Nice

The uncontested capital of the French Riviera, ,,Nice la Belle” has been a prized site since prehistoric times. As can be witnessed by the objects discovered in the Grimaldi caves, which attest to Man’s presence there in Palaeolithic and Neolithic times.

Nice

Nice

When Avignon became the spiritual center of the occident in the 14th century, the whole province experienced a period of literary and artistic development. While the rest of the province became definitively French, the fate of Nice became linked to the Dukes of Savoy and took a different route. Napoleon annexed Nice to France in 1793 and began his Italian campaign from there in 1796. Nice was again attached to the house of Savoy from 1814 to 1860, the year in which it became definitively French through a popular referendum.

From the middle of the 19th century its appeal as a tourist attraction has constantly grown, in particular to rich English people who thanks to its beauty and the mildness of its climate, have made it their favorite holiday resort.

The light and color of the area around Nice have inspired countless world famous artists. The painters – Ingres, Corot, Delacroix, Soutine, Monet, Renoir, Matisse, Picasso, Dufy, Leger, Marc Chagall, Degas, Bonnard, – and the writers – Balzak, Flaubert, Maupassant, Alexander Dumas, Montaigne, Verlaine, Tolstoy, Colette…- all spent time in Nice, or even took up permanent residence there. The mere presence of these artists has favored the creation of numerous galleries and museums and given Nice a cultural and artistic vocation; without forgetting that an ample number of figures from the world of politics, sciences and finances have achieved much within the walls of the city. Nice has always welcomed celebrities, and it has cradled a few of its own illustrious sons and daughters, among who, we can mention the painters Van Loo and Brea, the astronomers Cassini, Maraldi and Lascaris, the historian Gioffredo, the abbot of St. Pons, J-M de Gubernatis ,,the presumed builder” of the Arenes Villa at Cimiez, Marc de Nice, missionary to Peru and Mexico, the naturalists Barla and Risso and the generals Massena, Rusca and Garibaldi.

However, to draw up an exhaustive list of everyone who has seen Nice is of course impossible. Each district of the city has its own personality and jealously guards its own sense of authenticity, its architectural richness amd its customs. One experience, that must not be missed is a stroll along the Promenade des Anglais, which so often symbolizes the capital of the Riviera, stretches languorously, along the entire length of the sea front of the Angel Bay under the discreet gaze of its grand hotels, witnesses to the city’s sumptuous past. The Negresco Hotel built in 1912 in the Belle Epoque architectural style, is superb, as are the Westminster and the Royal. If we add to the congregation of buildings the palms, the intense blue of the sky and the constantly changing reflections coming off the sea, a dream is seen to come true.

One of the best ways to appreciate attractions of Nice is to view it from th top of its castle. The panorama is unique, taking in the Angel Bay, the city itself and its surroundings. To the East, can be seen Mont Boron and the Port district, constructed during the reign of Charles Emmanuel the Third of Savoy. To the West, the new town can be seen climbing the nearby hills. The airport can be made out in the distance and the Cap d’Antibes forms a perfect backdrop to the scene. The castle itself has been a fortified iron age camp, an Acropolis for the Greeks of Marseille, a Roman fort and, during the middle ages, a citadel of the Counts of Provence and the Kings of Aragon


<>At the foot of the castle the Old Town spreads itself out between Paillon and the Mediterranean. It is unquestionably the most picturesque part of the entire city. In each of its highly colored alleyways can be found houses that cover the entire spectrum, from white ochre to red ochre. The streets of the old town, like its many stairways, climb, twist, turn and descend through the crowded districts of La Boucherie, Le Marche, la Loge and Les Voutes where the delightful, singsong accents of the local populace can be heard everywhere. Rambling through the area, the visitor will stumble upon the Place St Fracois with its 18 th century Town Hall, or the Flower Market of the Cours Saleya.

Splendid Hotel

Splendid Hotel

Here of a morning, a profusion of colors and perfumes greets the visitor, while in the evening, the terraces of cafes nad restaurants provide a cheerful and spirited atmosphere in which to mingle. The nearby Opera House is also worth a detour. The 17th century, Saint Reparate Cathedral designed by the local architect Andre Guibera is the jewel of the Old Town. In two storey facade is in a neo-classical style and the church tower dates from the 18th century. The interior is built in the form of a Latin cross, with a central dome and three naves. The church houses the mitre of Saint Bassus, as well as a reliquary associated with Saint Victor. The Rue de la Prefecture joins the old town to the rest of the city.

