Holiday in Nice: guide to the charming and full of history town located in the heart of the French Riviera...
Holiday in Nice: useful guide to Nice, marvellous town in the heart of the French Riviera
Enjoy an amazing holiday in Nice and soak up the sun on Nice’s long beaches; pleasant and comfortable, the public beaches are well-kept and cleaned regularly, as well as the rich blue-green sea. If you are in search of a unique luxurious and amusing holiday, Nice is the perfect tourist destination for all ages with its lively and glamorous life.
In the past, Nice welcomed the wealthy European and American aristocracy, while today Nice has become a very popular cosmopolitan tourist resort. Nice is the capital of the French Riviera and benefits from a very privileged position, indeed it is very close to the most elegant towns in the French Riviera, like Cannes and Monaco, but you also have the chance to enjoy the pictoresque tranquillity of the Provence countryside. Nice is currently the 5th largest town in France and its airport Nice-Côte d`Azur is the second in the Country. Every year European and American tourists are charmed by this wonderful town on the French Riviera.
Nice boasts very interesting tourist attractions which you cannot miss during your holiday in Nice:
- Cimiez of Nice: wealthy residential district of Cimiez. Located in the north of the town, it was built on the remains of its Roman past. The ruins of the ancient town of Cemenelum, (the capital of the Roman province of Alpes-Maritimes) are illustrated in the archaeological museum and archaeological site, which includes an amphitheater and the Roman baths. The typical olive groves behind the archaeological site offer a picturesque stage to the jazz festival, which is celebrated in July. Nice also boasts a sixteenth-century monastery where you can enjoy spectacular views over the bay. It hosts some magnificent works of art and in its cemetery the painters Henri Matisse and Raoul Dufy are buried.
- Musée d’Art Moderne and d’Art Contemporain of Nice(Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art): the museum hosts international modern paintings and pop art. You will have the opportunity to walk on the paths which connect the four towers made of glass and covered with marble, and to enjoy the wonderful garden on the museum top floor. There`s also an auditorium where films are screened. The museum widely represents the New Realism, with many works by Romanian Daniel Spoerri and Arman. A gallery is reserved to the works of Niçois Yves Klein (1928-62), while the ground floor and first floor are devoted to temporary exhibitions. If you want to take a breath of fresh air, enjoy a visit of the Jardin Maréchal.
- Musée Matisse of Nice(Matisse Museum): located on the hill of Cimiez, it is one of its major attractions. The painter Henri Matisse (1869-1954) decided to spend the winter times in Nice attracted by its mild climate, its pictoresque landscapes and the proximity to his friends Picasso, Renoir and Bonnard, who lived not far from Nice. The collection covers the whole long productive life of the artist, illustrating every phase of his creative process, and includes drawings, bronze sculptures, oil paintings and works of decoupage. The most famous pieces are two gouaches made with the technique of decoupage, Blue Nude IV and Woman with Amphora. The permanent collection is shown in a seventeenth-century Genoese villa overlooking an ancient olive grove and the Parc des Arènes, while temporary exhibitions are staged in the building basement.
- Musée Nationale Message Biblique Marc-Chagall of Nice(Museum of Biblical Message Marc Chagall): the museum displays the largest public collection of works by the Russian painter Marc Chagall (1887-1985), who lived near Saint-Paul de Vence from 1950 until his death. The museum was built in 1972 to house the Biblical Message Cycle, a series of 17 enormous paintings inspired by the Old Testament. The museum is a simple white building and its austere architecture sharply contrast with the brightly colored goats, violins and humans floating in the air that are typical of Chagall`s magical style.
- Promenade des Anglais of Nice(Premenade of the English): it is a world-renowed promenade along the Baie des Anges on the Mediterranean Sea. Its typical facades, palm trees and blue sky are exactly the same that appear on postcards depicting this famous promenade of Nice. The Promenade des Anglais was built in 1802 when the English Lewis Way proposed the construction of a walkway along the sea where people could enjoy the panorama along the coast and pleasant promenades. Today, the promenade has changed a lot and has become a very popular and cosmopolitan meeting place for young people and sport lovers. You will also have the chance to take a stroll in the nineteenth-century Jardin Albert I and to admire the magnitude of the Palais de la Méditerranée, casino-style Art Deco abandoned to oblivion since it was closed in the 70s. The building`s most famous promenade is the sumptuous Hotel Negresco, built in 1906.
- Vieux Nice (old town): The old town of Nice is a delightful maze of narrow winding streets, squares and buildings built in Genoese as well as Provençal, Medieval and Baroque style. Enjoy a promenade among its numerous typical cafes and restaurants. The old town, where you can stroll through the Parc du Château, becomes particularly lively at night when local people and tourists meet at the many pubs and fashionable night clubs. If you like baroque churches, don’t miss the oldest church in Nice, Saint-Martin-Saint-Augustin Church, Saint-François-de-Blades built in baroque and classical style, Saint-Giuame (also known as Saint Jacques, and the stylish Chapelle de la Miséricorde. The Sainte Réparate Cathedral (1650-80), in the central square of Nice, Place Rossetti, was built in honor of the patron saint of the town and its bell tower dates back to the eighteenth century. Palais Lascaris is a beautiful exemple of baroque style and contains a pharmacy of the eighteenth century and a museum of local history. Go for a walk in Cours Saleya and enjoy its flower and vegetable markets, and don’t miss the Paillon garden, which separates the old center from the more modern part of the town. The Opera House, in Belle Époque style, is not far from Cours Saleya.
- Cathédrale Orthodoxe Russe St-Nicolas de Nice (Russian Orthodox Cathedral): The cathedral offers a striking exotic atmosphere and an impressive architectural sight. It is rich with icons, woodworks and frescos. Located in a park north of Nice train station, it is open to the public, but visitors must comply with strict rules, especially regarding clothes: short pants and mini-skirts are not allowed. Commissioned by Nicholas II and his mother, the cathedral was completed in 1912 on the model of the Moscow church of St. Basil.
- Musée des Beaux-Arts of Nice(Museum of Fine Arts): originally built to be the residence of a Ukrainian princess, this wonderful building now houses the Museum of Fine Arts in Nice, displaying seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth century paintings by famous artists including Van Loo and Fragonard. If you prefer the Impressionists, you can also enjoy paintings by Boudin, Sisley, Monet, Renoir and Bonnard. With its high ceilings, its columned facade and broad marble staircase, the building offers a magnificent stage to the marvellous works of art displayed inside. It is located in the western part of Nice at the bottom of the winding Avenue des Baumettes.
- Musée International d`Art Naif Anatole-Jakovsky Nice (Museum of Naive Art): This museum displays an international collection of naive art from the eighteenth century until present, donated by the art critic Anatole Jakovsky. The museum is housed in the pink Château Ste-Helene, built in the nineteenth century by François Blanc, the founder of the Casino of Monte Carlo. To get there, you should take a bus to the suburb of Fabron, 1.5 kilometers away from the center.
- Villages of Nice : The hinterland of Nice is a mosaic of rural villages perched on the hill and connected by roads full of hairpin turns: fasten your seat belts! The Paillon river, which diviedes Nice into two, flows among these pictoresque rural communities. Nice is also well known for its typicale markets, where you`ll easily find olive oil, goat cheese and vegetables from this area. The landscapes are spectacular and there are some very interesting places to visit, such as a chapel with frescos dating back to the fifteenth century located in the Medieval village of Peillon, and a Romanesque church in Peille.
Have a look at our useful Guide to Nice and arrange your holiday in Nice, marvellous town in the heart of the French Riviera!
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