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  2. 2. Discovering Nice Guided tour of Old Nice “Discover the heart of Nice” Guided tour through the streets of Old Nice to discover its curiosities, history, baroque churches, colourful markets…Duration: 2? hours minimum…. Tour accompanied by guides certified by the Ministry of Culture. Every Saturday, guided tour in French/English. Departure at 9:30am Setting off to discover Nice - elegant and trendy, cheerful and bustling, proud of its past indepen- FROM THE CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU OF NICE dence - you will be surprised by its personality, dynamism and passion for the arts and culture. Nice has countless surprises in store for visitors… monuments, churches, gardens, footpaths lin- 5, Promenade des Anglais. Reservation required. king the surrounding hills to the city centre, but also museums, artists, local arts and crafts, in- Price per person: €12 for adults - €6 for children under age 10 ternational gastronomy with the savour of garlic, olive oil and basil, folk traditions… It will also de- Free for children under age 5 light you with its beautiful neighbourhoods, unique light and mild climate.. C O N V E N T I O N & V I S I T O R S B U R E A U O F N I C E Information & reservations in our agencies - 5, Promenade des Anglais Avenue Thiers (SNCF railway station) - Airpor t Terminal 1 - Tel: 0 892 707 407 (€0.34/mn) -
  3. 3. Contents 67 5 Suggestions for stays Culture Location & weather History Excitement Family 73 8 Initiation Nature Starting from Nice Coastal towns & cities Thrills Balconies over the French Riviera Access & connections Carnival The hinterland of Nice & the valleys By air, by train, by sea… The Mercantour National Park Tourist roads Suggested itinéraries… Getting around Nice… 90 13 Practical information Emergency services 24 hrs/day Consulates Discovering Nice Consumer services Sights, monuments & churches Pets Parks & gardens Information for young people Hiking in the hills of Nice Rentals Museums, galleries & cultural activities Guided tours 47 Persons with reduced mobility Press Introduction to the specialities of Nice… Leisure and sporting activities 10 recommendations 101 Sporting activities in Nice & Greater Nice Beaches Annual Events Shopping Pictograms Attractions & animal parks h Disabled (with reservations) Venues Nice by night… Events in Nice 9 Boutiques s Children’s workshops (museums) j Cafés - snacks
  4. 4. Geography & weather Location Situated in southern Europe and at the southeasternmost tip of France, Nice is a privileged junction between the Alps, Provence, Corsica and Italy. The city occupies a remarkable natural site in the heart of the French Riviera. It extends in a broad stretch open to the South on the Mediterranean with a succession of wooded hills to the West. To the North, the first peaks of the foothills of the Alps appear, some reaching heights exceeding 3,000m above sea level, only 50km from the coast as the crow flies… Weather Nice enjoys an exceptional microclimate that has made its renown for nearly two centuries. Open to the sea, the city is protected from the wind by the surrounding hills, to the West by the Esterel Massif and, to the Northwest by the barrier of the Mercantour Alps. The climate is always mild in winter and never too hot in summer thanks to the sea breeze. It is not rare to have lunch outdoors on a terrace wearing no more than a T-shirt in February when the rest of France is shivering in the cold.
  5. 5. A land of hospitality since prehistoric times with the site of The Counts of Provence took over the ancient Greek site. In the 14th century AD, the Terra Amata (beloved land), Nice proudly displays its roots, people of Nice, wearied by constant political strife, placed themselves under the protection going back more than 400,000 years at the foot of Mont- of the House of Savoy. Boron, near the Lazaret Cave, which is still under excavation They remained so until 1860, with two interruptions: from 1691 to 1713, the French king to yield the secrets of those who lived there 160,000 years Louis XIV took over the Comté de Nice, and from 1792 to 1814, it was part of the French ago. Republic, then Napoleon I’s Empire, becoming the Alpes-Maritimes département for the In Ancient times, Phocaean Greeks founded Nikaia first time. Histor y (Victory) in the 4th century BC, a strategic trading post in In 1860, the population of Nice and its Comté voted in a plebiscite to become part of the western