Nice Côte d’Azur through a child’s eyes

1 September 2021

Jules is 10 years old and lives in the Paris region. Since he was a baby, he has always spent his holidays with his grandparents in Nice. He loves to go there. He is in front of the computer. He is experiencing lockdown for the second time. Every day, he does his homework with his parents … but he would like to be there, in the open air.

He is surfing on the web and comes across a video of a comedian: “are you stuck at home, but you really want to travel ? Send us your best holiday letter and we’ll make you discover the best places in France!”

  • Mummy Daddy ! I want you to help me write a letter !
  • Really? But who do you want to write to?
  • To children like me!
  • What do you want to tell them?
  • I just want to tell them how good it is to be on holiday! In Nice, at Grandma and Grandpa’s!
  • It’s a very good idea, tell me! And I’m in! As I grew up there, it will bring back memories, and above all I’ll feel like I’m getting away from it all for a while?

Jules and Sophie, his mother, take this little project to heart, and spend a few hours drawing up a nice letter together, before sending it to the site.

A few days later, as a preview of the site, a banner with a Youtube link to discover: Jules tells us about Nice!

The whole family sits around the computer, and Jules clicks, very proud. A video shows beautiful images of the capital of the French Riviera. In the background, a soundtrack with a child’s voice retraces the letter:

1 – The sea AND the mountains!

“Every year, and several times in fact, I go on holiday to my grandparents’ house on the Côte d’Azur, and more precisely in the Nice area! I love going there! The weather is always great and the light is different.

Alpes-Maritimes (06) Auron // France, Alpes-Maritimes (06) Auron

What’s great is arriving by plane and seeing how beautiful it is from above. There’s the blue of the sea, the green of the hills and the mountains just behind it. It feels like they’re coming to set foot in the water, it’s fun!

When I go there in winter, what is magical is to see that the mountains too put on a nice hat: they are all white on the summits! Moreover, with my grandparents, I go up to Isola 2000, and it is in this resort that I got my first star.

Now I know how to ski, and I even started snowboarding last year! We leave in the morning and in barely an hour and a half, we’re there! 

Wow, how beautiful the sky is! It looks as blue as the sea in the middle of winter!

@OTM NCA / J.Kelagopian

2 – The Nice Carnival is magical!

During the February holidays, what I love is when my grandparents take me to the Carnival!

I’ve been going there since I was very little: Grandma kept a picture of me in the pram, and you can see I’m dressed up as a dinosaur! This year, well believe me if you want, but the Nice Carnival is so magical that I saw a huge dinosaur flying in the air, while dancers performed on the ground underneath, throwing millions of colourful confetti towards the spectators!

There is no party like it… that’s for sure, and when I found these confetti in my pocket earlier, I smelled the smell of “bugnes” and heard the music in my head… Over there, the parade is called a corso. It comes from Italian I think, and it means something like a public promenade. And then there are the Flower Battles with the pretty models who send the public lots of mimosas and other flowers whose names I don’t know. I love catching them and giving them to Grandma to decorate her house!

At the Nice Carnival, I always make friends with another child from the Côte d’Azur or elsewhere! We fight with confetti and streamers. What a laugh!

3 – Visits and lots of activities!

When I’m on holiday in Nice, I find that time goes by super fast! In the morning, with Gran, I go to the Cours Saleya, and as she knows lots of people, we take our time to discuss Mediterranean cuisine.

Sometimes she buys me a portion of socca. It looks like a giant pancake, which is cut into pieces. The grown-ups eat it hot with pepper on top. It’s good, and you can eat it with your fingers! You always end up buying a small bouquet at the end of the market. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many flowers as in this market! They are there, in all colours and all seasons.

Usually in the afternoon Grandpa takes me to the Promenade des Anglais. There I ride my bike, skateboard and learn to rollerblade. As it’s long and very well laid out, we go super far! We even cycled to the airport once!

On the way back, we stopped at Phoenix Park. It’s a very nice park with thousands of different plants, even tropical ones! There are birds, marmosets, fish and reptiles too. I took my snack with Grandpa and we went to the playground. It was cool.

We took our time to ride back on our bikes.

4 – In Nice, I am never bored!

instagram@cate06nice

In the summer, I go swimming. The water here is warm.

You go straight in, because with the waves, you can’t walk all the way to the edge! And anyway, it’s not possible because you quickly go out of your depth. You can see the difference in depth when you are on the Promenade des Anglais: first, it is a turquoise blue, then suddenly it is a very dark blue, bordering on navy blue.

To better see this difference, you can go up the castle hill. It is already a very green place, but it is also the ideal place to have a great view of the coast, the port and the city! Now I can walk up there without any problem, but I learned to count to 100 by climbing the steps of the Lesage staircase. In fact there are 500 steps, but you can also take the lift. From up there, the view is splendid, and watching the sun set with the city illuminated is something extraordinary. It’s as if I left a postcard in my head.

My holidays in Nice are always a moment that I look forward to, because I do a lot of interesting things there. I discovered that it was a city that had been loved by many great painters. Chagall and Matisse have their museums there. I visited them, and I understand why they put so much colour in their paintings: here, grey does not exist.

There is another place where I like to go and which I often cross, it is the Promenade du Paillon. Here it is called “the coulée verte”. You can see that in Nice, everything is a matter of colours! There are plenty of water jets with which you can play and refresh yourself!” (cover photo).

Colline du Château @OTM NCA / J.Kelagopian

Did you know?

Nice, as well as Auron, Saint-Laurent du Var, Saint Martin Vésubie and Vence have the “Famille Plus” label. My parents explained to me that this means that there are plenty of establishments that welcome children and families. And that they also offer activities or services specifically designed for us. So now I understand better why I have such a good time here.

5 – In Nice, I eat too well!

When Mamie wants to please me, she prepares me a good meal from Nice. It all starts with the market. She takes me to the Cours Saleya and we choose the right products together. There are so many colourful fruits and vegetables on the stalls that I don’t know how to choose them. But she knows.

Sometimes she buys me a slice of socca cooked over a wood fire. It’s good and you eat it hot, with your hands! We always end up buying a small bouquet of flowers on this pretty market.

When her basket is full, we go home and prepare a good salade niçoise and the little “farçis” that I like so much. Sometimes she also makes a ratatouille. I don’t like that so much, but the older children love it!

Often, when we go for a picnic on the beach, we stop at the bakery for “pan-bagnat“. These are big round sandwiches with a kind of salad inside. They are really good. Papy chooses them with anchovies in them, except for me, because I don’t really like anchovies. We also take a slice of pissaladière. As you can’t find it in Paris, I’d like my mother to learn how to make it, because it’s so good. I saw that on the Tourist Office website, there is the recipe and many others. It’s great!

For dessert, Grandma buys the “tourte de blettes”. I never really understood how you could make such a delicious cake with a vegetable. When it’s Carnival, she also makes me “bugnes“. Hm, it’s so good!

Grandma explained to me that Nice’s cuisine is labelled. It’s definitely only in Nice that I hear this word… So that means that the food here is really good and unique. In any case, it’s true, I’m enjoying it!

This is why -even if I am only a child- I like to come and spend my holidays in Nice Côte d’Azur!


Find out more

Yaël

Coordinator of the Vence Information Office

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