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About city Gallery Where to stay

Nice, home to around 350,000 people, is a harbour city located on the Mediterranean coast in Southern France. It’s one of the main resort centres of the Blue Coast, or French Rivera. Every year, Nice is visited by up to 4 million tourists. It’s the fifth most important French city, with its own airport, which, in terms of the number of passengers who pass through, is second only to that of Paris.

Back in the 19th century, after the Napoleonic Wars, Nice became a resort, which slowly turned into a bohemian sanctuary. Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani, Fernand Léger, Jean Cocteau, Greta Garbo, Yves Montand and many others used to come here to rest. In 1950, Nice also became the long-term home of the famous modernist painter Marc Chagall.

Nice street live at noon
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Nice street live at noon

Today, Nice is a prestigious recreation centre of the rich and famous, many of whom have villas here. The international elite loves this resort because of its soft Mediterranean climate: winters here are soft, and summers warm, but not too hot. Wealthy people like to buy real estate here, hoping to spend their retirement on the Blue Coast, enjoying the mountain and sea climate that’s virtually ideal for humans.

Since Nice had for a long time belonged to Italy, it is now a mix of French and Italian languages and cultures, and the city is home to a large number of newcomers from the former French colonies in North Africa.

Nice citizens and tourists enjoying a sunny day at the beach
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Nice citizens and tourists enjoying a sunny day at the beach

Anyone who looks at the capital of the Blue Coast more attentively becomes enamoured with its individuality and unique lifestyle, very different from those seen in other French cities.

Nice could be divided into three separate parts. Most tourists first acquaint themselves with the modern city, situated on the Mediterranean coast. Here you’ll see beautiful residential houses and decorated streets, regularly renovated by the city government. The other face of the city contains features of the so-called Belle Époque, which designates a period before the First World War when everything was glowing with luxury and elegance. In Nice, this epoch left some sumptuous architectural specimens that were built at the order of the aristocrats of that time. Belle Époque reminds itself to us through the many unique parks, castles, villas and hotels.

Local people and tourists walking around narrow pedestrian street in Old Town of Nice
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Local people and tourists walking around narrow pedestrian street in Old Town of Nice

As for the Old Nice, there’s no question about it being the heart of the entire city. Its narrow streets and little squares are full of tiny markets that exude a distinctive, warm and merry atmosphere. It’s pure pleasure to take a seat on the terrace of one of the many cafés and restaurants, and enjoy some traditional food. In the Old Town, every traveller stops to marvel at the local souvenirs – fabric cicadas, Provencial napkins, ceramics, soap, olive oil and local spices. This place is full of elegant little shops that offer masterfully made jewellery and the products of local perfume factories.

The city is home to a great number of museums, among which are the famous ones dedicated to Matisse and Chagall. Nice is the birthplace of the well-known Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi. The city has its own university, a film studio and several spectacular churches. Many visitors are charmed by the world-famous English Embankment, palaces with ancient unwieldy lifts, the bronze dome of the famous Negresco Hotel, and the famed flower market.

Nice is full of street musicians and the ice cream sold in the city is considered by some to be the tastiest in the whole world. The Arlequin ice cream parlour, located in the Malussen Street, is especially famous for the treat.

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