or Nissa, is a city in southern France located on the Mediterranean coast, between Marseille, France, and Genoa, Italy, with 347,060 inhabitants in 2006. The city is a major tourist centre and a leading resort on the French Riviera (Côte d'Azur). It is the historical capital city of the County of Nice.
Its worth taking the time to discover Nice in depth: wander at random through the narrow streets of the old town and then stroll along the famous "Promenade" before entering into the heart of the city with its rich architectural and cultural heritage and its parks and gardens.
Culture & Tourism:
Nice has a distinct culture due to its unique history. The local language Niçard (Nissart) is an Occitan dialect (but some Italian scholars argue that it is a Ligurian dialect). It is still spoken by a substantial minority. Strong Italian and (to a lesser extent) Corsican influences make it more intelligible than other extant Provençal dialects.
Since the second century AD, the light of the city has attracted many famous painters such as Chagall, Matisse, Niki de Saint Phalle, and Arman and inspired many artists and intellectuals in different countries (Berlioz, Nietzsche, Rossini…).
The Promenade des Anglais ("Promenade of the English") is a celebrated promenade along the Baie des Anges, a bay of the Mediterranean, in Nice. Before Nice was urbanized, the coastline at Nice was just bordered by a deserted stretch of beach covered with large pebbles. The first houses were located on higher ground well away from the sea.
Starting in the second half of the 18th century, many wealthy English people took to spending the winter in Nice, enjoying the panorama along the coast. When a particularly harsh winter up north brought an influx of beggars to Nice, some of the rich Englishmen proposed a useful project for them: the construction of a walkway (chemin de promenade) along the sea.
The Place Masséna is the main square of the city. It is a two-minute walk from the Promenade des Anglais, old town, town centre, and Albert I Garden (Jardin Albert Ier). It is also a large crossroads between several of the main streets of the city: avenue Jean Médecin,avenue Félix Faure, boulevard Jean Jaurès, avenue de Verdun
and rue Gioffredo.
In the past, it belonged to the upper classes. It probably is the most traditional square of the town, with its daily flower market. The Cours Saleya
also opens on the Palais des rois Sard
(Palace of the Kings of Sardinia). In the present, the court
is mostly a place of entertainment. There are good restaurants serving typical Nicois cuisine, markets and many pubs. It is no doubt one of the most active spots in Nice.
Nice also has numerous museums of all kinds: Musée Chagall, Musée Matisse (arenas of Cimiez where one can also see Roman ruins), Musée des Beaux-Arts Jules Chéret, Museum of Naïve arts, Musée Terra-Amata, Museum of Asian Art, Museum of Modern Art and Contemporary Art which devotes much space to the well-known Ecole of Nice
”), Museum of Natural History, Musée Masséna, Naval Museum and Galerie des Ponchettes
Nice has a total of 19 museums and galleries, 32 classified historical monuments and 300 ha of parks and gardens, woodland and green areas in addition to 150 ornamental lakes and fountains.
Being a vacation resort, Nice hosts many festivals throughout the year, such as the Carnaval de Nice and the Nice Jazz Festival.
Among tourists, Nice is the second most popular French city after Paris
, a fact which, combined with the difficulties of terrestrial communications at long distance (partly because of the Alps), allows it to have the second busiest airport in France in terms of passenger numbers (close to 10,000,000 passengers in 2005).
The city of nice count since November 24th 2007 a new line of tramway that link stategic and touritic places to the rest of the city. With a developed transport network such as bus, night bus, train, tramway or even taxi you can find in Nice many ways to move, go to your university or work or just visit.
Nice has a Mediterranean climate: the city enjoys mild temperatures most of the year; rainfall is very moderate and mainly concentrated in the darkest part of the year (September to March). It is a windy city, especially in spring.
Summer is hot, dry, and sunny. Rainfall is rare in this season, and a typical July month only records one or two days with measurable rainfall. Temperatures seldom go below 20°C, and frequently reach 30°C. Average annual maximum is about 35°C. The absolute maximum recorded temperature in Nice was 37.7°C on the 1st of August 2006.
Autumn generally starts sunny in September and becomes more cloudy and rainy towards October, while temperatures usually remain above 20°C until November where days start to cool down to around 17°C.
Winters are characterized by mild days (11 to 17°C), cool nights (4°C to 9°C) and variable weather. Days can be either sunny and dry, or damp and rainy. Frost is unusual and snowfalls are so extremely rare that they are remembered by inhabitants as special events. Annual minimum is on average around 1°C.
Spring starts mild and rainy in late March, and is increasingly warm and sunny towards June
Nice has a few local dishes. There is a local tart made with onions and anchovies (or anchovy paste), named "Pissaladière". Socca type of pancake made from chickpea flour. Nice is also known for bouillabaisse and various fish soups; "Stockfish" (traditionally pronounced as "Stoquefiche" with special emphasis on the first "e"). Farcis niçois
is a dish made from vegetables stuffed with breadcrumbs; and salade niçoise
is a tomato salad with green peppers of the "Corne" variety, baked eggs, tuna or anchovies and olives.