Around France

City Side of Nice: Favorite Finds

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With all the cold, rainy weather in January, I enjoy looking back at some of last summer’s favorite places. Enjoy and think about sunny days!

The city side of Nice

Traveling to Nice to enjoy the beaches is always nice. However, don’t forget there’s a city side to explore, too.

In 1966 I traveled to Nice with two friends from UNC-Chapel Hill. It was a splurge on our “Europe on $5 a Day” budget. Nevertheless, we had to see the French Rivera. As I recall, it looked much like this.

Nice 1960s

Nice France 1966

 

Take a look now.

Nice, France

Nice France 2014

This was 1966.

Beach in Nice 1960s

Beach in Nice 1966

Now.

Nice France

Nice France 2014

Then.

Nice France 1966

Nice France 1966

Now.

Nice France 2014

Nice France 2014

While much has changed, the spirit of the city seems the same. It is still the place where you feel you can “hide out.” No one seems to care what anyone else is doing. And there are so many people of different backgrounds, cultures and languages, there’s no telling who “belongs” there and who is a tourist.

The European architecture and neighborhoods of Nice remind me more of Italy than of France. I was reminded by my AIRBNB host that it’s not by accident. Nice was part of France until the mid-1800’s. It was again occupied by Italy during WWII.  (Guess I missed history class the day this factoid was taught.)

These are some of the city-side sights:

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 Transportation Bike in Nice france

Getting around town in Nice is a breeze. If you aren’t up for walking, which is always a good way to sightsee and stop along the way, there are public buses and trams. For those who like to bicycle, you can rent by the hour or more.

 

 Restaurants

Unfortunately, I didn’t do my homework on places to eat in Nice. Nor do I have the budget to dine on expensive French cuisine. Consequently, all of my meals were disappointing … except for dinner at La Favola.

My friends and I discovered it after we had a so-so lunch at a sidewalk cafe. La Favola was the one with the people standing in line waiting for a table. That’s always a good sign. We made a point to go by the cafe for dinner.

Restaurant in Nice

Restaurant in Nice

Here are two of the reasons why La Favola is popular. Lobster and pasta for the seafood lover. Gnocchi and Aubergine (eggplant) for the vegan.

We didn’t try the antipasta that was lusciously displayed on tables at the front of the restaurant. That’s for next trip. Any of the many choices is a meal in itself.

Lobster with Rigatoni at La Favola in Nice

Lobster with Rigatoni at La Favola in Nice

 

Gnocchi with Aubergine at La Favoli in Nice

Gnocchi with Aubergine at La Favoli in Nice

Here’s a link to La Favola’s website (click here) if you’d like to check it out.

If you arrive too early for dinner — before 7:00 pm — there are plenty of cafes and bars nearby. Some with entertainment and music like the Blues Brothers you’ll recognize.

"Blues Brothers" in Nice, France

“Blues Brothers” in Nice, France

Room with a View

Again, I was pleased with my AIRBNB choice in Nice. While my friends had booked rooms not knowing I was definitely joining them, I was looking at the last-minute for a place that would be close to where they were staying. It was a holiday weekend in France, so I was fortunate to find a place … and such a good find.

The hosts were friendly and extremely helpful with touring suggestions. I felt like I was a welcomed guest and friend. Since I’m now living in France — a mere three hour drive or train ride from Nice, I’ll definitely be back.

These are some of the views from my private room and a link to the “Chambre sur Jardin” on AIRBNB.

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Markets

There are many market days in Nice and I made it to one — the flower market. The brocante (antique, etc.) market is next on my list when I return to Nice again.  This is a list for your trip (click here). Maybe I’ll see you there!

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 Nice is for Dog Lovers

Since moving to France, I’ve discovered the French love their dogs. It’s not uncommon to find a “chien” in restaurants sitting at the table. If you look carefully at the diners at a sidewalk cafe, there’s often a pet at the patron’s feet. Waiters always accommodate the furry companion with a bowl of water.

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Ready to relax?

When you get tired of city sites, you can always sit by the sea … the Mediterranean, that is.

Nice France

Nice France

Nice, France 
Nice France

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4 replies »

  1. I love Nice, and if I could afford it, that’s where I would live! I do get emails with available rentals…so, who knows.

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