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  • The Lovely Life of Nice

    Nice with it's eye at the beach ©Thomas Leth-Olsen

    Nice with it’s eye at the beach ©Thomas Leth-Olsen

    Those with full hands throngs at the des Anglais Promenade. The old town is a bastion of gastronomy.

    A young couple watches from the balcony of Negresco hotel, situated above the Angels Gulf( Baie de Anges), enjoying the breeze, the sun and the luxury of the hotel with belle-epoque style, having a pink dome. The beach ends with a blinding white view.

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    This is the “patriarchy” only for the rich and extremely rich, elegant and calm, a city that Nietzche characterized as ” recklessly beautiful”. Very refined, it guards the Angels Gulf, stroked by the sea, lines of palm trees, with colorful buildings under the glowing sun,  a breathtaking scene along with the Italian riviera. Anyway, Nice was under the possession of Italy until 1860  and from that moment on, interprets successfully the role as a “diva” of France.

    The accommodated Gulf started to attract locals even in the IV century B.C, the Greeks founded Nikaia (the victory bringer). Romans were the next around 14 B.C  with their predilections for natural ports, after the Romans by time, people like Saracens, Lombard’s, Goths were present until Nice was under the protectorate under the Duchy of Savoy, and remained there for the next 500 hundred years. In 1860, the city ceased under France after a referendum. The locals didn’t mind and got used to very quickly with its new masters and kept their relationships with the British, who continued visiting the city only on winters, to practice different kind of social games and for the the clean air with it’s palm trees, which eventually made Nice famous.

    In fact, it was a business creating, with the money of the British, an avenue(Boulevard des Anglais), the place where all the royals, kings, queens, wealthy hunters and true aristocrats spent their free time. The Crimean champagne flowed at the industrial and aristocratic parties of the Russians when they’ve discovered Cote d’Azur. Nice has become the synonym with laziness, fun and carefree, which are still remained nowadays.

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    Those who view the des Anglais promenade, having a Nicoise Salade – composed by tomatoes, onions, pepper, olives, radish, ton, anchovy and many oil made of olives, you can relax with all the noisy caravan, formed by the newly rich Russians. Regardless, with the mixture of the glorious past and the contemporary luxury, the intens social life and the retreat from the world, with couples with perfect age and body, Nice, with it’s 350.000 citizens, is a big tourist attraction.

    The promenade, parallel with the beach, is 8 km long, and despite with its modern fast foods, exhibits wonderful buildings, extravagant floral arrangements and numerous seats which, once seated, you may have a view of the whole place which you won’t forget. In the lights, the color of the sea fades out and the warm wind blows from the hills of Provence brings you a smell of mimosa.

    Many of the main attractions of Nice is situated on the promenade, like the Negresco hotel which was established in 1913 by Romanian Henri Negrescu, as a home of splendor, of luxury and abundance, or the palace of Massena  with it’s impressive park.

    In the old city, la Cours Saleya, lies the wonderful market of flowers, vegetables and fruits, cornered with restaurants which offers interesting menus, even for the exigent consumer of the French Riviera. Nearby, there is a Russian Orthodox Cathedral  with it’s onion formed cupolas, covered with stars.

    Tsar Nicolas II, who did not wanted his sub missives, situated in Nice, to not have a place of worship and pray. The museums are also exceptional, like the Museum of Raoul Dufy, Matisse Museum or the Museum of Modern Arts, where you can see different kinds of beautiful art. With it’s surrounding hills, with mountains which are near the beach.

    Nice was a paradise for painters for a long time, and nowadays it is the cultural capital of the French Riviera

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