As the summer continues, join me as we go forward to yet another season escapade, this time in France’s Nice.
Nice the Beautiful
Spontaneous, enchanting, and idyllic are but a few words that best describe the city of Nice, a charming metropolitan situated on France’s Côte d’Azur. One the country’s most populated and visited cities, Nice is affectionately named by the locals as the Nice la Belle meaning Nice the Beautiful.
One of the various attractions found in Nice is its main port. Port Lympia’s was constructed in 1748. While activities in the port area are focused on fishing and sightseeing, visitors can enjoy a walk at the Place Ile de Beaute, a public square located just across the waterfront. The square’s main feature is the Church of Notre Dame du Port, a neoclassical structure built in honor of Immaculate Concepcion.
Another noteworthy structure to visit in city is the Nice Observatory located at Mount Gros. Roam inside the law courts of Palais de la Justice and Palais Rusca as well as view the city’s old clock tower adjacently located at the Place du Palais square.
Down to the Old Town
Probably the most visited part of the metropolitan, Nice’s Old Town boasts of the ancient world French alluring people to experience a modest way of living. Filled by several landmarks and scenic areas, the Old Town is a go-to place for tourists seeking a quiet and relaxing sojourn. Always a first stop is the Hotel Negresco.
Accommodating visitors with world class services, the hotel was constructed in the year 1912 and was named after its owner and founder Henri Negresco. Lavish in style, the hotel contains over 119 rooms and 22 guest suites along with a well-equipped gym and an exclusive beach area. To complete their guest’s royal stay in the premise, hotel staff wears an 18th century uniform while attending to people’s needs.
A restaurant, Le Chantecler, is also found within the hotel and serves the most sumptuous meals and wines in
colorful rococo furniture and imported dining and glassware.
Further, watch and be enchanted in a world-class performance of operas, classical concerts, and ballets in the Opéra de Nice, the city’ main opera house located just a cab away from Hotel Negresco. The house of world renowned Nice Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the Ballet Nice Méditerrannée, the present opera house seen today is a much better reconstruction of the wooden theater burned down before.
Old Town’s Scenic Spots
While staying at the hotel is relaxing, there is more to be seen in Nice’s famous Old Town. First is the Promenade des Anglais, a project of the city government for local’s daily use as well as an attraction for tourist. It is also called as the Walkway of the English and is the perfect place for a leisurely walk in the beachfront or viewing the sea. Located just across Hotel Negresco, the promenade is equipped with chairs and cabanas as well as few stores and restaurants for a more convenient stay.
A few steps near the Promenade des Anglais, one can find the Place Masséna, Nice’s main square. The meeting point of locals and tourists, the square has a large fountain ornamented in the middle with a Statue of Apollo.
One may also visit the city’s central railway station that is Gare de Nice-Ville. The station brings a plethora of tourists in and out of the metropolis from other European cities such as Cannes, Monaco, Minsk, Paris, and Marseille.
Up the Castle Hill
Once known as the pride of Nice with its majestic castle and a hilltop village, Castle Hill is now a ruin of past wars and invasions. However, the place is still a sight to behold. Accessible through an elevator or a long walk from Place Garibaldi, Castle Hill is a woodland beauty complete with the ruins of the once medieval chateau, the grand cathedral, and the village along with a pristine waterfall and drinkable water spring.
Find peace and serenity as you enter inside St. Nicholas, a Russian Orthodox Cathedral considered to be one of Nice’s national monuments. Its dominant features include the five intricately designed domes, its private garden, a huge library, the frescoes and wood pieces found in every corner, and the iconostasis in the altar.
Considered as the oldest garden in Nice City, the Jardin Albert I is a perfect for a picnic under the shade. Look for and take a picture of the Monumental Arc of Venet, the Green Theater where many concerts and public events are held, as well as the Statue of the Goddess Nike erected in the area in honor of the foundation of the city.
Before your trip ends, never miss the chance to buy flowers, fresh produce, and local products at the pedestrian route of Cours Saleya. Filled with many cafes, local boutiques and luxury stores, as well as restaurants serving local cuisines, the area is a must visit. However, Cours Saleya’s main attraction is the Visconti Bookstore where all book lovers can buy or read novels and literary works in the store’s private garden.
Another pedestrian route worthy of a visit is the Zone Pietonne connecting Promenade des Anglais to that of the Place Masséna. No cars are allowed in this area, so visitors can have an enjoyable stroll. In addition, Zone Pietonne is famous for its street painters and shops selling local goods.
A Journey to the Old Town
While modernization can certainly help a country to progress, maintaining and taking care of their heritage is still essential. Nice proves that while a nation strives to advance in science, a quaint and historical city keeps our feet grounded as we move forward.