Mediterranean. Three centuries later, the France, thanks to the Treaty of Turin, signed by Napoleon III and Victor Emmanuel II, King Romans, wishing to control the Alps, settled in turn in this of Sardinia. ideal position where they built the town of Cemenelum, with its amphitheatre, baths and forum. This dynamic expansion attracted outsiders and a period of ten centuries witnessed the passage of Barbarian, Ligurian and Saracen invaders who put an end to this refined industrious society. From that time on, the town enjoyed considerable growth and prosperity. It became a fashionable resort, admirably served by the brand new railway. Today, Nice is the fifth largest city in France with its 400,000 inhabitants, very much open to culture and the arts, as well as services, scientific and high-tech activities. Thanks to such ambitious realizations as the Acropolis Convention & Exhibition Centre, the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, second airport in France after Paris, and the finest hotel facilities, the City of Nice today has the enviable reputation of international capital of tourism. Site archéologique de Cimiez 7
  6. 6. By Air By train Access & Connections Nice Côte d’Azur Airport h SNCF The gateway to the French Riviera, , the Nice Côte The national railway system provides rapid and express trains d’Azur Airport, the second busiest airport in France (TGV, corail) connecting the French Riviera with all parts of after Paris, is more than ever in the heart of the France and all major cities in Europe. The TGV Méditerranée economic growth of the Alpes-Maritimes high-speed train links Paris & Nice in 5hrs 25 min. Airport shuttle to the département. The available infrastructures make the From France : a 3635 (€0.34 /min including VAT) Airport a truly modern secure activity cluster, perfectly city centre and back From abroad a +33 (0)8 92 35 35 35 - integrated in the region’s economic and environmental Main railway station - Av Thiers Schedule & information available in Ligne development. It has two terminals: T1 & T2. SOS Voyageurs: a +33 (0)4 93 16 02 61 d’Azur agencies a 08 1006 1006 Other stations in Nice: Gares Nice Riquier & Nice Saint-Augustin from abroad: a +33 (0)4 97 25 89 36 From Nice: 51 airlines with regularly scheduled flights, Regional service 96 destinations and 29 countries are available for Tickets sold on the bus. passengers. 1 July to 30 Sept, the ‘Carte Isabelle’ provides for unlimited Nice offers daily flights to the main European cities, travel for one day in all trains with free seating (except TGV, • Line 23: Airport / Gare SNCF North Africa, the Middle East and the Americas. high-speed traiin) in 1st or 2nd class from Fréjus to Ventimiglia, From Terminal 1, every 20 min, 6am to 8pm. For information: between Cannes & Grasse and Nice & Tende. Available in all • Line 98 : Airport / Coach Station and back a 0 820 423 333 (€0.12/min) railway stations (19 stops) List of destinations and airlines offering flights out of Nice, flight times in real time: From both terminals, every 20 min, 6am to TER trains (Trains Express Régionaux) provide rapid Taxis 11pm (except Sunday & holidays) connections between all the main cities on the French Riviera Return: from the coach station (gare routière), from Cannes to Ventimiglia. At certain times of day, trains run Central Taxi Riviera 24/7 every 20 min, from 5:35am to 8:50pm (except every 30 min. a + 33 (0)4 93 13 78 78 Sunday & holidays) Left luggage open 7 days/wk from 6am to 11pm in Schedules & services: Possibility of booking a taxi (the day in advance): From 15 June to 15 Sept: line 98 also goes to T1 & T2. Free shuttle bus between terminals from the Left luggage 7 days/wk from 7am to 22:45pm. a 0 899 70 08 78 the Port of Nice Taxis Niçois indépendants earliest to the last flight. • Line 99: Airport / SNCF central railway station USEFUL INFORMATION h Av Thiers (terminal in front of the SNCF railway station) (Nice Ville) and back (direct line) Book your hotel or excursions in the Convention & Visitors a +33 (0)4 93 88 25 82 From both terminals, every 30 min, 7:50 to Bureau office at the SNCF railway station - Av Thiers Night rate: 7pm to 7am, Sunday & holidays 9pm. (see p.104) Cash payment only. Return: from the SNCF railway station every 30 Claims: min, 8am to 9pm Inspection of taxis a +33 (0)4 97 13 26 51 USEFUL INFORMATION h Book your hotel or excursions in the Convention & Visitors Information Offices in Terminal T1 (see p.104) 8
