established in 1874, is still around today and remains one of the most popular to stay in. Today it's called the Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez.

Grasse, a town on the French Riviera, has been considered the world’s capital of perfume since 1946.

Saint-Paul, one of the oldest medieval towns on the French Riviera, was frequented by French actors like Yves Montand, Simone Signoret, and poets like Jacques Prévert in the 1960s.

The town of Antibes in the Côte d'Azur, ca. 1960s.

Pont du Loup, in the commune of Tourrettes-sur-Loup, sits along a twisty and scenic road below the Gorges-du-Loup. Locals would flock here on weekends for their candied fruits, which remains one of their best known items today.

Tourrettes-sur-Loup, a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department, was known for its arts and crafts like weaving, painting, pottery, jewelry, and sculptures created by the village residents.

One of the village residents drives along Tourettes-sur-Loup’s famed rocky roads.

The commune of Vence was known for its quaint outdoor cafes.

Two women dressed in elegant sixties attire stand outside an electric radio shop in Vence.

Vence was also a prime location for outdoor markets where vendors sold fruits, vegetables and Mediterranean favorites like honey, nougat, breads, jams, cheese, and charcuterie.

Over the years, the French Riviera became an ideal travel location for escaping the masses to explore art. More than 50 years later, the South of France remains a prime cultural center.

(Photos by Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection/Indiana University Archives, via Insider)


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