Nice

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About Nice

With its mix of real-city grit, old-world opulence, year-round sunshine, vibrant street life and stunning seaside location, no place in France compares with Nice.

Mediterranean Magnetism

Before...

With its mix of real-city grit, old-world opulence, year-round sunshine, vibrant street life and stunning seaside location, no place in France compares with Nice.

Mediterranean Magnetism

Before everything else, there was the sea, and the Mediterranean climate – the twin factors that made Nice a tourist magnet as early as the 1700s. Look around and you’ll find the same elemental attractions that drew Europe's belle-époque aristocrats to promenade along the waterfront in horse-drawn carriages. Even now, nothing compares to the simple joy of a balmy beach day interspersed with a spot of people-watching astride the Promenade des Anglais' famous blue chairs. Whether you're skating, kayaking, swimming, sprawled on a beach lounger or transfixed by sunset over the ever-present Med, it's all still happening by the water.

The Italian Influence

For any lover of French and Italian culture, Nice is the perfect hybrid. Long affiliated with Piedmont and Liguria to the east, Savoy to the north and Sardinia to the south, this city only joined France in 1860 and has always kept one foot in Italy. The Italian influence remains palpable everywhere, in Vieux Nice's tall-shuttered, ochre-hued buildings that look airlifted straight in from Portofino, in the fresh pasta shops on every corner and even in the football cheer Issa Nissa! (Go Nice!), shouted in the local Nissart dialect that’s been coloured by Ligurian Italian as much as Occitan French.

City of Artists

The Côte d'Azur has ensnared many a visitor with the beauty of its light. Not least Henri Matisse, who came here to convalesce from bronchitis. When the sun finally emerged after a month of wintry drizzle, Matisse was so smitten that he made Nice his home for the next 37 years. Chagall, Picasso and Renoir also fell in love with this place, and Nice was later home to the influential avant-garde École de Nice. Art museums abound throughout the region, but Nice's three superstars – the Musées Matisse, Chagall and d’Art Moderne – are reason enough to justify an aesthetic pilgrimage here.

Eating Niçois-Style

Bring your appetite when you come to Nice. This city is meant for epicures. It all starts at Vieux Nice’s Saleya market, where small producers from the Alpine foothills bring in a bounty of fresh produce, and top chefs from surrounding restaurants shop right beside tourists. The city celebrates its uniqueness with street snacks like socca (chickpea pancakes), pissaladière(caramelised onion tart) or tourte de blettes (chard, raisin and pine nut pie), while its countless cosy bistros serve everything from hearty Provençal beef stew to true salade niçoise to pasta with pistou, and from fresh lemon tart to vegan cheesecake.

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