The main artery of the city is Jean Medecin Avenue, named after a former mayor of Nice. Here can be found the imposing Basilique de Notre Dame in a neo-gothic style reminiscent of Notre Dame de Paris. The avenue opens out into the Place Massena, remarkable for the harmony achieved by its architectural ensemble in red ochre. Every year, at Carnival time, the square becomes an open-air theatre. The sumptuous gardens and superb fountains bordering the square complete the perfect picture. It is the true heart of the open spaces which start at the Promenade Des Anglais, pass through the Albert the First Gardens and stretch to the remarkable cultural ensemble comprising the Theatre, the Musee d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain and the Acropolis.

Carnival in Nice

Carnival in Nice

Among the many religious buildings in Nice it is worth mentioning the Church of Jesus, which has a neo-classical facade and a sigle nave, it was dedicated to Saint Jacques at the beginning of the 18 th century. Also notable are the Chapelle de’l Annonciation, dedicated to Saint James and the 18 th century church of the Virgin of Mercy whose vault was painted by Bistolfi. The Russian Church located in the proximity of the Boulevard Tzarewitch. Constructed between 1903 and 1914 in accordance with the plans of the architect Preobrajenski its external structure is reminiscent of the church of Saint Basil in Moscow. The interior is notable for its walls painted with frescoes by Designori from designs by Pianovski. It has a single nave with an incredible abundance of iconography: an image of the Virgin, a Saint Michael, an image of the Blessed Saviour, Notre Dame de Kazan, a Virgin of Vladimir in bronze and a Saint Nicholas.

The Nice Carnival is famous throughout the world. Its origins go back at least as far as the 13th century, though its current form follows a tradition established in 1873. Throughout the festivities, parades by the King of Carnival alternate with battles of flowers rich in color and scents. The participants spend the entire year building floats, costumes and Big Head masks, all to create the enchanted world that is Carnival.

The spectacle of the Place Massena sumptuously decorated and magnificently lit for the festivities is a sight not to be missed.

Booking Hotel IN Partner Hotels Online Hotel Reservations

**** All seasons Nice Vieux Port Nice – 8 Rue Emmanuel Philibert – 6300 Nice

Located at the harbor, 8 minutes walk from the Convention Center and historic Nice, just 200 m from the Promenade des Anglais, the hotel features 114 entirely renovated, spacious air conditioned rooms as well as secure pay parking. 30 minutes from the Nice Arenas airport, 2 km from Monaco and the Italian border, it makes for an ideal place to stay whether on business or leisure. Rooms and Suites All Seasons Nice Vieux Port rooms provide modern comfort, a unique feeling of spaciousness and contemporary decor.

***** Hotel Palais de la Mediterranee – 13 Promenade des Anglais – 06000 Nice http://www.palais.concorde-hotels.fr

In January 2004 Concorde Hotels & resorts opened the doors of this impressive building with its striking facade and Art Deco columns that have dominated the Promenade des Anglais since 1929. This luxury Five star hotel has 188 bedrooms including 12 Suites furnished in an elegant and Contemporary style. The large panoramic terrace on the third floor has a beautiful indoor and outdoor heated swimming pool, fitness center, a modern and contemporary Mediterranean brasserie and stylish bar. Additionally the property also has a Sauna and Hammam. The hotel is situated 5 minutes walk from the charming old town  of Nice and is also only 1 minutes transfer time from Nice Port and Airport.

*****JW Marriott Cannes – 5th Boulevard de la Croisette – 640 Cannes http://www.jwmarriottcannes.com

Ideally situated on La Croisette and across from the sea, the hotel is built on the original site of the famous ,,Palais des Festivals’‘ placing it at the heart of a city that steps into the spotlight once a year, when shining stars  and international events come together for a film festival that has made Cannes the annual showcase for French elegance.

****Chateau & Hotel La Vignette Haute – Luxe 37, Route du Village – 6810 Auribeau Sur Siagne – http://www.vignettehaute.com

One of the most picturesque hotels in France, ,,La Vignette Haute”, is located at Auribeau sur Siagne, charming village from the 13th century, with its medieval atmosphere. This is a truly romantic place, just half an hour away from the Nice Airport, 2 minutes from Cannes, and 1 minutes from the perfumes of Grasse.

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