Moving around

Nice 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.   

The history of Nice is characterized mainly by two factors. It is primarily a border town, which has frequently changed its sovereignty. It was successively Provence, Savoy, Italian and French [27]. Then a city expansion has sharply accelerated in the twentieth century, mainly as a result of tourism development. These two characteristics have led to important consequences on the social, political, economic, cultural, and even urban planning.   

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…).

Main Sights:
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.

Cours Saleya:
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.

Nice is located in the heart of one of the most popular tourist regions in the world: the Côte d'Azur or French Riviera. This central position is a major asset for discovering the region. The best known places to visit along the coast and in the hillside are within a radius of 60 miles at most from the Place Massena!



• Port Vauban;

• The old Provençal town: its narrow streets and flower-covered squares, the cathedral, the ramparts;

• The Picasso Museum, Peynet Museum, Naval and Napoleonic Museum.

CAP d’ANTIBES: the road follows the Cape along 16 miles between the sea and pine groves (splendid views) and a trail along the water's edge connects La Garoupe beach and the tip of the Cape



• La Croisette and the Festival Hall; well known also for the Cannes International Movies Festival
• The elegant city centre and luxury boutiques;

• Old Cannes and the Suquet hill (Tower, Castre museum, panorama over the bay of Cannes and the Estérel mountains).


 The Principality of Monaco:

• On the "rock": the Prince's Palace (changing of the guard), the Oceanographic Museum, old town.

• In Monte–Carlo: the casino, the Grand-Prix, National Museum of Automats, Japanese garden.
• In Fontvieille: HSH the Prince of Monaco's collection of antique cars.





A medieval jewel set against a luxuriant backdrop, Biot has managed to retain a quality of life and an identity founded on history and handcrafted arts. Fernand Léger, whose museum stands at the foot of the village, and Eloi Monod, who started the village's glass-blowing tradition, are just 2 of the artists to have fuelled Biot's artistic drive.




Grasse is famous as the World Capital of Perfumery. A major town in the eastern part of Provence, it has an outstanding historical heritage and constitutes one of the finest examples of medieval architecture. The artist Fragonard has ensured international cultural renown for his hometown.





Saint-Paul de Vence 

With more than 2.500.000 visitors per year, Saint-Paul is the second most visited village in France, after the “Mont Saint-Michel”.

Thanks to the Mediterranean climate, tourists come to visit St Paul de Vence all year long. The population of St Paul de Vence is around 3336 inhabitants.

Contemporary art is a key component of Saint-Paul de Vence's identity. Famous contemporary painters continue to keep the village's artistic vocation alive, perpetuating a living tradition.

Whatever your tastes or mood of the moment, the village of Saint Paul de Vence is the perfect place to relax. Get to know the village, revel in its pleasures and
experience its art and rich lifestyle


Places to see:

La Fondation Maeght: Art in the heart of nature

The Marguerite and Aimé Maeght Foundation is the fruit of artists and an architect, Josep Lluis Sert. It breathes art and celebrates art. Exhibitions, set against a backdrop of greenery, are strong and eclectic. The Foundation boasts almost 9,000 works of art, offering an exceptional and panoramic overview of modern and contemporary art. Léger, Braque and Giacometti continue to watch over the spirit of the place. The gardens are conducive to contemplation; take a stroll in its fairytale universe peopled with sculptures and harbouring a maze designed by Miro.


 Saint-Paul's Museum

Since the day it opened in 1964, the museum has enjoyed close ties with the artistic world.

Thanks to the André Verdet Donation, Saint-Paul's museum is to stage a series of exhibitions of works that have never been shown before, painted by great artists whom the artist knew.

Art Galleries:

Art galleries in Saint-Paul de Vence promote art and creativity and make artists feel at home. 

They colour your artistic meanderings through the village streets.

They offer a welcome that reflects each artist's style.

Some develop a high-tech contemporary approach; others highlight emotion by exhibiting their personal favourites, often self-taught painters.

Others still, present art that lends itself totally to interior design


"La Pétanque":

It's time for aperitifs in the square, a master bowler from Saint Paul teaching how to take this ball of steel and "plant your feet "pieds tanques".