  7. 7. By sea By road The Port of Nice Access & Connections At the foot of the Castle Hill, the Port of Nice, with its By car Genoan-style architecture, is made up of a 10-hectare Nice is connected to all the great European cities by a major body of water, 7 hectares of platforms, some ten wharves motorway network, in particular, the A8 motorway, ‘La and features 503 mooring posts. It is located 7km from Provençale’, running from Aix-en-Provence to the West to the the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport and just a few minutes on Italian border on the East. foot from the main tourist sights. There are five exits from the motorway to reach all parts of Service Plaisance Nice: a + 33 (0)4 92 00 42 14 Exit n°50 : Promenade des Anglais a 0 820 425 555 (€0.12/mn) Exit n°51 : Saint-Augustin / aéroport From abroad a + 33 (0)4 89 88 98 28 Exit n° 52 : Saint-Isidore Exit n°54 : Nice nord Exit n°55 : Nice est Sightseeing itineraries To reserve space in the Port of Nice: The Alpes-Maritimes département, with its many 5 June to 30 Sept - 7days/wk, 9am to 6pm Information on road & traffic conditions: sightseeing itineraries, has recently benefited from major a + 33 (0) 820 422 600 - Centre Régional de Coordination et d'Informations Routières : improvements providing the best conditions to reaching a 0 826 022 022 (€0.15/mn) the hinterland and neighbouring regions and countries. Two lines offer regular connections to Corsica: S.N.C.M. h Réseau autoroutier Escota (motorway conditions): The Route Napoléon (route départementale 6085, Gare Maritime, Quai du Commerce a + 33 (0)4 92 29 16 89 - formerly RN 85), a historic road between Golfe-Juan a 3260 say SNCM (€0.15/mn) ou a + 33 (0)4 93 13 66 99 and Grenoble via Grasse, Castellane, Sisteron and From abroad a + 33 (0)825 888 088 Digne. The Basse Corniche (route départementale 6098), the Corsica Ferries h coastal road from Hyères through Saint-Tropez, Quai Amiral Infernet - a 0 825 095 095 (€0.15/mn) Cannes, Nice, Villefranche-sur-Mer and Menton. From abroad a + 33 (0)4 95 32 95 95 - The former Nationale 7 (route départementale 6007): from the West, it goes through Fréjus, Saint-Raphaël The Port of Nice-Villefranche, a departure point as well as and Cannes; from the Italian border, it goes to Menton, a port for transit and excursions, is the top cruising port Monaco and Èze (on the Moyenne Corniche). in France with over 500,000 passengers in 2006. 11
  8. 8. Getting around in Nice By bus Discovering Nice Access & Connections Agences Ligne d'Azur : a 08 1006 1006 from abroad: a +33 (0)4 97 25 89 36 - • Masséna - 3 place Masséna Monday to Friday, 7:15am to 7pm,;Saturday, 8am to 6pm. • Bel Canto - 29 av Malausséna Monday to Friday, 8am to 12:30pm and 2:30pm to 7pm. Lines 7,9,10 h There are some forty lines during the day and four at night: By bus or coach Service Noctambus : Lines N1 (Nice/La Trinité) - N2 (Nice/Rimiez) - N3 (Nice/Las Planas) - N4 (Nice/St-Laurent du Var). From the coach station (Gare Routière), there Departures every 30 min or hour starting at 9:10pm weekdays are several coach lines in the département, (8:10pm Sundays & holidays). Service until 1:10am (N1, N2, N3) the Region and eleven countries in Europe. & 2:35am (N4). Departure: JC Bermond (across from 10 av Félix Faure). Tickets sold on the bus. For information: Gare Routière 5 bd Jean Jaurès Setting off to discover Nice - elegant and trendy, cheerful and bustling, proud of its past indepen- By tramway h a 0 892 701 206 dence - you will be surprised by its personality, dynamism and passion for the arts and culture. Allo Tram : a 0 811 002 006 - Nice has countless surprises in store for visitors… monuments, churches, gardens, footpaths lin- Ticket for sale in Ligne d’Azur agencies (see above) Night service is provided three nights a king the surrounding hills to the city centre, but also museums, artists, local arts and crafts, in- For a better quality of life, the CANCA Conurbation has provided week and on the eve of holidays with ternational gastronomy with the savour of garlic, olive oil and basil, folk traditions… It will also de- a latest-generation tramway line 8.7km long connecting the service from Nice to Monaco, Menton, North to the East via the city centre along Avenue Jean-Médecin light you with its beautiful neighbourhoods, unique light and mild climate.. Cannes and Grasse. and Place Masséna. Information: Gare Routière Travel in the département: Travel to foreign countries: Eurolines 5 bd Jean Jaurès a + 33 (0)4 93 80 08 70 - No left luggage.
