Let’s head to the French Riviera today.
First stop, Nice…
(said like “niece”)
where there is no shortage of color.
I’ve never been so inspired by color and saturation in a city.
It was everywhere!
Everything looks like a painting.
And the light in December is truly amazing.
Nice is located on the far southeastern border, near Italy.
It’s about a 5 1/2 hour train ride to Paris,
and it’s right on the water.
Nice has all the life of a bustling oceanfront city,
and it has an interesting blend of French and Italian culture
since it’s so close to the border.
That means gelato, people.
It did not disappoint.
In fact, we ended up getting gelato
twice in one day.
In France, don’t question it.
Help yourself to seconds.
In researching Nice, I quickly realized, we needed a hotel with a view.
One of Rick Steves’ recommendations was Hotel Suisse,
a hotel located at the bottom of the famous Castle Hill.
With views of Baie des Anges and the Promenade des Anglais,
who could resist one of the only hotels with panoramic views of the city?
We booked it, and it quickly became of my
favorite hotels of the trip.
Upon walking into the room, we found this view:
Large shutters opened out onto our own little terrace.
It was breathtaking.
In fact, if I’m having a hard day,
I just go to this terrace in my mind.
It only took a few minutes and a walk on the Promenade
to fall in love with this city.
Jonathan said not this summer.
But maybe the next.
(in my dreams)
Another great thing about our hotel location
was that it was steps away from Nice’s Old Town, or Vieille Ville.
Here, you’ll find dozens of outdoor cafes and markets.
And my favorite…
the flower market, of course.
I mean, seriously.
The flowers here are reasonably priced, and they are absolutely stunning.
If you’re not inspired, I can’t help you.
While in Old Town, stop into a cafe…
You can enjoy lunch steps away from the market,
and people-watching is always fun, too.
Oh yeah, and since we’re close to the border,
you must try some authentic pizza.
Now, if you really want to splurge,
stay at Le Negresco, Nice’s finest hotel.
We didn’t stay at Hotel Negresco,
but we did stop in for a drink.
Le Relais Bar feels like a secret.
It has walnut woodworking and a tapestry from 1683.
That’s pretty cool.
And we got to pick the brain of the bartender.
On the way out, I snapped a pic of the lobby…
What a beautiful place.
After an early evening drink,
a walk on the Promenade is a must.
Followed by a delicious French meal, of course.
This restaurant was L’Acchiardo, and I would absolutley recommend it.
The last day that we were in Nice,
we woke up and immediately started a hike up Castle Hill.
This was the site of the first town founded by the Greeks,
and you’ll see remains of a former 11th Century Cathedral,
and walkways paved with mosiacs.
There are LOTS of stairs.
But the view from the top is worth it.
plus, you need to work off that baguette, right?
You’ll see lots of cool things along the way…
Take a minute and just take it all in.
Reward yourself with a cup of cappucino
after you’re done.
This is the best (and maybe only) place in France
where you can get a good cup of cappucino.
another benefit of being close to the border
And they’re very proud of it. With good reason.
It was delicious.
The French Riviera has a special place in my heart.
The views are like none other, and God’s glory was in full effect.
Nice was vibrant, laid-back, and a refreshing break from the cold.
It was very nice to see you, Nice! ;)
While you’re dreaming of beaches and baguettes,
we’ll be preparing our next stop…
Until then, happy weekend!
If you missed our first leg of France,
you can check it out here!
all photos copyright Sara Beth Cobb and may not be used without permission.