Cannes (pronounced 'can') has an international reputation for glamour - pictures and movie clips of its croisette, its film stars and its grand hotels instantly conjure up an image of style and sophistication.

Not as big as Nice , but with over 70,000 residents, Cannes is much changed from its beginnings as a resort when an English traveller, Lord Brougham, was quarantined there in 1834. Nowadays, the city hosts conventions and festivals all year round - and there's plenty to attract the guests and delegates.

One of the great pleasures is lunching . There are a dozen or so restaurants along the Croisette, but watch your eating habits, you'll probably be in the background of a TV commercial or music video.

From your table you'll be able to look out on the yachts making their way around the Iles de Lérins . There are the two yacht harbours, one to the left, one to the right as you face the mediterranean , and further along to the west is the deep red Massif d'Esterel rising steeply from the sea.

The hillside old quarter, Le Suquet , is a pretty Proveçal citadel which contrasts with the cosmopolitanism of the seaside hotels and the power-shopping style of the Rue d'Antibes. Another respite from the glamour seeking jet set is the picturesque morning flower market in the Allées de Liberté .

Any semblance of tranquillity though is shattered in May - the Cannes Film Festival takes over. The city is awash with film billboards, big cars, starlets posing without restraint for the paparazzi , private beach parties, balcony parties, private viewing parties (mostly films), more parties, and thousands of movie fans swarming the beaches and streets to catch a glimpse of the stars. The restaurants and bars and even the many surrounding golf courses are packed with the movie business's movers and shakers cutting deals, making proposals, pitching scripts, all has to be seen to be believed.

And even then you'd be better off not believing it.

Created, composed, and constructed by Virtual Riviera 1995