  9. 9. Opéra de Nice Chapelle de la Sainte-Trinité 4, 6 rue Saint-François-de-Paule Rue Jules Gilly Located in Old Nice and across from the sea and perfectly integrated This Holy Trinity Chapel (also dedicated to the Holy Shroud) was in the urban fabric, the Opéra de Nice was built in 1885 on the site of restored in the Neoclassical style in 1824 by the painter and decorator the previous theatre, destroyed by fire. The design was entrusted to the Paul-Émile Barberis of Nice. The symbols of the Red Penitents’ Sights, monuments & churches - Old Nice architect François Aune of Nice, who sought his inspiration in different Confraternity, which owns the chapel, are featured on the main door styles, baroque in particular. This listed historic building remains today and the façades. A splendid main altar of painted and gilded wood at the heart of the city’s cultural life. made by local craftsmen and topped by a painting of the Holy Trinity illuminates the interior of this emblematic structure in the city’s artistic Cours Saleya heritage. Rue Saint-François-de-Paule Built on the ramparts dismantled in the early 18th century, Cours Les Ponchettes Saleya, a pedestrian area in the heart of Old Nice, has become a Promenade des Anglais / Cours Saleya picturesque part of the city, a must for tourist and locals alike. In this Between Cours Saleya and the Sea, this row of buildings includes two rectilinear baroque ochre setting, the flower and vegetable markets (in 19th-century vaulted halls, now converted into municipal galleries, the 100 most picturesque market in France) are held every day except which host many exhibitions with a definite predilection for Monday, when they are replaced by an antiques market, provide a contemporary art. feast for the eyes and a delight for the taste buds. On summer evenings, tourists take advantage of the pleasant arts & crafts market. USEFUL INFORMATION Castle Hill The midday cannon shot Quai des Etats-Unis Palais de la Préfecture The site of the first town founded by the ancient Greeks, then the first Until the 18th century, the Old Town was home to In 1861, to respect the military tradition of the mediaeval town, today’s Castle Hill (Colline du Château) has preserved 1 place du Palais de Justice (rue de la Préfecture) The palace of the Dukes of Savoy in the 17th century, a hospital during virtually the entire population of Nice. ‘midday cannon shot’, a Scottish winter visitor, Sir only a few foundations and fragments of walls; but this park and the French Revolution and the Prefecture when Nice became French Baroque churches and palaces, colourful Thomas Conventry-More, paid to have a cannon botanical garden offers unique vistas over Nice and its surroundings, a in 1860, this building has been renovated several times. Today, after set up on the Castle Hill. Legend has it that he surprising artificial waterfall, remains of the former 11th-century façades and narrow streets: the heritage of Old having had different functions, the Palais de la Préfecture is the home used this to ask his wife to return to prepare lunch. Cathedral, walkways paved with colourful 20th-century mosaics… Nice is protected. Access: by lift (Cours Saleya) or on foot along Rue Rossetti, Montée of the Préfet of the Alpes-Maritimes department and remains an On 19 November 1875, a municipal decree was essential landmark in Old Nice. voted to officialize this reminder of the importance Menica-Rondelly & Rue Catherine Ségurane of having the right time. Chapelle de la Miséricorde Tour Bellanda Cours Saleya Castle Hill Park, Escalier Lesage (steps) Built after 1740 and designed by the famous architect Bernardo Built on the foundations of a defensive structure razed to the ground Vittone, the chapel has an elliptical nave, with semicircular side during the French occupation under King Louis XIV, Tour Bellanda was chapels. The wealth of the decoration inside, the originality of its home to the great 19th-century French composer Hector Berlioz while volumes and the murals by Bistolfi make this a genuine gem of he was writing the King Lear Overture. Adorned today with ceramic Baroque art, with exceptionally rich architecture. mosaics with ancient Greek motifs, the terrace offers a splendid panorama over the city and its surroundings. Since 1964, Tour Adam & Eve house Bellanda houses the Naval Museum. Rue de la Poissonnerie - angle Cours Saleya One of the few remaining examples of the decorated façades of Old Church of Saint-Jacques-le-Majeur, or Église du Jésus Nice, this bas-relief dated 1584 shows Adam and Eve naked in the (Gesù in Niçois) Garden of Eden, threatening each other with clubs. Perpendicular to Rue Droite Cours Saleya, this façade of this house is famous for this mural. Built in the Baroque style starting in 1607 by the Jesuits, the ‘Gesù’ church is richly decorated with many ornaments, stucco, false marble, cherubs and medallions. The blue of its façade dominate the small square that bears its name and from its luminous architectures emanates great spirituality. Reserve your guided tour of Old Nice online at 14 15
