This huge building was built in 1899 as a luxury hotel. After World War I, the hotel was affected by the crisis which striked all the luxury hotels in the coast. Between 1925 and 1926, the county council approved this luxury hotel acquisition. Today, the building is a public secondary school estalishment. The façade changed a bit over the years.
HOW TO GET THERE
It is close to the Russian Church (L'Eglise Russe).
As you walk along Boulevard Twazervitch, turn right on Avenue General Weygand and walk up until you see the building.
From the train station (Gare SNCF) take either bus # 14 (Square Daudet - Mont Boron, Direction: Square Daudet) or # 17 (Square Daudet / Monastère de Cimiez - CPAM Pessicart. Direction: CPAM Pessicart).
This old Genovese palace is in the Old Nice.
It dates from the 17th century and shows tapestries, old furniture, and also promotes the art and traditions of the Nice region.
Guided tours are available.
It is very interesting and beautiful.
Le Parc Floral Phoenix at 405, Promenade des Anglais: This happens to be one of the largest greenhouses in Europe, but many people miss it because is located right by the aéroport and quite a hike up the boardwalk from Centre Ville. But in my opinion it is well worth it! The greenhouse it so neat the way it is divided into the different temperature zones of the world. My favorite is the room with all the beautiful papillons (butterflies).
However much every town tries, no-one acheives the celebrity magnet pull of St Tropez.
Hang around the harbour-front cafes, lurk around Hotel Le Byblos, if you can stay overnight the clubs are chocka with stars, everything around you screams glamour. Bear in mind the famous beaches like Pamplone and Ramatuelle are some distance away from the town - a fair taxi ride.
Hard to get to, exclusive, truly glamorous and ferociously expensive, a day in St Tropez is yours for the princely sum of 50-odd euros return and an early start from Nice Port. But make sure you book in advance, and arrive a half hour earlier than you are told if you want a good seat on the two and a half hour boat ride to St Tropez.
Travel sickness pills are recommended if you don't do boats. This is no wallflower cruise liner, it zips along at great speed and bounces over the crest of waves.
The only other convenient way to access St Tropez from Nice is by train to St Raphael, and a ten minute walk to the Batteaux St Raphael ferry services from the Port to St Tropez. There are a limited number of crossings each day and it is essential to pre-plan your train and boat connections.
(I know what youre thinking: why not just hire a car and drive there? Well in season, if you want to spend six hours in one long traffic jam, this is your big chance. Everybody who has tried that has come away with the words "Never again!" on their lips.)
Access from Nice to the principality of Monaco couldn't be easier - TAM 100 or 100X bus (1 euro), or train from Gare Nice Ville (around 5 euro), will have you in Monaco in less than a half hour.
Only 2sq km in size, population 3,000 Monegasques, 27,000 tax exiles (zero rate of personal income tax) home to the wealthiest individuals in Europe. The streets are spotless - litter-free - as it has the world's highest rate of policemen per thousand population.
In Monte Carlo you can marvel at the Casino, take pictures of people taking pictures of the casino to confuse them - or go inside, if you are appropriately dressed. The free public area of the Casino is limited to slot machines, but for a charge around ten euro you can enter the gaming rooms, though real high rollers only ever play behind closed doors. The luxury cars parked outside the casino are for effect, a permanent feature to add a touch of glamour to the casino.
If you are feeling fit for the climb, fantastic views can be had from the exotic gardens (charges, but worth it) and their collection of Cactii, high up on the side of the hill above Monte Carlo looking down over the castle and the harbour.
At Prince Ranier's palace you can see his amazing classic car collection (charges). Fabulous classics, only 6 euro entry
Dont miss the fabulous Musee Oceanographique, what should be one of the wonders of the world with its three story coral reef and shark tank. And there is a guided tour deep down into the underground caverns.
In the harbour you will often see some of the worlds most impressive luxury yatchs, like the Lady Moura - said to be the most expensive in the world at $100m. Very big boys toys these.
Walk around the town and count the Porsches, Mercedes, Ferraris, Rolls Royces, Bentleys, Lambourghinis, and the odd Reliant Robin .
If you hanker after Formula One and Grand Prix week the third week of May each year, bear in mind that everything by way of accommodation everywhere goes up 30 - 50% in price, that you can't see a thing anywhere on the route without paying for a ticket, the best of which come in at 300 euro for the day.
Join me to read the lowdown on the Monaco royal family, those wild child daughters, and the real Monaco
Friday morning's must-do excursion is the bustling market of Ventimiglia, a few kilometres the other side of the Italian border. Here you can stock up with cheapest parmesan, alcohol and cigarettes, designer label clothes ( - or remarkably similar copies!) Fake luxury branded goods like handbags and scarves, silk ties, lookalike rolexes, bags and pens are often on offer - but be aware the French Police are waging a war on "Contrefaction" - counterfeit goods, and confiscation and heavy fines can be levied, and cars are targetted att the border crossing.
This is one trip where you need the train, from Nice Gare SNCF direct to Ventimiglia. Be sure to get a seat on the right side facing the engine for fine views of coast as the train winds its way along past Villefranche towards Monaco and beyond past Menton and finally total 50 minutes journey time to Italy.
