Even when she is sad and the sky is cloudy - which is rare - Nice is beautiful. One foot in the blue, another in the green, the French Riviera capital sees life in color. The streets of Old Nice have the air of Italy, the cuisine sings with its most beautiful accent and, in February, the carnival flowers are thrown in flair. Here, the English are not all noble and the Russians more truly white. Nice is cheerful, good-natured, and above all very lively, all year round. 300 days of sunshine a year, they say. Nice, we love you!
Le old Nice is a timeless labyrinth, with its alleys that scent Italy. It was built in the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries in a somewhat decorative style that plays on light and color, from yellow to brick red (if we forget the green of the shutters). The real treasures are hidden. Push open the doors of churches, and let yourself be dazzled by the hundreds of cherubs, paintings, altars and pulpits in marble, baroque. High choirs!
On Rossetti square, after having sacrificed to Sainte-Reparate, take a step back to admire the facade, really baroque for once, of the Lascaris Palace. When you have your account of gilding and stucco, breathe a last sigh while admiring the church of Gésu, and get lost in the neighboring streets, which still smell of old Nice from yesteryear.
All roads lead, rest assured, to Cours Saleya and its famous fruit and vegetable market.
Some fine remains remain along the Promenade des Anglais, starting with the famous Negresco (at n ° 37) and a host of fine hotels.
It is by walking with your nose to the wind, towards the west, that you will be able to discover some beautiful villas like the villa Dilanski (at n ° 47) or Art Deco jewelry such as Mediterranean palace (the old casino, at n ° 17) or the exceptional Gloria Mansions building, near n ° 63, to discover on the garden side, but also on the rue de France, parallel.
At n ° 113, in front of the renovated facade of Palace of Agriculture, we will have a thought for the dancer Isadora Duncan, dead here strangled by her scarf, stuck in the wheel of her convertible ...
The essentials of Nice
- La Promenade des Anglais, of course, fully requalified by 2017, to support the request for UNESCO World Heritage classification. And, in season, beaches of the Bay of Angels.
- La Place Masséna, heart of Nice beating day and night, pedestrian and colorful. The tram crosses it, and those who get off can go green on the Paillon promenade before going to visit the MAMAC, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, or get lost in old Nice.
- All municipal museums are free, take the opportunity to visit the MAMAC, the essential Matisse museum and Cimiez Archaeological Museum neighbor, the delicious Asian Arts Museum, but also that of Fine Arts, naive art and Massena palace, if you have time. Nice, long loved by artists, is also a cultural capital.
- The old town shops, where nothing seems to have changed for decades: Barale, founded in 1892, for pasta fondues, Auer, for candied fruit lovers, Alziari for olive oil, and Bestagno parasols, adorable shop forgotten by time...
- The Cours Saleya, where one of the most colorful and lively fruit, vegetable and flower markets is held (daily until 13 p.m., except Mon). Respect tradition and eat a piece of socca, still hot, in line, like everyone else.
- La castle hill, accessible by a free lift, close to Cours Saleya. The access corridor allows you to relive, in a few paintings, the entire history of the city. Convenient. At the top, don't look for the castle, Louis XIV had it razed to the ground. The park and gardens are open daily. Go take a look at the bellanda tower, replica of the fortifications of yesteryear. Magnificent view of the Baie des Anges.
- The Lympia port, ideal for a stroll with your nose in the wind, on its quays. Take a look past the war memorial, surprisingly Art Deco, not to scare you, though ...
- La archaeological crypt, place Garibaldi, is one of the last museographic finds in the city, which the tram work has made it possible to open to the public, in small groups. A fascinating stroll UNDER the city, to relive the time of the fortifications. Resa at the heritage center.
- La hill of Cimiez, which cultivates the memory of Queen Victoria, and that of Matisse. Marc Chagall also has his museum there where you can admire his sublime Biblical Message. As a bonus, a friendly refreshment bar winks at those who are thirsty for art. The essential continuation of the Belle Époque walk that began on the sea side.
- The Nice Carnival, one of the most important in the world, which takes place every year in February!
A vineyard in the city
Nice is the only city in France to have a vineyard within the town itself, whose producers can boast of having a Controlled Designation of Origin, since 1941.
On the hillsides of Bellet, one of the oldest grape varieties in France, produces remarkable white, red and rosé wines, sometimes more for their price than for their quality. Ideal to accompany gnocchi and small stuffed vegetables. To find out more: www.vins-bellet.fr
To prepare your trip, consult our Nice online guide
Nice tourist office
Côte d'Azur Regional Tourism Committee
How to get there
Nice is connected by TGV to Lyon (4:30), Paris (5:30), Lille (7:30) ...
Numerous daily flights departing from Nice airport to the main French and European airports with Air France, Hop! and EasyJet.
Superb routes by car, if you have the time, crossing the Alps via the Napoleon road, in the spotlight in 2014.
Back to the roots of Nissarde cuisine in some establishments, which hope to obtain a label! It was about time, we had supped fake Nice salads.
Young chefs revisit tradition, whether French, Italian, Japanese ... and it's the rush, in their restaurants sometimes no bigger than a pocket square.
You will fall in love with the new wine bars, opened in the center, by men and women who know it all, in terms of food and wine.
(Find out more about the “Nissarde cuisine” label and its recipes online: www.nicetourisme.com)
- A socca : Chez Pipo, 13, rue Bavastro, near the port.
- A gourmet meal : Keisuke Matsushima, 22ter, rue de France.
- Heart stroke : Black cat, white cat, 20, rue Barillerie.