  10. 10. Palais Lascaris Cathedral of Sainte-Réparate 15 rue Droite Place Rossetti The finest example of baroque civilian architecture, Palais Lascaris was This church, which became the Cathedral in the 16th century, is the designed like the traditional palazzi of Genoa. In addition to its opulently largest sanctuary in Old Nice. Inspired by early Baroque architectural decorated façade and impressive portal, this home boasts a models from Rome, the structure has a basilical layout; with a triple Sights, monuments & churches - Old Nice monumental staircase whose elaborated painted vaults houses a nave and a transept. The decoration of the side chapels and choir is museum dedicated to decorative arts, folk art and traditions and particularly sumptuous and the interior reflects the influence of Saint musical instruments. Peter’s of Rome. Place Saint-François Church of the Annunciation, better known as Sainte-Rita Of the former Franciscan convent, all that remains is a small part of the 1 rue de la Poissonnerie cloister and the recently restored bell tower (Tour de l’Horloge) Generally known as Saint Rita’s, for the patron saint of desperate dominating the lively square where the fish market is held every causes canonized in 1900, the church was rebuilt in the 17th century morning (except Monday) around the dolphins’ fountain. and dedicated first to Saint Giaume (Saint James), then Notre-Dame- de-l’Annonciation. With its dark outer architecture, it goes almost Former Hôtel-de-Ville unnoticed, but the interior is richly decorated with baroque stucco, Place Saint-François false marble, gilded motifs and trompe-l’oeil paintings. The Palais Communal was first built in the 16th century, and later decorated in the Baroque style with grotesque bas-reliefs, one of the Palais de Justice few Baroque public buildings to have survived in Old Nice. Today it Place du Palais houses the Bourse du Travail (trade union centre). Built from 1890-1892 on the site of the former Dominican convent, the Hall of Justice was built according to the very traditional principle of a Church of Saint-Martin-Saint-Augustin colonnade and a great Neoclassical staircase. Place Saint-Augustin Eglise Sainte Rita The present church dates mainly from the 17th century; among the fine La Mairie Annexe works it contains, there is a Pietà, a panel painting attributed to Louis Rue Raoul Bosio Brea (ca. 1504). The Augustinian convent became a barracks after the This building, erected in the early 18th century, has a very fine staircase French Revolution, renamed ‘Caserne Filley’ in 1907, home to the with elegant stucco decorations. It was acquired by the City and now Foreign Legion. houses various municipal departments. Place Garibaldi L'Hôtel-de-Ville The first extension of Old Nice northward, Place Garibaldi today is lined Rue de l'Hôtel-de-Ville by elegant red façades with green shutters and vaulted porticoes, in Neoclassical on the outside and Art-Deco inside, this structure, built in which the Blue Penitents’ chapel, Chapelle du Saint-Sépulcre, is 1730, was used successively as a seminary for the Diocese, a hospital perfectly integrated. A statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi stands in the and a barracks. Since 1860, it has been the Town Hall. middle of this square that is central to the life of the city. Place Rossetti Ochre façades, fountains, flower-decked balconies, baroque cathedral and café terraces contribute to the life of this bustling square, one of the most picturesque in Old Nice. 16 17
  11. 11. Notre-Dame Basilica Palais de la Méditerranée Av Jean Médecin 11 promenade des Anglais The largest church in Nice and the first modern religious structure, the A temple of gambling and the arts in the Interwar years, in 1927, the basilica of Notre-Dame was built after Nice became French (1864- year of its construction, it became the world’s most grandiose casino. 1868). Inspired by the Cathedral of Angers with its two square towers, Closed in 1978, it was not until 2004, after three years of works, that Sights, monuments & churches - Other districts it is adorned with 19th-century stained-glass windows and a life was re-instilled in the legend with its Art-Deco architecture thanks sumptuous rose window with scenes of the Assumption. to a private developer who refurbished the interior of the building while preserving the sumptuous façade, a listed historic building. Today, it is Place Masséna one of the finest hotels in the world. Built in the 1840s, Place Masséna remains the jewel of Nice. On the north side, elegant arcaded buildings are painted with the famous Hôtel Négresco Pompeian red and to the East, there is a splendid perspective on the 37 promenade des Anglais hills with their Tuscan charm. The square was renovated in 2007, Built on the shores of the famous Baie des Anges in 1912 by Niermans accompanied by the installation of artworks along the tramway: seven for the Romanian Henri Negresco, this Belle-Époque landmark is the statues devised by the Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, titled only museum and luxury hotel in Nice. A listed historic building since ‘Conversation in Nice’ and representing the seven continents. 