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H E R I TA G E

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H IS T O R Y

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DE STIN ATION

PO RT RAIT

RIVIERA PASS This all-inclusive card gives visitors free access to the French Riviera’s major sites, and exclusive advantages at recommended restaurants, boutiques, leisure facilities, artists’ studios and more. Purchase yours at the tourism department’s website, below.

Clockwise from top: Provençal dining outdoors (photo: VDN/P Fallon); hotel breakfast beside the Bay of Angels (photo: J. Kelagopian); colourful boats at the Port de Nice (photo: A. Issock).

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nce a winter retreat for Czarist aristocrats and British royals, Nice is enjoying a new wave of appreciation. The city’s contemporary art and design, haute cuisine and sleek new night-life rival that of its swanky coastal neighbours, Cannes and Saint Tropez. But Nice’s sparkling reinvigoration balances its historical heart, including well-maintained traditions, beautiful Belle Epoque architecture and centuries-old monuments. Curving its way around the Bay of Angels, Nice has a balmy climate that draws crowds

of sun worshippers in the warmer months, to sip cocktails on parasol-topped lounges and admire the French Riveria’s famous 7-kilometre Promenade des Anglais. But France’s fifth largest city boasts more than just fun in the sun. Former artists-in-residence including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall have given the city a legacy of artistic history. This year, Nice celebrates two art milestones, with the National Marc Chagall Museum’s 40th anniversary, and the now 50-year-old Matisse Museum celebrating Henri Matisse’s life through his work. Some 1500 works of art make up Chagall’s permanent collection – the world’s largest. This year the museum has added a new work, ‘Cranberry Lake’, the double portrait of Chagall and his beloved wife Bella. But the city also boasts modern houses of art and design, including the Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain and the Musée des Beaux-Arts. Visitors can also enjoy 14 works of contemporary art along the Nice-Côte d’Azur tramway. Continue savouring historic Nice in the pedestrian-only laneways of romantic Vieux Nice (Old Town), before stopping at Place Rossetti, close to the glorious Cours Saleya, a daily flower and produce market. It’s time for lunch and you’re in the right place, with no less than seven Michelin-starred restaurants nearby.

Chef David Vaque’s le Bistro Gourmand (www.lebistrogourmand.fr) is the latest to join the Michelin ranks in Nice, with a recent onestar rating. But it’s Le Chantecler (www.hotel-negresco-nice.com) in the majestic historical Hotel Le Negresco that stands out as the city’s only twostar dining destination. Here, chef Jean-Denis Rieubland delivers a seductive take on Provençal flavours. For casual dining, Cours Saleya brims with chic boltholes and family-style French bistros. Don’t forget to try Nice’s famous Salade Niçoise. Nice enjoys the comforts of more than 20 luxury hotels offering pit stops for fashion lovers, who come for the big-name fashion boutiques along rue Paradis and rue de Suede, and even more choices on avenue Jean Medecin. When the sun goes down, Nice’s urban energy lights up the city with buzzing watering holes and bars in backstreets. Music-lovers descend on the city each year when it plays host to some of the biggest world festivals, including the Nice Jazz Festival, when more than 500 musicians perform in some 75 concerts around the city. But undoubtedly the biggest highlight of the social calendar is the Nice Carnival, a 15-day extravaganza bringing together more than 1000 musicians and dancers from around the world. The next Nice Carnival will run from 14 February to 4 March, 2014.

›› FURTHER INFORMATION Convention and Visitors Bureau of Nice www.nicetourisme.com

MAGAZINE

29

Rendezvous en France 2013  

The official magazine of the French Tourist Bureau in Australia. From the grit and excitement of the Tour de France to the glamour of its ma...

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