Nice is the capital of the Cote D’Azur, and thousands of tourists from across the globe travel to one of the most charming, historic and beautiful cities in France. From the thriving Promenade des Anglais that hugs 7km of the gorgeous coastline in the South of France to the historic old town with squares lined with al fresco style dining; Nice really is the ideal holiday destination for both families and couples alike.
But how much do you actually know about the city? Whether you’re a regular visitor or you are yet to visit this beautiful area of the world, we’ve put together 10 of the most interesting facts about the famous city in France to read ahead of your stay in one of our luxury French Riviera villas.
The first tourists to visit Nice did so almost 400,000 years ago.
An archaeological dig on the hill above the Nice port, found that transient cave-dwellers temporarily settled there, coming once a year to hunt woolly mammoths.
Several artists, writers and composers have been drawn to Nice over the years, inspired by the unique views it offers.
The bright yellow building which you can find at the end of the outdoor market at Cours Saleya, for example, was once the home of Henri Matisse. Other creatives drawn to the city include Picasso, F Scott Fitzgerald, Cocteau and Paganini.
Nice was named after the Greek goddess Nike.
Nike personified victory when it was part of the Greek empire in 500BC. During the Italian occupation of the city, the name was changed to Nizza. Then in 1860, when the city became part of France, it was known as Nice.
Nice’s famous carnival, held annually in February, originated in the Middle Ages.
The carnival is traditionally a chance for the lower classes to don masks and safely mock those in positions of power. Every year, a theme is chosen, and floats, figurines and dancing are part of the colourful parade. 2019’s Carnival theme is the King of Cinema, and will run from February 17th to March 2nd, and involves six parades, 17 floats and over 1000 musicians and dancers from all over the world. Tickets can be purchased now online, so don’t hesitate to check out our extensive range of villas that are available during that time for a holiday your family will never forget.
Promenade des Anglais gets its name from wealthy English tourists.
The name of the popular Promenade des Anglais, which runs for 7km hugging the beach in the city, originates from the first wealthy English tourists, who would stroll along the seafront with their parasols. Some of these tourists included the likes of Queen Victoria and Winston Churchill. The iconic promenade has a dedicated lane for cyclists and skaters, and you can rent bikes, scooters or even Segways to join them whizzing down this gorgeous stretch of coast in the South of France.
The city is a haven for the rich and famous.
Not only is Nice a popular holiday destination for celebrities, it is also a highly desirable city to live, offering good weather, golden sandy beaches and a touch of glamour and luxury. Many world-famous celebrities have chosen the city as the location for a holiday home, including Elton John, Tina Turner, Keith Richards and Bono to name a few.
Visit from June to October for warm temperatures all but guaranteed.
One of the most alluring aspects of this European getaway is the attractive temperatures throughout the summer. Good, settled weather is promised throughout the summer, with July being the warmest month of the year. That said, the refreshing Mistral will keep you cool and make the heat bearable – particularly in the height of summer! Those after a tan are in luck, but remember sun screen as the sun in the South of France is particularly unforgiving, even on seemingly overcast days.
Nice is the fifth most populous city in France.
It is also the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes department and the second largest on the French coast of the Mediterranean Sea, after Marseille. The Nice Cote D’Azur Airport acts as a gateway for those who don’t have their own helicopter and are planning to travel to other popular destinations in the region including Saint Tropez, Monaco and Cannes.
Nice is also known as Nice la Belle.
Directly translated, this means Nice the Beautiful and is also the title of the unofficial anthem of Nice, written by Menica Rondelly in 1912. As those who have visited the city can attest, the turquoise sea, spectacular architecture and rich history, the nickname is an accurate description of this beautiful city in the South of France.
We hope you’ve enjoyed these facts about Nice and have learnt something new about the city or perhaps even inspired you to book your next holiday! For more inspiration, check out our recent blogs, A Guide to Nice for New Visitors and 7 of the Best Art Galleries and Museums in Nice. If you’d like to know anything else about this desirable destination or need help finding the perfect villa in this area, please don’t hesitate to contact the team here at Quality Villas who would be more than happy to help!
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