Nice French pronunciation:
classical norm, or Nissa, nonstandard,
pronounced is the fifth most populous city in
France and the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes
departement. The urban area of Nice extends
beyond the administrative city limits, with a
population of about 1 million on an area of 721
km2 (278 sq mi). Located in the French
Riviera, on the south east coast of France on
the Mediterranean Sea, at the foot of the Alps,
Nice is the second-largest French city on the
Mediterranean coast and the second-largest city
in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region after
Marseille. Nice is about 13 kilometres (8 miles)
from the principality of Monaco, and its airport
is a gateway to the principality as well.
The city is nicknamed Nice la Belle (Nissa La Bella in Niçard), which means Nice the Beautiful, which is also the title of the unofficial anthem of Nice, written by Menica Rondelly in 1912.
The area of today's Nice contains Terra Amata, an archaeological site which displays evidence of a very early use of fire. Around 350 BC, Greeks of Marseille founded a permanent settlement and called it Nikaia, after Nike, the goddess of victory. Through the ages, the town has changed hands many times. Its strategic location and port significantly contributed to its maritime strength. For centuries it was a dominion of Savoy, and was then part of France between 1792 and 1815, when it was returned to Piedmont-Sardinia until its re-annexation by France in 1860.
ONE DAY TOUR (DIY TOUR)
Panorama of Nice from Colline du Château (9: 00am-11:00am)
The Promenade des Anglais ("Promenade of the
English") is a promenade along the Baie des
Anges ("Bay of the Angels"), which is a bay of
the Mediterranean, in Nice. Before Nice was
urbanised, the coastline at Nice was just
bordered by a deserted stretch of shingle beach
(covered with large pebbles). The first houses
were located on higher ground well away from the
sea, as wealthy tourists visiting Nice in the
18th century did not come for the beach, but for
the gentle winter weather. The
areas close to the water were home to Nice's
dockworkers and fishermen.
In the second half of the 18th century, many wealthy English people took to spending the winter in Nice, enjoying the panorama along the coast. When a particularly harsh winter up north brought an influx of beggars to Nice, some of the rich Englishmen proposed a useful project for them: the construction of a walkway (chemin de promenade) along the sea.
Vieille Nice (11:00am-1:00pm)
Le Vieux-Nice (Vila-Vielha ou plus couramment
Babazouk en Niçois) est la partie ancienne de la
ville de Nice.
One of the most colorful areas of Nice is the Vieille Ville or Old Town at the base of la Colline du Chateau (Castle Hill). It's a quaint neighborhood with a strong Italian influence, leftover from when Nice was part of the Kingdom of Savoy (you may recall that Nice has only been part of France since 1860). We really enjoyed wandering down the narrow winding streets in the Old Town, surrounded by the beautiful earth-toned Italianate buildings. This is an area rich in local color and culture.
Place Massena (1:00pm-2:00pm)
The Place Massena is the main square of the
city. Before the Paillon River was covered over,
the Pont-Neuf was the only practicable way
between the old town and the modern one. The
square was thus divided into two parts (North
and South) in 1824. With the demolition of the
Massena Casino in 1979, the Place Massena became
more spacious and less dense and is now bordered
by red ochre buildings of Italian architecture.
The recent rebuilding of the tramline gave the square back to the pedestrians, restoring its status as a real Mediterranean square. It is lined with palm trees and stone pines, instead of being the rectangular roundabout of sorts it had become over the years. Since its construction, the Place Massena has always been the spot for great public events. It is used for concerts, and particularly during the summer festivals, the Corso carnavalesque (carnival parade) in February, the military procession of 14 July (Bastille Day) or other traditional celebrations and banquets.
The Place Massena is a two-minute walk from the Promenade des Anglais, old town, town centre, and Albert I Garden (Jardin Albert Ier). It is also a large crossroads between several of the main streets of the city: avenue Jean Medecin, avenue Felix Faure, boulevard Jean Jaures, avenue de Verdun and rue Gioffredo.
Basilique Notre-Dame de Nice (2:00pm-3:00pm)
The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Nice is a Roman Catholic basilica situated on the Avenue Jean-Medecin in the centre of Nice, in France. It is in the Neo-Gothic architectural tradition. The basilica, built between 1864 and 1868, was designed by Louis Lenormand and is the largest church in Nice, but is not the cathedral.
Le Cap De Nice (3:00pm-4:00pm)
Nestled between Mont Boron,
the Port and the sea, this small residential
area is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious
in the capital on the French Riviera. There are
absolutely magical views of the beautiful blue
and the Baie des Anges with the exception of
just a couple of streets... Stroll along the
Avenue Jean Lorrain, near Coco Beach and the
famous restaurant La Reserve and discover the
latest waterfront homes that Nice has to offer,
some with private access to the sea and sandy
Here, one can just hang out in the sun and enjoy the wonderful views, sunbathe on the rocks where the waves break, listening to the echoes of the sea, and since you are beneath the main road, you are guaranteed peace and well-being. One can also climb the trail that extends from the coastal port of Nice to Cap de Nice. Several sitting benches are placed along the trail where you can discover the beauty of the surrounding seabed.
Finally, stop for a few moments at the monument Maurice Maeterlinck and discover a simply unforgettable perspective.