You’ll definitely need quite some time to process all the information the friendly VT members supply; I’ll try to give it a structure:
Eze, Cagne-sur-Mer, Villfranche, Roquebrune, Entrevaux (where I haven’t been yet)
Matisse - Nice, home + museum and Vence, the chapel
Renoir - Cagne-sur-Mer, home + museum
Cocteau – Menton, the whole place, including one wedding facility (may be interesting for you youngsters)
Dufy – Nice, Fine Arts mueum
Fragonard – Grasse, home + museum
Picasso – Antibes, museum only (I hope he did not rent that castle, although you can expect anything)
Famous writers – I can throw in a bunch of Russian names, but they will hardly get a kick (in Russia either these days)
Fancy gardens, charge:
Nice - Park Phoenix
Eze – Jardin Exotique
Monaco – Jardin Exotique
Cap Ferrat – Villa Rothschild
Nice public parks, no charge:
Monaco - Princess Grace rosary
Monaco – Japanese garden
Nice – University park (Valrose)
Nice - Mont Boron
There are more, of course, just don't remember off-hand
Perfumes to buy – Grasse, Eze
Something different from Nice:
Italy – different language, same air
Monaco – same language, different air, IMHO
Easily accessible places – anything along bus route # 100 (Nice – Menton)
Not easily accessible places – Grasse, Cannes, Antibes, Entrevaux, Roquebrune
Budget sightseeing (no entrance fee):
Nice - Palais Lascaris
Nice - châteaux de Valrose (University park)
Nice – Chateau Hill & Cemetery
San Remo – Villa Nobel
All churches, except the Russian church in blvrd Tsarevich, Nice (unless the Almighty brings them to their senses) - -PS: It did (partially), in 2012 when the church changed hands. Goodbye 3 euro fee, welcome long skirts (ladies)/ trousers (gents)
You may want to contact Nice Tourisme Office for advice and maps, they usually have a booth at Place Massena in high season
Situated at the base of Castle Hill on the port side is the very moving memorial to those that served and died in World War I (1914-1918). It is built into the rock and honors the more than 4,000 people of Nice that gave their lives in the war.
It is easily accessible from the beach side of Castle Hill as well; simply walk on the sidewalk around the hill and you will find it. At the time of our visit, the memorial was roped off but we were able to see it from the sidewalk. There is a large open space with memorials to the various divisions as well as a listing of the battles fought by the people of Nice.
This unique sculpture, La Tȇte Carrée, is of a head in what appears to be a box that sits in the middle of Nice – you can’t miss it if you are walking near the Museum of Modern Art. And there is a good reason it is there because it has become the symbol of Nice’s contemporary architecture and art. Sculptor Sacha Sosno designed this massive sculpture to be 30 meters (98 feet) high and 14 meters (45 feet) wide.
I was hoping to go inside the monument but, sadly, it is not open to the public. It contains the office space for the Louis Nucéra Municipal Library. But you can get close enough to it to be staggered by its size.
We came to the Place Garibaldi on our way to catch Bus #100 to Monaco. The square is a rather large one with tall trees and a statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi on one side of it. The area is surrounded by beautiful buildings that work well together, including some that have painted architectural details on them (we had to look hard to tell the difference!). The buildings are designed in the Turin fashion, part of the House of Savoy’s urban revamp.
It is a busy square with bus stops and the tram running right through the square (not to mention the cars). The Bus 100 to and from Monaco is one of the many buses that begins or ends at this location (but on separate streets).
Why is the hero of the Italian unification given such an honor in Nice? Quite simple: he was born here. Guiseppe Garibaldi was born in Nice on July 4, 1807, during the time of Napoleon. The statue depicts Garibaldi in his well known attire of gauchos, shirt and poncho.
You can see Niki de Saint Phalle's works in many places in Nice. Niki de Saint Phalle, called in fact Catherine-Marie-Agnès Fal de Saint Phalle. She lived between 29 October 1930 and 21 May 2002. She was a French sculptor, painter, and film maker. Of course, Museum of Modern Art is the best place to see her sculptors and artworks. I guess that the handwriting some public signs are written comes from her.
you might like this place. Of course, if you are also interested in architecture and history...
A friend of mine has been talking about this place for ages. She's interested in history so go figure!
Too bad I didn't go with her when I visited this place the other day... I'm not a fan of museums, so I just went inside this one because I was in the area and the entrance was free... If you have a backpack, you are advised to leave them at the reception (there are lockers if you need them).
Well, I can't deny it, the architecture is impressive (but hey, what do I know about architecture after all? LOL!).
Besides the building itself, there is an exhibition of musical instruments from pianos to guitars. I don't play any musical instruments, but it was interesting after all.
It seems that there's a piano concert (check the place's website for the complete listing) but I didn't stay for the show.
If you need to go to the loo, they can be found near the reception. They are dirty, so be warned.
If you are visiting the area to lie on the beach and drink rose wine (sounds good as I am writing this while the winter snow is lying thick outside), then you may not know about the villages perchés(pear-shay). These are villages perched on hilltops, some quite precipitously. It is worth a visit to at least a few of these as a trip into the mountains is quite amazing, and the villages very pretty. Eze, Biot, Vence, St Paul de Vence, and Luceram are some of the the easy ones to get to from Nice, but there are others further into the mountains. There are 2 train lines that go into the mountains, the the Train des pignes and the Train Merveilles. Tende, St Dalmas de Tende, and La Brigue on the latter route all have separate entries on my travel pages.
You may want to contact Nice Tourisme Office for advice and maps. They cover Nice and the whole of the French Riviera.