Under the sycamore trees the most famous of people shuffle in the hard sand, Yves Montant feet pointed, Lino Ventura aimed and you

The village caters for the tastes of one and all: hotels with first-class restaurants or magnificent settings, within the village walls or in the surrounding countryside.

Linger over the pleasures of village life such as annual festivals, browsing through the shops or admiring cultural heritage.

A busy schedule keeps the village alive all year round. Patron Saint and Feast Days, Christmas in Saint-Paul, the all-embracing Music Festival, conferences, concerts, theatre on the ramparts…

In the evening, let the lights along the ramparts guide you through the village on a cool, nocturnal promenade.

Harmony reigns between the setting and the food in Saint-Paul de Vence because the art of dining is synonymous with shared pleasure, conviviality and replenishment.

Chefs prepare colourful and tasty Provençal produce for you to share during a romantic meal, with family or amongst friends. Menus range from family cooking to gastronomy via simple, plain, and generous fare.

San Francisco is on the coast of California about 400 miles north of Los Angeles. It is situated along the shore of a large bay sheltered behind the California Coastal Mountains. The city is renowned for its steep streets with panoramic views of beautiful San Francisco Bay,  the surrounding mountains and the eclectic mix of Victorian and modern architecture. The City and County of San Francisco is the fourth most populous city in California and the 13th most populous city in the United States, with a 2007 estimated population of 799,183.

San Francisco is an international tourist destination.



San Francisco was founded in 1776 when father Junipero Serra constructed the mission San Dolores to Christianize the local native Indian population. At the same time, Spanish troops constructed a Presidio, or fort, to protect this colony for the Queen of Spain. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the village of Yerba Buena, consisting of whalers, traders, adventurers and pirates, occupied the present site of San Francisco. In 1848, gold was discovered in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains about 100 miles to the east. By 1849, San Francisco was inundated with "forty-niners" as the gold seekers were commonly called, and the population of the city exploded. Ever since, it has remained the center of commerce, entertainment, culture and tourism for Northern California.


Culture and tourism:

The city has developed a unique character from its mixture of diverse cultures including Native American Indians, Spanish colonials, gold seeking adventurers and numerous European, African and Asian immigrants. 


Places to see:


The arrival of many ethnic Chinese, which accelerated beginning in the 1970s, has complemented the long-established community historically based in Chinatown throughout the city and has transformed the annual Chinese New Year Parade into the largest event of its kind outside China.


Alcatraz Island:

Commonly referred to as simply Alcatraz or locally as The Rock, is a small island located in the middle of San Francisco Bay in California, United States.It served as a lighthouse, then a military fortification, then a military prison followed by a federal prison until 1963. It became a national recreation area in 1972 and received landmarking designations in 1976 and 1986.


Today, the island is a historic site operated by the National Park Service as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and is open to tours.


The  San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA):

It is a major modern art museum.


Lincoln Park:

Iin San Francisco, California was dedicated to President Abraham Lincoln in 1909 and includes about 100 acres (0.4 km2) of the northwestern corner of the San Francisco Peninsula. Lincoln Park is the Western Terminus of the Lincoln Highway, the first road across America.



Many people in San Francisco use public transportation, nearly a third of commuters in 2005. Public transit solely within the city of San Francisco is provided predominantly by the San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni). The city-owned system operates both a combined light rail/subway system (the Muni Metro) and a bus network that includes trolleybuses. The Metro streetcars run on surface streets in outlying neighborhoods but underground in the downtown area.




San Francisco's climate is characteristic of California’s mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and dry summers. Since it is surrounded on three sides by water, San Francisco's climate is strongly influenced by the cool currents of the Pacific Ocean which tends to moderate temperature swings and produce a remarkably mild climate with little seasonal temperature variation. The dry period of May to October is mild to warm, with average high temperatures of 64-70°F (17-21°C) and lows of 51-56°F (10-13°C). The rainy period of November to April is cool with high temperatures of 56-64°F (13-17°C) and lows of 46-51°F (7-10°C).