2003, it houses collections retracing five centuries of art history. The 121 rooms and 24 suites each have their own decoration. The styles Jardin Albert 1er of the most brilliant periods in French art are represented from Louis XIII Built at the end of the 19th century when the mouth of the Paillon River to modern art. The Negresco is listed as one of the world’s finest was covered over, it extends beyond Place Masséna. This vast area is hotels. ideal for strolling and relaxation with a bandstand and a theatre in the green (Théâtre de Verdure). It hosts many summer events. “Tête Carrée” 2 place Yves Klein Arc de Venet - 115°5 Devised by the sculptor Sacha Sosno, the ‘Square Head’ is the key Jardin Albert 1er symbol of the city’s contemporary architecture: 30 metres high and 14 Set up in 1988 as a gift from its creator, the artist Bernar Venet, this “Label Patrimoine du 20ème siècle en région Pro- metres wide, this monument-sculpture is not open to the public and huge black metal arch 19 metres high and illustrative of contemporary vence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur” houses the offices of the Louis Nucéra municipal library. art stands alongside the majestic Place Masséna. This “20th-century Heritage” status created by the French Ministry of Culture, is granted to the most Acropolis Promenade des Anglais remarkable 20th-century architectural complexes. For 1 esplanade J. F. Kennedy Nice owes this route its international standing! This famous seaside complete information and the list of these sites in the Acropolis, founded in 1984, has made Nice the top city in France, after road is always elegantly decorated with flowers and follows the Alpes-Maritimes, consult: Paris, for Business Tourism and is one of the world’s very best harmonious curve of Baie des Anges. Originally a footpath no more convention centres. The Convention Centre offers the best in the than 6 feet wide, it was widened by an Englishman, Reverend Lewis technical facilities for the needs of each professional event: gala Way, at his expense in 1820 and the local population soon dubbed it evenings, entertainment… ‘Chemin des Anglais’. In 1931, when it was given its final form with two roadways separated by a central reservation planted with palm trees, the ‘Prom’ was inaugurated by the Duke of Connaught, one of Queen Victoria’s sons. 18 19 Place Masséna
  12. 12. Former hotel Régina The Port 71 bd de Cimiez This former hotel was built in 1896 for English aristocrats and essentially Place Ile-de-Beauté Queen Victoria; construction took only eighteen months. With its Aligned symmetrically on either side of the church of Notre-Dame du Sights, monuments & churches - Other districts impressive majestic silhouette, it bears witness to the splendours of the Port, the buildings and houses on the square form an exemplary Belle Époque. In the 1930s, it was converted into private flats. complex in the Neoclassical style. Also called ‘Place du Port’, its harbour is the main link between France and Corsica. Franciscan Church & Monastery of Cimiez Av du Monastère Church of L'Immaculée Conception, or Notre-Dame du Port The top port in France for shipping cement in On the site of a Benedictine chapel, the church was later part of a Place Ile-de-Beauté Franciscan convent and became the site of a popular pilgrimage in the Built in the Neoclassical style, the church of Notre-Dame du Port was connection with the Paillon Valley’s cement 16th century. The church houses three key works by the gothic painter completed essentially in 1853. Very popular with all sailors going off to factories that process river cobbles, the Port of Louis Brea of Nice and a monumental altarpiece of carved gilded wood. faraway places, it keeps watch over Place Île de Beauté and the Port. Nice, surrounded by 18th-century buildings in the Genoese style, is actually named Port Place du Monastère de Cimiez Monument aux Morts Lympia. The architectural complex seems The Franciscan cross on the square is a copy of the original inside the Place Guynemer inspired by the Italian Renaissance and church dated 1477. The marble cross 5.80 metres high bears several At the foot of the Castle Hill, where Nice was born, the War Memorial was influenced by the baroque urban planning of finely carved figures including the Seraph described in Saint Francis of inaugurated in 1928 in the old quarries cut into the sides of the hill, in Turin. Since this is the part of continental France Assisi’s visions. honour of the 4,000 people of Nice who died in World War I (1914-1918). that is closest to Corsica, sea links with the island further developed with the NGV (high- Cemetery of the Monastery of Cimiez Quai Rauba Capeu Av du Monastère Eastern end of Promenade des Anglais speed vessels) run by two competing One of the