Nice (pronounced as the English word “niece”) is a French city located in the south-eastern part of the country on the Mediterranean coast. First settled about 400,000 years ago by early humans, Nice was one of the first sites in Europe where fire was made, as evidence from the archaeological site Terra Amata has shown. Modern human settlement of Nice dates back to around 350 BC when Greeks from Marseille founded the town of Nikaia (named after the Greek goddess of victory, Nike) following their victory against a neighboring people.
Through the centuries, Nice has often played a pivotal role in Franco-Italian history, holding strong influence over Savoy for hundreds of years. As France’s fifth largest city and second most popular tourist destination in France outside of Paris, there is no denying that Nice still remains an integral part of regional politics.
If you want to experience the past, Nice has many options. You can take a trip to the Terra Amata and learn how some of our earliest ancestors lived. Go up to the Parc du Chateau and look 92 metres down below for a breathtaking view of the Baie des Anges and Vieux Nice. Visit the Place Garibaldi and marvel at the architecture and statue of Nice-born Giuseppi Garibaldi, the hero of Italian unification who advocated strongly to make Nice a part of Italy.
You can stroll along the Promenade des Anglais, so named after the many English people who flocked to spend their winters in Nice during the later half of the eighteenth century. There you can take in the fresh air and sights that have served as inspiration to countless artists, including Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse. Then, go to the Musee d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain to view masterpieces by world famous artists. Also be sure to check out the Galerie Jean Renoir to see artwork by young locals and get a glimpse of where Nice is headed in the future.
Getting to Nice is easy and there are many ways to do so. One way is to fly to the third most important airport in France, Nice Cote d’Azure Airport. Due to its proximity to Monaco, it also serves as the primary hub for that city-state. If you are starting your trip in Paris and want to see more of the country, you can take a six hours long train ride to Nice from the capital via Nice’s primary railway, Nice-Ville.
Nice also makes a good base for people wishing to travel to other locations. Marseilles is less than three hours away by train, and two expressways, the A8 autoroute and Route nationale 7 go through Nice en route to Italy. Nice is also home to Lympia port from which ferries to and from Corsica go. Additionally, Cannes, which hosts the international film festival, is nearby.
Nice is a perfect place for people who are looking to bask in the sunlight and relish in fresh air. With history part of Nice’s very atmosphere and so many things to see and do in and around Nice, visiting Nice is a must for every traveller to France.
Nice is the ideal city for a short break: cheap flights from the UK, a relaxed pace and a seaside location, perfect for last minute holidays. The Cote d’Azur is a superbly glamorous destination that is rich in local markets selling fine fresh produce as well as fine dining options. Head to the Old Town for authentic restaurants that are popular with the locals, whilst those nearer the beach tend to be both more expensive and, correspondingly, more exclusive. For a real treat try a seafood based dish: most of the seafood in the area is locally caught and the difference is apparent in the taste. [Read More...]
If you’re keen to do some traditional shopping whilst visiting the South of France, look no further than the markets. Most towns have a weekly traditional market selling fresh produce such as fruit, meat and cheeses. Away from the fresh produce markets, there are also various speciality markets. The most expensive and sought after produce of these markets is the locally produced black truffles. [Read More...]
If you’re a keen cyclist, why not explore Provence on top of a saddle. With several routes on offer in this area, cyclists of all fitness, age and experience will find something suitable and enjoyable. This region is so culturally diverse that within a 20-mile radius, you can cycle through several villages, all different from one another. [Read More...]
Gîte holidays in southern France are a fantastic way to experience the culture, views and lifestyle of traditional France. Gîtes today vary from being luxury holiday cottages to very basic apartments however the term ‘gîte’ originally meant quite simply a form of shelter. [Read More...]