There is another office at the railway station, and in high season they And there is a booth at Place Massena.
They cannot know everything by heart, of course, but they are quite willing to call another town to find out.
The open-topped Grand Tour bus is a really good way to see some of the best views around Nice. Departures every 45 minutes from Jardins Albert 1ier at Promenade Des Anglais.The ride is about an hour and a half, and at around 20 euro per adult is not cheap (price changes every year), but you will be glad you took it.
It will take you to the Port, up to the superb views over the harbour and the Baie des Anges from Mont Boron, stopping close to the Chateau d'Anglais and Beau Site for pictures, and again at the monastery at Cimiez.
The multilingual commentary is very interesting, and if your stay is short, its a must do.
Most recently it has moved to a "hop on hop off" system, so you can stay long as you like at any point and just pick up the next bus that comes along.
Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus - or so we are told, so men like grotty, little, slow, noisy, old-fashioned trains with character and the "Chemins de Fer de Provence" filled all the above characteristics - and more.
The station for the C.d.F.d.P is about 500 yards inland from the main Nice railway station, where tickets can be purchased. There is no seat reservation available, so suggest you arrive early, buy tickets and board the train as soon as possible to get the best seats (forward facing) and enjoy the view.
The trains travel as far as Digne-les-Bains - about 4 hour journey. We travelled as far as Entrevaux and were very happy that town was suggested to us - pure medieval glory perched on the edge of a raging river and surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery.
The train is a narrow gauge rail motor with the engine in the middle of the one carriage train. Tends to be a bit noisy and the toilet offer a great view of passing rail tracks underneath the train. There is no food or drink available on the train and it does not stop long enough at any of the stations to get off and purchase requirements - so bring your own.
Scenery, once the train has left the industrial outskirts of Nice, is spectacular as the train travels along side a river. The tracks cross and re-cross a raging river and a few tunnels to make it almost a rail modellers delight. The few towns the train stops at are almost carved from the local mountains with Touet-sur-Var perched on the side of a mountain.
Nice's state of the art convention and exhibition center. 74,000 square meters in size, it was designed by Buzzi, Baptise and Bernasconi of Nice. Many works of art adorn the center inside and outside. Including works or Arman, Moretti, Belmondo, Tremois, Sosno, Cesar, Farhi, Tobiasse, and Cartier.
when in france, do try to go to a boulangerie/patisserie for baked goods and pastries. one of my favorites is a place called michel tabarini (named after the owner/head baker). i go there nearly every day! they bake their breads by the traditional wood burning ovens and the baguettes (and nearly all of their pastries which i've tried) are rivaled by none. so if you happen to be lucky enough to go there, don't be dismayed by the long queue; it's worth the wait and the welcoming staff.
btw, one baguette costs 63 cents. grab some brie or pate or anything you like at a nearby grocer (and there are several within walking distance of tabarini), and it's a yummy and affordable meal. have a meal to go and walk to the beach (a 2 minute walk) and have a picnic.
tabarini has other scrumptious items to choose from as well such as small quiches, individual size pizza's etc.
btw, it's CLOSED on mondays
Fun and interest way of seeing Nice and the Riviera!
Tours gave insight into Nice and Riviera, the guide had good stories, from history to glamor to explain the complex path Nice has taken over the centuries, from Turkish cannon balls hanging around from past wars to the death of Grace Kelly many diverse topics have been coverd.
The Nice tour is easy for all and the Riviera would be good for someone that cycles everyday.
Impressively illuminated by night, this grand memorial to the 4000 Nicois who fell during the First World War. It is bedded into the rock beneath the Chateau.
Design is by Alfred Janniot, the sculptor of Nice, whose other works have included the massive statue of a naked David astride the plinth which was the centrepiece of Place Massena during the nineteen fifties and sixties - now replaced by a more anodyne pulsing water fountain.
Culture and History Checkpoint: France has many war memorials which commemorate those who fell fighting the Nazis (rather than those French who collaborated with them) And not to offend their European partner, emphasise fighting the "Hiltlerien" - the followers of Hitler rather than the "Germans." Suprisingly, they are holding back the "He was Austrian Housepainter" card.
There is also some unease in France regarding more recent wars, and the absence of French fallen in the fight against International Terrorism. France's main casualties in this area have been French journalists attempting to cover these.
Sometimes its not what memorials say, but what they don't say, that adds understanding for the traveller. (Apologies to any tourists just interested in where to eat.)
Trompe-l'oeil, literally "that which tricks the eye" is used to great effect in Nice. Wherever there is an ugly end wall, or if a window is too plain, then these wonderful paint effects are added to fill in the gaps and it is great fun spotting them in all sorts of odd places in Nice. This photo was taken from a corner of Boulevard de Cimiez, just down the road from the Marc Chagall Museum close to the College Rolland Garros. The entire end wall is a huge mural, skillfully painted, not one bit of it is real, right down to the plants on the balcony. You can see other examples of trompe l'oeil at the Matisse Museum - the surrounds of the windows are painted. Also, if you are in Place Rossetti in the Old Town, have a look at the window surrounds on the apartments above Fennochio's Glacier- not real! Also the end wall of 'La Providence' apartment building on rue Sincaire. Happy hunting!
Additional info 26.4.04
I've added photographs of these examples on a travelogue. Let me know if you find any more in Nice - I'm sure there are plenty about.
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The city of Nice has enough to occupy a day, a week, or longer, and is the travel hub that opens up the rest of the French Riviera.
The must-do list includes exploring the narrow...