Nice is one of the oldest cities in the Western Mediterranean – evidence suggests that the area was inhabited for millennia before the Greeks established a colony in 350 B.C.
The city is also the fifth largest metropolis in France. Has been a beloved vacation destination since the 18th century when British aristocracy first toured the Baie des Anges. The city and the Cote d’Azur also proved a lure to painters in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Matisse, Chagall, and Picasso were all drawn by the Cote’s superb light and vivid colors.
Stroll along the Promenade des Anglais, pass by the famous pink Hotel Negresco or wander among the vendors at the colorful flower and grocery market in the Cours Selaya. Or travel the Corniche – the Cote d’Azur awaits.
To the east is fabled Monaco, while to the west is glamorous Cannes, home to the world’s most celebrated film festival.
It was named after a Greek goddess, Nike (no, not the brand)
The Greek goddess Nike personified victory. If you have been to the Louvre, you can see the Winged Victory of Samothrace, her most famous depiction.
The city of Nice takes its name from the goddess herself, being first named Nikaia, to remember the victory over the neighboring Ligurians.
It draws lots of artists, composers, and writers over the years
With its amazing views, this is quite easy to understand. The city looks over the Mediterranean Sea in a unique manner.
For instance, you can find a very bright yellow building, which was the house of Henri Matisse. Other famous people that lived in Nice were Paganini, Cocteau, and even Picasso.
Another name for Nice is “Nice la Belle”, which means “Nice the Beautiful”
Nice is so beautiful that even its nickname reflects this gorgeousness. It is also the title of the unofficial anthem of the city, written in 1912 by Menica Rondelly.
With the pristine beach, the wonderful architecture and the rich history, you can see the name makes a lot of sense.
An annual festival is held and has been ever since the Middle Ages
Every year in February, the carnival is a colorful and festive event. Traditionally, it was a day for the lower classes to wear masks and mock the powerful without drawbacks.
Musicians and dancers from all around the world put on a fantastic shows since the Middle Ages.
So, make sure to book your tickets in advance, because this is definitely one of the best things to do in Nice!
Nice’s beaches are very unusual: they are filled with rocks
While the beaches are fantastically beautiful, they are very unusual, as they are filled with rocks.
That is because they come from the mouth of the Var and the Paillon rivers. The stones were then washed down, to be later deposited on the beach.
Nice has its own local heroine: Catherine Ségurane
Only 3,000 inhabitants lived in Nice in 1506. At that time, they were attacked by an army of 20,000 Franco-Turks. The siege lasted for weeks, and the town was still hanging on.
However, when the soldiers tried to attack once more, a washer-woman called Catherine Ségurane climbed up the walls and beat a soldier to death with her laundry bat. She then grabbed his flag and… wiped her ass with it. The attackers were humiliated and left the city.
The flag of Nice is made of a red eagle, since the 15th century
This is probably the most accurate way to depict the community of Nice. Since the 15th century, the Red Eagle has been the symbol of the city. It was the emblem of the House of Savoy, which was ruling the city at the time.