hills of Nice, Cimiez owes its name Raoul Dufy, Roger Martin du Gard and Henri Matisse are buried in this At the foot of the Castle Hill, Promenade des Anglais becomes Quai companies, Corsica Ferries and SNCM. cemetery which has many surprising monuments in memory of the des États-Unis along the old town, then Rauba Capeu, which offers to the amazing height of the trees growing departed. one of the finest vistas on the Mediterranean Sea and the beautiful blue there, so tall that, according to legend, their and ochre nuances along Promenade des Anglais. The latest tops literally caressed the sky. renovation of Quai Rauba Capeu was awarded the ‘Prix de Neighbouring districts l’Architecture’ 2004, in the urban renewal category. Saint Nicolas Russian Orthodox Cathedral h Av Nicolas II (bd Tzarévitch) Monument du Centenaire The Saint Nicolas Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Nice was built in the Jardin Albert 1er early 20th century near a monument to the deceased tsarevich where The ‘Monument du Centenaire’ was erected in 1893 in many Russian aristocrats lived. This listed historic building is one of the commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of the creation of the first most important outside Russia. Inspired by the Muscovite style, it has Alpes-Maritimes department during the French Revolution when the a very richly decorated interior with many icons, murals and carved Comté de Nice was annexed to France. Facing Promenade des woodwork as well as an iconostasis of embossed metal. Admission Anglais and the sea, it stands on the edge of Jardin Albert Ier. charge. Information a +33 (0)4 93 96 88 02 Sainte-Jeanne d'Arc church 11 rue Grammont A stunning realization made of concrete painted white, the Joan of Arc church was built by the architect Jacques Droz in the early 1930s, with USEFUL INFORMATION exceptional consistency between the materials, shapes and aesthetic The sundial design. The 65-metre bell tower adorned with twisted flames, the three On Quai Rauba Capeu which links Promenade des Anglais raised domes and the ellipsoidal porch form a fine architectural complex. to the Port, a most unusual sundial gives the time thanks to 20 Cimiez of the human head. the shadow 21 Cathédrale Saint-Nicolas
  13. 13. Mont-Alban Fort Avenue du Mont-Alban City centre Built on a hilltop 222 metres above sea level, the Fort is a massive 16th- century structure with bastions and bartizans. It offers an exceptional Jardin Albert Ier h 1 Promenade des Anglais Sights, monuments & churches - Other districts panorama including Italy (point of Bordighera), Cap d’Ail, Saint-Jean This is one of the city’s oldest gardens, with many species of palm trees Cap-Ferrat, Baie des Anges, all the way to La Garoupe on Cap and roses. Arbours of greenery surround the vast stretches of lawn Parks & gardens Antibes... In perfectly clear weather, it is actually possible to see with ponds and fountains. Across from the sea, it extends to Place Corsica. The Fort will soon be dedicated to contemporary art. Masséna, the city’s geographic centre, providing a leafy alleyway over 2 km long in the heart of town, reaching to the seafront. Batterie du Mont-Boron The old fort known as ‘Batterie du Mont-Boron’ will soon be renovated by the world-renowned French architect Jean Nouvel, who is famous Castle Hill Park hj Rue des Ponchettes & rue de Foresta / Montée Montfort for the Musée du Quai Branly (Paris), Soho Hotel (New York), the great The city’s original site, the Castle Hill once boasted a reputedly urban park of Barcelona… to make it into an architectural centre for impregnable citadel that was entirely dismantled by the soldiers of the Nice has preserved its exceptional heritage of creativity and research in France, a bridge between heritage and French King Louis XIV in 1706. Truly a maze of greenery that has parks and gardens: 300 hectares of greenery and modernity. become popular for its cool undergrowth and surprising waterfall, this many private gardens are an integral part of the wonderful place for strolling offers a wonderful viewpoint over Baie des urban landscape. It is in no way surprising that Anges, Old Nice and the Port (orientation table). Spectacular lighting at Nice is one of the cities with the most flowers and night. Access on foot from OId Nice and Place Garibaldi, in an Art- vegetation in France… Deco lift or by steps (‘escalier Lesage’) at the end of Quai des États- Unis or on the Little Tourist Train (see p. 37 “ Guided Tours”). In the 19th century, the aristocracy of Europe discovered the French Riviera, settled here and, to enhance the parks surrounding their palaces, The hill of Cimiez imported many trees and other plants from distant lands thanks to the mildness of the climate to Monastery garden h satisfy their whims and create amazing Place du Monastère de Cimiez landscapes with rare species. Peace and harmony reign here, near the Amphitheatre (Arènes). This 9,550m2 park evokes an Italian-style garden: the monks’ former From the palm trees