1 September 2021
In love with the French Riviera since my childhood, my first Paris-Nice flights gave me a taste for travel. Many memories pass through my mind when I think back to these moments of life, each one more pleasant than the other. Real holidays!
Between going to the beach, visiting the Matisse Chapel and discovering the small local restaurants, I quickly got used to this gentle atmosphere. So it was here that I chose to escape for three weeks.
As a student in tourism, it is within the framework of my studies that I went to the Tourist Information Office of Vence to do my last internship. Here, life is different. What I appreciate above all is the joviality of the inhabitants. I like to stroll through the colourful streets. Oranges, pinks, greens, yellows, the colours of the buildings reflect the warmth of the South.
It is therefore with a look full of tenderness and attachment to this region that I invite you to discover my favourite places.
1 – Nice
I have always considered Nice as the capital of the Côte d’Azur. I feel an endless fascination for this city. Its mythical image of luxury and wealth has always impressed me. As a child, I used to walk past Le Negresco with wonder and pride. At the age of 20, this palace still impresses me as much as ever!
Paradoxically perhaps, I enjoy doing simple things like walking along the Promenade des Anglais and taking a break on one of its famous blue chairs while admiring the Mediterranean. It must be said that the first thing I think of when I hear about the Côte d’Azur is the sea. The clarity of the water and its warmth have taken over my heart…
But Nice is not only about the coast and luxury.
I was lucky enough to discover the Phoenix Park which I loved. This botanical park promises a colourful change of scenery! Its various gardens are home to numerous species of plants, each as original as the next. The “Green Diamond” is my favourite, this greenhouse is located in six different tropical climates, which is quite breathtaking.
I love to go out for short outings and the Vieux-Nice is a place where I love to spend my time. It’s like living a bit of Italy in colour! As in Vence, what I like are the discreet passages and streets with warm colours and yet so cool in the summer! I like to sit in an American bar in the Cours Saleya (drinking my favourite cocktail, the Bad Girl) and observe the passers-by, the shopkeepers and all those visitors like me, happy to live these typical moments of Nice…
In short, the lightness of life in all its splendour!
2 – Vence
In Vence, I savour every moment. This is where I spent most of my time. Sitting on a bench in the Place du Frêne, contemplating the landscape and admiring the beauty of this city which is dear to me, this is where I let myself go during my moments of freedom. Fascinated by this imposing ash tree and this breathtaking view of the 4 baous, it is a place of resourcefulness where I let my mind wander…
The historic city of Vence is also a place that I am particularly fond of. Like all tourists (and locals), I like to get lost there, to meet the shopkeepers and to rediscover each of the alleys of the old Vence.
Also, I remember my attraction for the Nuits du Sud. When I was younger, this festival amazed me. Every summer, the music and the sound of the bass resounded in the town, giving way to my dreams as a child… What happiness when I grew up, I learned that I would finally be able to attend!
Vence is also a place rich in culture.
The Matisse Chapel and the Gombrowicz Museum
My appetite for art led me to the Matisse Chapel (from its real name the Chapel of the Rosary), an unmissable site in Vence. Its roof of white and blue tiles underlines the purity of this place, and form angel wings seen from the sky. In addition to the chapel, there is a museum space dedicated to the preparatory work of the artist. The Matisse Chapel is therefore a place of worship but also a place of culture where I could find serenity.
In addition, within the Tourist Information Office there is the Gombrowicz Museum where the author’s works are exhibited. Immersed in this literary universe that I love so much, I had the chance to visit it and to discover this famous Polish writer who was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1966, 1967 and 1969 without ever obtaining it.
3 – Cagnes-sur-Mer
At the risk of disappointing you, it is with a little shame that I confess that what I prefer in Cagnes-sur-Mer is indeed Polygone Riviera… For the most gamblers, there is a casino and for the quieter ones, a cinema.
As a fan of shopping, I enjoy shopping in the open air. It’s a bit of a cliché I admit, but this open-air shopping centre is fabulous for fashion addicts like me. It also offers a route dotted with contemporary artwork ranging from a reissue of Caesar to quotes from Ben for example…
Beyond this fashion character trait, I love the dynamism of this city. In Cagnes-sur-Mer, life is good and the coastline offers a gradation of blues in which sky and sea can only be distinguished by the horizon.
I like the Promenade de la Plage very much, it allows me to stroll along the sea and enjoy the Mediterranean air…and to breathe almost that atmosphere of yesteryear that you feel at the Cros de Cagnes. It is a small fisherman’s quarter, well recognisable by its church with its yellow bell tower and so pleasant on market days on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
The Grimaldi Castle-Museum and the Renoir Museum
A little further on, on the heights, I like to take a little tour in the medieval part called the Hauts-de-Cagnes. There, perched on its promontory, the village contains the Grimaldi Castle-Museum, which can be visited. Magnificent 360° viewpoint, including on the Mercantour, from its small belvedere from where you can feel the sea air, almost within reach.
Go back down and walk to the Renoir museum, an absolutely magical place with its garden as it was in the painter’s time. There, I go back in time and soak up thousands of impressions of this unique light, dotted through the century-old olive trees.
The French Riviera is very dear to me. I have created my most beautiful childhood memories there. Today, I like to return there whenever the opportunity arises. Then, other memories are created and added to those already present. What will always mark me is the generosity, the good humour and the kindness of its inhabitants!
So it is with a little nostalgia that I close this article, reminding me of my imminent departure…