Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (French pronunciation: [pʁɔ.vɑ̃s alp kot da.zyʁ]; Provençal: Provença-Aups-Còsta d'Azur / Prouvènço-Aup-Costo d'Azur) or PACA is one of the 27 regions of France.
It is made up of:
It encompasses six departments in south-eastern France, bounded to the east by the Italian border, to the south by the Mediterranean Sea and by the principality of Monaco, to the north by Rhône-Alpes, and to the west by Languedoc-Roussillon, with the Rhône river marking its westernmost border. The six departments are:
The region logo displays the coat of arms created in the 1990s and which combines the coats of arms of the old provinces making up Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.
Economically the region is the third most important in France just behind Île-de-France and Rhône-Alpes. Its GDP in 2006 was € 130,178 million ($US 163,600 million) and per capita GDP was € 27,095 ($US 34,051).
The Côte d'Azur (French pronunciation: [kot daˈzyʁ]; Occitan: Còsta d'Azur; literally: Azure Coast), often known in English as the French Riviera, is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France, also including the sovereign state of Monaco. There is no official boundary, but it is usually considered to extend from the Italian border in the east to Saint-Tropez, Hyères, Toulon or Cassis in the west.
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 Côte d'Azur 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.