Nice is an underrated city.
The fifth largest metropolis in France has a reputation for being noisy, crowded, and a place where retirees shuffle off to live out their final days in sun-kissed obscurity. Dig a little deeper though, and this bustling town reveals a wonderful depth of character with just the right sprinkling of Franco/Italian seasoning.
Here are 4 fun things to do in Nice, France.
1)The Old Town
Don’t miss it. Yes, the streets are narrow and charming, and the flower market held on the pedestrian-only cours saleya is a must, but the main reason I look forward to visiting this section of Nice is food. Around every corner, it seems, there’s another opportunity to indulge in excruciatingly delicious Nicoise cuisine. Think authentic Italian pizza, socca, Ratatouille, pastries, homemade ice cream, and the list goes on and on and on….
2) Colline du Chateau
There’s actually no chateau (it was destroyed in 1706) on this wooded hill overlooking the city , but the name remains and so do the spectacular views. Shaded parks, waterfalls, and walking paths make Le Chateau a great place to while away a sunny afternoon.
Probably the best kept secret in Nice. The tiny, sun-drenched wine region of Le Bellet (France’s smallest with only 14 vineyards) produces approximately 200,000 bottles of exceptional wine annually. Located within the city limits of Nice, Bellet is also France’s only “urban terroir”. For a real treat schedule a private tour and tasting with my friend Jean-Pascal here.
4) Musee Chagall
When I first visited the Chagall Museum years ago I had no idea who Marc Chagall was.
It didn’t matter.
The museum’s collection of mosaics, tapestries, sculptures, and sketches by the Russian born artist is extremely impressive, but the real reason to come here is to view the seventeen jaw-dropping canvases depicting biblical scenes in brilliant colors. They are simply stunning.