The Best European Cities for Café Culture
26/04/2019 · By Jack Stacey
There is, I suspect, an image that appears in everyone’s heads, when someone says the words 'European café'.Read more
Nice, France's fifth most populous city also happens to be one of the country's most popular and cosmopolitan holiday destinations. Nice's famous beaches, shingle rather than sand, may not be to every holidaymaker's taste but near-continuous Mediterranean sunshine, a naturally beautiful location on the French Riviera, an historic 'old town' that is fascinating to explore and an abundance of enjoyable sights, attractions and landmarks provide more than adequate compensation.
An important trading port since the time of the ancient Greeks, Nice fell under Italian control during the Middle Ages, but disputes in the following centuries saw ownership of the city alternate between Italy, the Alpine royal territory of Savoy, and France with the latter finally gained permanent ownership of Nice in 1860.
The advent of modern transportation, including the arrival of the railway, in the twentieth century saw the rise of tourism in Nice as visitors arrived to enjoy the city's Mediterranean climate, picturesque setting and an urban regeneration that brought new hotels and recreational facilities. Today, Nice is the second most popular French city after Paris, delighting visitors with its historic squares and buildings, a beautiful seafront promenade and a cultural feast of museums, galleries and ancient churches along with the many other attractions and entertainments expected of a modern city-resort.
Simultaneously relaxed and atmospheric, Nice's 'old quarter' is a jumble of alleyways that wind between dwellings and other buildings which date from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Quaint independent shops, delicatessens and traditional bars and restaurants dot these ancient streets, whilst the central square hosts regular markets selling flowers and fresh local produce.
On a hill overlooking the city, the Parc du Château (Castle Park) can be reached by climbing a long flight of stone steps or by taking the Château Lift at the hill's foot. Although little remains of the sixteenth-century castle, the park offers fresh air and unparalleled panoramic views of Nice and its coastline.
Providing an aesthetically pleasing link between the historic and modern neighbourhoods of Nice, this brand-new promenade follows the route of the city's underground river - the Paillon - and is a beautiful and relaxing green space featuring lawns, trees, sculptures and spectacular fountains.
On a rise to the north of central Nice and situated beside a picturesque park, the Musee Matisse houses a collection of artworks bequeathed to the city by the celebrated French artist Henri Matisse with exhibits including paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings and illustrated books. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions by other artists.