If you can't make Friday, the market moves on Saturday to San Remo further around the Italian Riviera coast. This is accessible in main season by a round boat trip from the port
If you are in Ventimiglia for lunch, cross over from the commercial side to the old town and head around the corner of the beachfront. There are some good and cheap restaurants along the seafront running in the direction towards San Remo.
Once you have made the right choice of Nice, you have a wealth of attractions both in, and around Nice.
Within an hour you can be in Cannes, Monaco or Italy. You can be up in the perched villages of the arriere pays (back country), or wandering the cobbled narrow streets of the Medieval villages of St Paul, Vence or Entrevaux. You can be marvelling at the super yachts in Antibes, or lounging on the beach at Villefranche, shopping for fashion bargains in Ventimiglia, or celebrity-spotting in St Tropez. If you are up for a hike, the Grande Corniche from La Turbie offers peerless views over mountain and sea. Even further afield just manageable as a day excursion are Marseilles, Aix en Provence and Genoa. Corsica is just possible, but an overnight stay makes more sense.
What to see?
If you have only one day, most people's excursion of choice is a trip to Monaco. If you have time for more excursions, Antibes is a good second destination. To contrast those, a trip inland to one of the medieval villages is recommended - Haut de Cagnes, St Paul de Vence, Eze Village or Grasse, in order of preference.
If you're a "glitz" person, put Cannes on your list, or be prepared for lengthy travel to St Tropez, both at their best in high season.
If its a Friday, that's market day in Ventimiglia
If you are a "gardens and plants" person, head for Menton or better still the stupendous Hanbury Botanical Gardens at Mortola just across the Italian border. Closer to hand is Jardin Thuret at Cap d'Antibes or the Jardin Exotique high above Monaco. For the best of Spring roses the gardens of the monastery at Cimiez, or open midweek (not July or August) the vast gardens of Villa Eilen Roc on Cap'd'Antibes
If you do adventure sports the gorges of Gourdon are waiting for you. More sedate water fun for the family at Marineland, Biot near Antibes
Want perfect tranquility instead? The isle of St Honnorat, a short boat trip from Cannes.
Or the most stunning views on the Med? Put on your walking shoes and trek up the Grande Corniche to Fort Revere.
If you enjoy wasting money, want to spend the day staring at the exhaust of the car in front of you, and driving in ever increasing circles searching for parking, you're in luck. You can rent a car here too. However bus and train will also take you almost everywhere worth going at a fraction of the cost, and whole lot more fun.
The choice is yours. Off the beaten path has a lot to offer.
A short bus excursion from Nice ( routes 82 or 112 from Nice Gare Routiere) high up the hills is the village of Eze, probably the most accessible of the so called "perched villages"
It features an interesting maze of narrow medieval streets and alleys, artists ateliers, tourist gift shops, and a large mediterranean cactus and tropical plant garden at the summit (charges) from which the view up the coast is astounding. Eze Village boasts two very luxe five star hotels - Château Eza and Le Chevre d'Or. The village is popular with coach excursions from cruise-boats that stop in Villefranche, Monaco and even Cannes, so don't expect to have it all to yourself.
The daily flow of tourists has attracted the two major perfume houses - Gallimard and Fragonard, who manufacture scents for all the top marques - to set up retail outlets at Eze.
The philosopher Nietchze apparently came here to think great thoughts, and there is a long and winding footpath attributed to him which leads down to the sea at Eze bord de Mer, which is also home to the large beachfront villa Eze les Roses owned by Bono, frontman of the Irish band U2. Don't be tempted by the signpost - if you are thinking to walk from the sea up to Eze the Sentier Nietchze a gruelling uphill hour and a half, and not for the faint-hearted. The reward is some fantastic views en route.
General Delfino wasn’t always a general.
In 1944 he was a fighter pilot at the Russian-German front, to become the head of a French Air Force fighter squadron later the same year. He was lucky to survive - less than half of them did, had a brilliant career and is buried at Caucade in his native Nice.
Other people may claim the French surrendered their capital without fighting and waited for the Allies to give it back to them. This is not the France we Russians know. For us France at war is mainly Normandie-Niemen, and we are proud to have them with us.
Famous for its annual jazz festival, Juan le Pins offers an easy-going day at the seaside without the frenetic posing and pouting of Cannes or St Tropez. The beach is purest sand, and the venue has a wide open vista over the Golfe Juan. The town has been favoured by American visitors over the years, and within its small tourist area are lots of nightclubs and cocktail bars.
The beach restaurants have taken over large swathes of the area, and you will pay through the nose for sunlounger and shade, and the right to have grossly overpriced drinks served to you at your sunlounger. Still for some people thats their holiday treat.
Nevertheless there are still sizeable areas of public beach, where you can sit with a knotted hanky on your head for shade, and wriggle your toes in the same warm waters of the Med as the wealthy diners next door.
A simple thirty minute journey by train from Nice Ville (around eight euro return), or the hour and fifteen minute bus no. 200 - warning: sometimes a journey from hell - for only one euro.