Video:Tips for Visiting Nicewith Valerie Alvord
Nice is one of most popular tourist destinations in France, with its beautiful coastline and rich history. Here are some tips for visiting Nice, including where to go and what to see.See Transcript
Transcript:Tips for Visiting NiceHi, I'm Valerie Jeanne Alvord with About.com and today I'm going to be your guide for visiting Nice, an ancient vibrant city that has existed since before the Roman antiquities.
Visit the Roman Ruins in NiceThis city by the Bay of Angels, Baie des Anges, at the southern tip of France has belonged at times to Italy, Spain and France and even the Holy Roman Empire. The Romans established a capital city here, on a hill known as Cimiez.
And today you can have a really good time poking around the ruins of the Roman baths and arena. They actually let you walk into and around the crumbling structures. You can touch stones that were put in place more than a thousand years ago.
Belle Epoque Architecture Is a Feature of NiceAnd right here on the site of the ruins is also the location of the Matisse Museum, which displays works left by the artist to the city of Nice. He lived and worked here in this house near the Cours Saleya flower market until his death in 1954.
Since 1860, when the king of Italy sold Nice to Napoleon the Third, the city has been French. And it's recognized as one of the most stylish and opulent locations in the country. Its architecture reflects what the French call La Belle Epoque or, the beautiful age.
And no building reflects that more than the Nice Opera House. Other buildings that epitomize the belle époque are the Regina Hotel, where Queen Victoria spent her winters and L'hotel Negresco, whose famous pink dome is said to have been designed by the architect Gustave Eiffel.
The Coastline Is a Must-See in NiceThe Negresco faces the sea and looks out on the Promenade des Anglais, a wide recreational walkway that hugs the Mediterranean Sea and provides access to public and private beaches.
Nice is a city whose history, culture and livelihood are shaped by the sea. Millions of visitors come from all over the world to sunbathe on its rocky beaches and stroll along the promenade.
Shopping Abounds in NiceJust off the promenade are a few "must see" streets squares and parks. Don't miss a stroll down the Rue de France, a long narrow street lined with every kind of shop, restaurant and boutique you'd expect in a bustling city.
Rue de France ends in a cobbled pedestrian mall featuring both upscale and discount boutiques and sidewalk cafes where you can sample the gastronomical history of Nice through the food of every country that has influenced its culture.
Just past the pedestrian mall you come to Massena Square, lined by Belle Epoque buildings and dressed in shimmering fountains. Turn south and you come to a lovely urban park named for King Albert the First of Belgium.
Port of Nice Is the Center of the Old CityThe Park connects the Promenade with the old city and the Cours Saleya Flower Market -- the largest and most beloved open air market in the South of France. Follow the Promenade and you'll come to the Port of Nice, the real heart of this centuries-old city, where fishing is an ancient art and luxury yachts and cruise ships have been dropping anchors for more than a hundred years.
The port area is where you'll also find some of the most trendy restaurants, bars and clubs, including paces like La Pearl, where the young and beautiful of Europe dance the night away.
Thanks for watching. For more information on French cities and great travel tips, visit us on the web at About.com.
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