Yesterday was not a great day to be travelling in Italy or France. The first of May is a public holiday and the access to services especially transport is rather minimal. The airport lounge in Venice was closed due to the holiday, and the only transport in Nice to get to the hotel was a taxi. Even with the unexpected costs and changes, I made it to the hotel in Nice in the evening.
Basilica of Notre Dame
As the taxi arrived in front of the hotel, I spotted a rather impressive church across the road. The church is the Basilica of Notre Dame which is not to be confused with Notre Dame in Paris. The church pictured below is smaller than it’s namesake in Paris. However, it is the largest place of worship in the city of Nice.
Nice City Sights Tour
To get started seeing the city of Nice, I had booked a half day city sights tour of Nice. There were two reasons behind my decision to book a tour here. The first reason is that I wanted to maximise my time in Nice and see the most important sights. Which leads to the second reason today is my only full day in Nice with a full day tour booked tomorrow.
The tour is a great way to see the city, plus get to some spots you may not visit when you are on foot. Such as the stunning view from a lookout near to the city.
The city of Nice does have some interesting artworks and sculptures throughout the city. There are some sculptures pointed out on the tour, with some others I found while walking. However, one particular sculpture that caught my attention. The sculpture’s official name is “Square Head”, but the tour guide called it “Head In Book.” However, unlike most sculptures this one is in fact a habitable building and houses the offices for the Library. I do wonder what it is like to work inside a Giant Head.
St Nicolas Church
Nice has had many influences over the years, especially considering that it did not become part of France until 1860. Before this time it was officially a part of Italy. One of the more interesting influences comes from the Russian community. With the best example being St. Nicolas Church which is built very much in the Russian Style. As a building, it does look rather beautiful, but unfortunately, the gateway was the closest we could get.
Nice Old Town
The final stop on the tour was in the area known as Old Town. Primarily this area is a market and has some rather interesting offerings. There are the somewhat expected offerings including flowers, fresh fruit, vegetables and seafood. While you can find an array of spices beyond what you ever night imagine was available. Along with some other tasty treats in the way of cakes and sweets. The pickup point for the tour at this stop was near to the State Opera House, which is a nice building with a unique style.
Afternoon City Walk
Once the tour was complete, I decided to take a walk around the waterfront and see what else Nice had to offer. Even though the walk did recover some of the ground the tour covered, it is much easier taking photos on foot.
The first stop I made on my walk was along the waterfront. The beach in Nice does look very different to many that you see at home and instead of sand is covered in many pebbles. Of course, this does not detract in any way from the beautiful setting that is created by the beautiful blue of the Mediterranean.
While walking along the waterfront, there are some other sights that capture the eye as well. One such building is a hotel by the name of Le Negresco. A five-star hotel, Le Negresco was originally built 100 years ago in 1912, for its namesake Henri Negresco.
Today has been a beautiful day exploring the city of Nice. Getting started with a tour was a very good idea as it helped to be sure I saw some of the most interesting areas. I also managed to find a cafe to sit down for a decent meal at lunch and don’t feel like I have been rushing around too much.
I finished the day with a stop along the waterfront a little east of the main beach to capture the sunset below. With a stop in one of the main squares on the way back to the hotel to get the second picture below.