The jewel in the crown that is the Côte d’Azur, millions of tourists flock to Nice every year, staying in luxury French Riviera villas, enjoying the seaside location, exploring the variety of cultures found here and seeking out some of the interesting art and architecture. Those are just some of the reasons people visit Nice.
Upon visiting Nice, you may not know everything about this beautiful city, so we have put together 10 of the most interesting facts we could find. Read on to find out more, so you are full of interesting pieces of information that will surely make your holiday more fulfilling.
- 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, who 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 and was a chance for those of the lower classes to don masks and safely ridicule those in a position of power. Every year, a theme is chosen and floats, figurines and dancing are part of the colourful parade.
- The name of the popular Promenade des Anglais, which runs along by the beach, comes 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.
- Along with Nice attracting the rich and famous for their holidays, the city is also a highly desirable place to live. Many world-famous celebrities have homes in and around the city, including Elton John, Tina Turner, Keith Richards and Bono.
- From June to October, the weather in Nice is best, with alluring temperatures, though October is also the wettest month. If you are heading to the French Riviera in the hopes of getting a tan, July is the warmest month of the year. Just remember sunscreen!
- Nice is the fifth most populous city in France and the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes department. The city is also the second largest on the French coast of the Mediterranean Sea, after Marseille.
- The nickname of the city is Nice la Belle, which means Nice the Beautiful. This is also the title of the unofficial anthem of Nice, written by Menica Rondelly in 1912. We have to agree with that nickname, as with the turquoise sea, colourful buildings vibrant atmosphere, Nice is a wonderful place to visit.
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