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Riviera Pebbles Blog: Top 25 Riviera celebrity hotspots - Part 2

Posted on 2nd Dec 2014 in Nice News


"Nico, can I borrow a cup of sugar". Which one is Hamilton's house?

Week 2 - Sports

6) David Beckham

Golden Balls became acquainted with the South of France through his friendship with Sir Elton John. Becks would jog down from Elton’s mansion at the peak of Mont-Boron (reachable on the no. 14 Ligne d’Azur bus, €1) to Nice-Port. All without sweating, treading in poo or looking unsexy in any way. What a guy.

Beckham purchased property in Provence in 2003. The family regularly shuttle into Cannes-Mandelieu private airport, which offers sightseeing flights from €109. They have been known to leave ‘Villa Becks’ in the village of Bargemon for a day kayaking and sailing on Lac Saint-Croix, just inland from Cannes.

7) Lewis Hamilton

The 2014 F1 Champion once claimed he was hungrier than Monegasque rival Nico Rosberg, as he heralds from "a not great place in Stevenage". We can see the point. Monaco formed the backdrop for Bond movie Goldeneye. Stevenage was the setting for BBC sitcom Saxondale.

Hamilton dived into Monaco’s €40,000 per metre real estate market with the purchase of a £10m apartment near the museums of Fontvieille. There’s a heliport next door (it’s €119 one-way to Nice). And neighbours include Boris Becker, Bjorn Borg and...Nico Rosberg! Ex-F1 driver David Coulthard has been known to dine nearby, at Restaurant Saliere by Fontvielle port.

8) Lance Armstrong

The Tour de France frequently weaves along the French Riviera. In 2013 it passed by Nice’s Place Massena. In 2009 it meandered through Monaco. Dreams have been broken on the Col d’Eze, a do-or-die summit, which some Nice Pebbles guests tackle on a rented bike. We’ve never figured out why.

But we guarantee they won’t ‘perform’ as strongly as turbo-powered Texan Lance Armstrong. ‘Chemical Lance’ lived near Nice Old Town until pressure from French doping authorities became too much in 2000. When not undergoing blood transfusions, drug cheat Lance trained on the Col de la Madone summit above Menton, above the spellbinding Serre de la Madone botanical gardens.

9) Ayrton Senna

The majestic Brazilian wasn’t the first F1 driver to use Monaco as a tax haven. And he certainly won’t be the last. (Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo joined the club in 2014.) For ‘romantic fun’ Senna would walk his girlfriend around the 3.3km-circuit, a pleasant stroll that can be completed in an hour today.

You can understand Senna’s frustration when he spun off the track near the Tunnel – with a 50-second lead over rival Alain Prost. The former world champion stormed off to his sea view apartment and didn’t emerge for days.

Finnish misery Kimi Raikkonen pulled a similar stunt in 2006. His first-placed McClaren burst into smoke on lap 46. So he calmly stepped out of the car with his helmet on, stepped aboard a yacht…and didn't come out again.

10) Wayne Rooney

For the €400,000-per-week Manchester United star, there’s only one Riviera resort with enough glam to outgun Northern England. That’s St Tropez. The striker beats the paparazzi by chartering a private yacht. (Pebbles advises renting your own speedboat instead from €500 per day). Rooney’s wife Coleen has been snapped aboard wearing a €600 Missoni kaftan. Classy.

When England’s no.10 hits land, he heads for Nikki Beach on the 5km-long golden sands of Plage Pampelonne. Beyoncé, DeNiro and Bono are former guests. A bottle of house rosé, Réserve Nikki Beach Chateau Maime, costs just €45. Your round Wayne.


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