Nice , from glam and sunshine to tragedy,I will never forget what took place on July 14th, my heart goes out to the families who died that day or lost a loved one.
In the 19th century the European aristocracy colonized the place, drawn by the beautiful Bay of Angels and the mild winter weather. A lot of film stars have endowed France‘s fifth city with a legacy of luxury. A lot of artists have found their niche in Nice as well and have left a legacy of culture, Chagall and Matisse were inspired by the light and left their mark here with their abstract works. Alongside the opulence there is another Nice , rooted in the Mediterranean history and fiercely independent. The city of Nice voted to join France in 1860 ( It had been for centuries the kingdom of Savoy) and until today Nice retains its own dialect, cuisine and traditions.
Nice is also known for the famous ( Promenade des Anglais), this seafront promenade owes its name to the English community which funded the initial construction in 1852, the community very often gave work to the local poor. Now the promenade is flanked by traffic lanes and sweeps majestically the Bay of Angels. Belle epoque edifices, notably the very magnificent hotel are the symbols for when Nice was the magnet for European nobility.
Museums to visit on a Sunday afternoon.
Just shortly before his death Matisse donated a collection of paintings to the city in which he had lived for 37 years. They have found a superb home in a 17th-century Italianate villa on Cimiez hill. The Matisse collection affords affords a comprehensive overview of the artist’s work. 164 Avenue des Arenes de Cimiez. ( open 10am -8pm) . Free.
Musee d’art moderne et d’art contemporain.
The collections trace the story for the avant garde from the 1960s to the present day. Particularly notable are the US pop artists and European New Realists . Promenade des Arts. ( open 10 am – 6pm). Free.
Musee des Beaux Arts.
This 19th-century townhouse was originally built for a Ukranian princess, holds collections of art from the 17th to the early 19th centuries. 33 avenue des Baumettes. ( open 10am-6pm). Free.
This 19th-century Italianate villa houses the Musee d’art et d’histoire. A very interesting collection of diverse objects covering from Bonaparte to the 1930’s, worth the stop!. 65 rue de France, open ( 10am -6pm). Free.
Cimiez Hill and Musee National Message Biblique Marc Chagall.
European nobility colonized Cimiez Hill with magnificent villas. The most impressive of all is the Excelsior Regina Palace , where Queen Victoria once stayed. Also the museum houses Chagall‘s 17 great work on “the biblical Message”, the artist also created stained glass windows, a mosaic and tapestry for the museum.
Built in the mid eighteen century , the port never really took off commercially and remains much quieter than most Mediterranean city harbors. The port is surrounded by beautiful Italianate villas. The Russian writer Chekhov loved this quieter part of Nice.
Cathedral St Nicolas.
The Russian community was as prominent as the British community in the late 19th to the early 20th centuries. This Russian Orthodox church was finished in 1912 as the community’s focal point. Rue Nikola II. Open daily, not sure it is free!.
Nice is a special place in my heart, my parents used to vacation there in September.
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Musee D’art contemporain. Mansion , Cimiez Hill. Old Nice.