that have become orchard and vegetable garden, it has preserved its original layout emblematic of Promenade des Anglais and its around a well with old pergolas entirely covered with climbing roses. historic façades, to the olive trees of the The fragrance of a multitude of varieties of flowers fills the air. At the end neighbouring hills, Nice is now home to many of the garden, there is striking vista over the city. species that crossed the continents to be reborn here. Cimiez Gardens and Roman Arena h j 164 av des Arènes de Cimiez Across from the Monastery of Cimiez, this garden is a vast olive grove, with thousands of centuries-old trees; the lawns are easily accessible to everyone, which makes this a favourite haunt for family outings. Every year, it hosts traditional local events like the May Festival or the famous ‘Nice Jazz Festival’. This broad stretch of greenery also features several interesting tourist sights: Matisse Museum, the Monastery of Cimiez with its church and cloister, Archaeology Museum and Roman ruins. 22
  14. 14. Cap de Nice Neighbouring districts From Parc Vigier, Boulevard Franck-Pilatte leads to Jardin Félix- Rainaud (view on the sea and the Cap-Ferrat). From there, it is possible Parc Chambrun to follow the coastal trail for a short walk, or take the steps built in the Rue George Sand hillside to climb to the Mont-Boron district. Located in the residential district of Saint-Maurice, in the northern part of Nice, where the street names celebrate the names of great 19th- Parks & gardens Parc forestier du Mont-Boron century poets, this park is renowned for its calm and its music pavilion Route Forestière du Mont Boron - called the Temple of Love or Temple of Diana), a little masterpiece of 11km of marked trails Botanical garden in the heart of a 57-ha Belle-Époque architecture. Mediterranean forest (Aleppo pine and rare species): from the Mont- Alban Fort, a unique panorama unfolds from Italy to the Esterel Massif, Parc de Valrose including the Bay of Villefranche, the Cap-Ferrat peninsula, Nice and Av Saint-Lambert the mountainous relief of the Alps. A former aristocratic estate, Parc Valrose still boasts a splendid Château. This is the only ‘Second-Empire’ park in Nice to have kept its original 10 hectares of grounds, where the Sciences Division of the Parc du Vinaigrier h Access from the Grande Corniche, after the Observatory. University of Nice has been located since 1961, one of the most At the eastern end of the city, this stretch of greenery reveals a unique beautiful campuses in Europe. Along with rare trees, it also features a panorama on Baie des Anges. Owned by the Conservatoire du Littoral, genuine Russian isba made of fir wood and shipped by sea from this Park is the starting point for a botanical trail that leads to the Col Odessa and reassembled on the site. Like several other major de Villefranche-sur-Mer, which is home to dense varied fauna. The flora landmarks (the Russian Orthodox Cathedral, the Fine Arts Museum…), benefits from exceptional soil conditions and exposure that further the it is a reminder of the presence of Russian aristocrats on the Riviera in development of rare species. the mid-19th century. Parc naturel départemental de la Grande Corniche Parc de loisirs Castel-des-Deux-Rois h j This 660-hectare park occupies several communes and offers a Corniche André de Joly breathtaking view from San Remo (Italy) to Saint-Tropez (Var) and Located on the slopes of the Mont-Boron, this park is a children’s sometimes, when the visibility is ideal, it is even possible to see Corsica paradise that offers many attractions. From the vast lawns with their on the horizon. This site is home to 450 plant species as well as palm trees, the view over the city and the Port further enhances this interesting fauna, including large birds of prey and rare bird species and garden’s charm. many mammals. Access from the A8 motorway, (La Turbie exit) or RD 2564. Parc de loisirs Carol de Roumanie h j 23 av de Fabron A park for young and old alike: wooden playing structures, ballgames Botanical garden h 78 av de la Corniche-Fleurie on the lawn, fitness trail, water games and wonderful walks. Miniature golf course nearby a + 33 (0)4 92 29 41 80/81 - A wonderful hillside place for strolling and exploration, this garden offers a remarkable view on the mouth of the Var River and a vast panorama Parc Vigier h from the Alps to the Esterel Massif. This 3.5ha garden features 3,500 Bd Franck Pilatte varieties essentially Mediterranean plants. Certain tropical species are Located near the Port, this 10,000m2 Mediterranean garden open on constantly in bloom. What makes its originality lies in the reconstruction the sea offer a wide range of exceptional trees, two of the most of typical Mediterranean landscapes. National collections of sage and remarkable being the wild date palm (Phoenix zeylanica) and Agathis. agave. From 1 April to 31 Oct, 9am to 7pm; 1 Nov to 31 March: 9ap to 5pm Open every day. Admission free. Free guided tour (approx 1 hr) 24