The seaside town of Cannes, in southern France, as seen from a ferry speeding towards l'île Saint Honorat
Cannes ("Canas" in Provençal) (pronounced ) is a city and commune in southern France, located on the French Riviera, in the Alpes-Maritimes département. Population of the city (commune) of Cannes at the 1999 census was 67,304 inhabitants (69,700 inhabitants as of February 2004 estimates). Cannes is part of the Nice metropolitan area (aire urbaine) whose total population was 933,080 inhabitants at the 1999 census.
Cannes lies on the Côte d'Azur within easy reach of the Maritime Alps. It is noted for its sandy beaches (in contrast to Nice), which interestingly are mainly public, particularly as one moves west to Cannes Bocca.
From the Middle Ages until the early 19th century, Cannes was a small agricultural and fishing village. Beginning in the 1830s, foreign and French aristocrats built vacation homes in the area, gradually turning Cannes into a resort town.
The man responsible for Cannes' growth is Lord Henry Peter Brougham (1778-1868). A respected and talented British politician at his time, he discovered Cannes in 1834, on his way to Italy. After having bought land to the west of the Suquet he used his many contacts in French politics to help develop the French Riviera.
The area around Cannes has developed into a high-tech cluster. The technopolis of Sophia-Antipolis lies up in the hills beyond Cannes.
The Cannes Film Festival, held annually in May, is a major event for the world film industry. There is an annual television festival, airing in the last week in September.
Cannes also hosts the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival .
Cannes lies on the main rail line from Italy to Marseilles and is well served by the TGV, interregional, and regional trains. The SNCF station is close to the centre; buses leave from both here and the Hôtel de Ville.
The town center is served by an electric bus system — the E-LO — whilst an open top beachside bus service links the Hôtel de Ville and the Palm Beach Casino .