The French Riviera (known in French as the Côte d’Azur, French pronunciation: [kot daˈzyʁ]; Occitan: Còsta d’Azur pronounced [ˈkɔstɔ daˈzyɾ]; literal translation “Coast of Azure”) is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France. There is no official boundary, but it is usually considered to extend from Cassis or Toulon or Saint-Tropez on the west to the France–Italy border in the east, where the Italian Riviera joins. The coast is entirely within the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) region of France. The principality of Monaco is a semi-enclave within the region, surrounded on three sides by France and fronting the Mediterranean.
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, including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Edith Wharton, Somerset Maugham, and Aldous 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 French Riviera 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.