Nice

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Nice

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GPS N43.703427°,E7.266266°
Nice is the city on the south of France and it is often referred to as the Queen of the Riviera. It is located on the Mediterranean coast, between Marseille and Genoa, with 933,080 inhabitants in the metropolitan area. The city is wonderful blend of old and new, it is a delightful city that is fashionable, relaxed and fun.

The Old Town (Vieille Ville) is a part that everybody who comes to Nice has to see. Its look has changed just a little since the 1700s. There are narrow streets and winding alleys which lined with faded 17th- and 18th-century buildings. The famous flower market always delights tourists as well as residents. Modern Nice is characterized by the Italian façades of early 20th-century residences, which make the city one of Europe’s most fashionable winter retreats. The beaches of Nice, and along the coast to Antibes, are shingle (smooth stones). Its pebbled sands continue to attract many sun worshippers every year. From Antibes-Juan-les-Pins to Cannes, the beaches are sandy.

Nice was founded around 350 BC by the Greek seafarers. The Romans took control 196 years later, settling farther uphill in the area now called Cimiez. Italian flair results from its former association with the House of Savoy before Napoleon III assured French possession in 1860. The city’s popularity grew considerably during the Victorian period when the English aristocracy made it their main winter retreat.

Very famous is the palm-lined Promenade des Anglais which follows the curved beachfront. It is a favorite place for strolling. One can find there expensive shops, hotels, restaurants and art galleries, among them the palatial Hotel Negresco.

North of the Old Town, there is the stately Place Massena which is the main hub of Nice. The square is surrounded by neo-classical, arcaded buildings painted in shades of ochre and red. The central part of Nice is particularly known for its pedestrian zone with many boutiques of well-known designer shops. North of the city center is the posh suburb of Cimiez, famous for several museums and Roman ruins.

Nice offers many shopping possibilities in both the Old Town and along the mid-town pedestrian zone. In the Old Town one can find mostly souvenirs and arts and crafts; the pedestrian zone is famous mostly for its designer boutiques. A convenient place to find everything under one roof is the department store Galéries Lafayette. The department store stays open all day. The local currency is the euro.

As far as cuisine is concerned, Nice is a great place for a meal ashore, whether snacking on Niçois specialties or dining in one of the fine restaurants. A strong Italian influence is visible also here; one can find accounts for pasta dishes on many menus. Seafood is also a good choice. Popular snacks offered in many cafés are sandwiches with typical Provençal fillings such as fresh basil, olive oil and goat cheese. One of the most famous restaurants is the Chanteclerc at the Hotel Negresco.

In Nice, there are many places that are worthy to visit. From museums it is for example Musée National Marc Chagall which was established by the artist himself. The collection features the most important permanent exhibit of his work. The main focus is on a series of 17 canvases comprising his colorful “Biblical Message.”

Another museum, Musée Matisse situated a 17th-century Italian villa; the museum features exquisite paintings and bronzes by the great master. These works of art illustrate the different stages of Henri Matisse’s career. Especially interesting are the sketches he made for his paintings in the Chapelle de Rosaire in Vence. Matisse painted them to thank resident nuns who nursed him back to health.

The large park, Parc du Château, is shady public park and is located on a 300-foot hill and offers beautiful views of the city and the sea. The château, after which the hill and park are named, was established in the 12th century, and ruined in 1706 by Louis XIV. In the western part of the city Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Nicholas is located. This multicolored cathedral crowned by six onion domes was built in the early 1900s in 17th-century style. It belongs to one of the most elaborated and exotic structures in Nice. Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art specializes in French and American avant-garde artwork from the 1960s to the present. The collection includes for example the work of Cesar, Warhol or Christo.

Anatole Jakovsky International Naïve Art Museum was donated to the city by Mr. and Mrs. Anatole Jakovsky in 1982, the museum traces the progression of naïve art since the 18th century.

As far as other cultural events one can visit Theatre de Nice created in 1969, which is the major theatrical centre proposing national productions located on Promenade des Arts; or Opera de Nice which presents concerts, ballets, recitals and lyrical performances each year from October to June.

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