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Running the length of Nice’s crescent Bay of Angels, the palm-fringed Promenade des Anglais remembers times gone by, of Queen Victoria wintering here in the 1900s, and of the English aristocracy strolling under parasols in this timeless French Riviera town. Today, Nice fuses art museums, refined culture and stylish shopping.
From grand belle-époque buildings to modern boutiques, Nice is packed with hotels for a classic holiday in the Cote d’Azur. Backed by year-round blue skies, they’re perfect for romantic weekends and beach breaks with the family. Walk hand in hand along the Promenade des Anglais, swim in the Mediterranean Sea and sip French wine in an artisan bar.
History and art are all around in Nice, from the beau-monde villas to the Roman ruins in exclusive Cimiez. Matisse and Chagall fell for Nice’s Mediterranean light and scenery after World War II and took inspiration for their art from the city. The two masters are now celebrated in museums, also in hilltop Cimiez, near the Monastère de Cimiez.
After visiting the museums, galleries and Matisse’s grave, wander through the winding streets of Vieux Nice, the old town, for an engrossing slice of Niçoise life. The focal point is the well-known flower and food market in Cours Saleya. This is the place to get macarons, clothing and, of course, flowers galore. After dark, the area is also home to the town’s liveliest nightlife.
Some of the finest art in Nice is its cuisine. Influenced by both French and Italian kitchens, chefs serve up exciting dishes in award-winning and Michelin-starred restaurants, and local bistros and street vendors deliver authentic favourites - try socca (savoury oven-baked chickpea crepes) and pan bagnat (salad Niçoise in a bun).
Wine-tasting on the River Loire, cycling up Mont Ventoux and visiting the "martyred village" of Oradour-sur-Glane are just a few of the ways to see the less touristy side to France.Read moreabout Secret France: How to escape the tourist trail
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