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Nice (Cote D'Azur)
Nice is The capital of the Riviera and fifth largest city in France. It has a distinct culture due to its unique history. The city is a major tourist centre and a leading resort on the French Riviera (Côte d'Azur).
With the Alps protecting the area from inland winds and the Mediterranean sea warming the breezes, Nice and the French Riviera has an enviable and almost tropical climate. Although it is no longer the exclusive preserve of the wealthy, Nice remains consistently popular and has an undeniably sophisticated atmosphere, with its palm lined promenade (the Promenade des Anglais,) stretching for several kilometres and its café and restaurant terraces.
The Old Town
Nice’s most colourful quarter is the Old town which is behind the seafront, along cours Saleya. The best way to see the sights is via a tour on a mini-train from the seafront, in front of Hôtel Meridien. This takes in the flower market, the old town and Castle Hill gardens.
Cours Saleya has a daily market selling fruit, vegetables and flowers, and also antiques on Mondays. A stroll through Cours Saleya is a pleasure for all your senses and the sights, smells, and tastes that await you are endless. You can find anything you are looking for, from fresh fruit and vegetables to spices. Worth the visit simply for the experience.
Also in Cours Seleya you will find the Chapelle de la Miséricorde, a baroque masterpiece which belonged to the high brotherhood of Black Penitents a religious order dating from 1422, and is one of the ten most beautiful baroque buildings in the world. There are beautiful seventeenth-century canvases as well as two altarpieces dedicated to the Virgin in the sacristy: one by Miralhet (1429), the other by Brea (1485).
North of the market in the Place Rosetti is the lovely 17th century cathedral Cathédrale de Ste-Réparate, another good example of the baroque style which flourished during this century. It is flanked by an 18th century bell tower and is known for its ceramic tile dome.
For the big designer labels head west of place Masséna to rue du Paradis, rue Masséna, rue de la Liberté, rue Alphonse Karr and avenue de Suède. Avenue Jean Médecin, meanwhile, is home to every chain store imaginable.
Eating and Nightlife
There are many bars and restaurants in the old town around cours Saleya with lots of tourist restaurants and some really fabulous places to eat and dance the night away.