Nice - 5th largest city in France by its population and its major achievements - is the leading city of the Riviera, both elegant and popular, with its famous Promenade des Anglais, its many pebble beaches and sumptuous luxury hotels, including the famous Negresco.
From its cosmopolitan past, Nice, the true capital of the French Riviera, has preserved it’s indefinable charm that makes it an excellent tourist center gently blending local culture and the art of living.
The city is located at the bottom of Angel Bay, enclosed within the towering hills including the Cimiez hills, sheltering the city from the wind, with its ancient ruins and its park which houses the Matisse Museum, and even the hills of the castle, which separates the Old City from the port Lympia.
It is through long strolls that we discover Nice, with its flower gardens and parks, its old town with picturesque streets and ocher facades in declined yellows and reds, its markets, including the famous 'flower market' Cour Saleya, crowded café terraces, even in winter, because here the climate is mild all year long, or the port, which has long been a popular working class neighbourhood, now an ultra authentic district of Nice, where you will discover the Piazza Garibaldi, the oldest city square and one of its most iconic locations.
With a diverse architecture, Nice reflects its history and its evolution in each of its streets and in each building. During the Savoyard period, several palaces and mansions were built, as well as churchs of baroque style. During the Belle Epoque, the city was enriched with numerous villas and hotels, by the presence of powerful, notable families, and then by winter holiday makers.
Thus sumptuous buildings are today party of the architectural heritage of Nice, such as the castle of Bellet, the Matisse Museum, The Palais Lascaris, the Palais Masséna, the castle of the English …
Similarly, several institutions related to the touristic past of the city exist since the nineteenth century - the coffee of Turin, the pastry Auer, former Hotel Regina, where Henri Matisse lived, the Negresco, the Palace of the Mediterranean...
Among the popular areas of Nice, mainly we note:
The hill of Cimiez, residential area of great standing home to many hotels built in the Belle Époque and transformed into luxury apartments, master villas and large stately buildings.
The Golden Square, which dates back to the Belle Epoque
The Musicians district, where there are many Palaces (beautiful private properties) and hotels dating back in general to the early twentieth century and remains today the most emblematic of Belle Époque architecture in Nice (1860-1914 ).
Nice Mont Boron, or Cap de Nice, with its 'coastal path': this is where the Palais Maeterlinck stands proudly overlooking the Mediterranean, and was erected in 1870 the villa Beau Site.
Without forgetting, of course, the Promenade des Anglais, emblem of Nice in the eyes of the world.
Nice is a country of its own: here they speaks 'nissart', and the gastronomy is typically Mediterranean – taste the pissaladière, ratatouille, pan Bagnat or Niçoise salad ... not forgetting to add a good dose of olive oil and some famous small black caillette olives.
"Composition is the art of organizing decoratively the various elements which the painter uses to express his feelings." Henri Matisse
Nice is also art, culture and festivities, and there are less than 850 cultural events each year, including:
The Carnival of Nice: the first written account of the Corso carnaval dates back to 1294! In 1876 appears the first Battle of Flowers on the promenade des Anglais, where 90% of the flowers - mimosas, Lilys and daisies - come from the surrounding hills.
The Nice Jazz Festival, held for the first time ever in 1948 and welcomes each year the best of the national and international music scene (Jamie Cullum, Charles Lloyd, Kenny Barron, Brad Mehldau, Cerrone, The Roots Kool and the Gang, Lauryn Hill, Ibeyi, Yael Naim, etc).
It is also the second city of museums in France, just after Paris - which you will most probably visit:
The Matisse Museum, genoese remains of the xviith century located in the bucolic setting in the gardens of the Cimiez hill, a place where painters can stroll amongst the centenary olive tree and remnants of the Roman Era.
The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMAC), whose permanent collection reflects, amongst other things, the work of European artists of the "New Realism" movement and works of American artists in "Art of blending" and « New York Pop Art ».
The Museum of Fine Arts, installed in 1928 in a magnificent house built on the initiative of the Ukrainian princess Kotchoubey in 1878 and completed by the American Thompson. The Crucifixion of Agnolo Bronzino (1540 ) the Yellow Console with two windows of Raoul Dufy (1948), the Luncheon on the Grass by Jules Cheret (1904), or Open Window on the Seine Pierre Bonnard (1912) are just a few of the iconic pieces held in the museum.
Musée National Marc Chagall, which holds the largest public collection of works by Marc Chagall.