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April 8, 2019




Nice is the seventh most populous urban area in France and the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes département. The metropolitan area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits, with a population of about 1 million on an area of 721 km2 (278 sq mi). Located in the French Riviera, on the south east coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea, at the foot of the Alps, Nice is the second-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast and the second-largest city in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region after Marseille. Nice is approximately 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) from the principality of Monaco and 30 kilometres (19 mi) from the French-Italian border. Nice's airport serves as a gateway to the region.
The area of today's Nice contains Terra Amata, an archaeological site which displays evidence of a very early use of fire. Around 350 BC, Greeks of Marseille founded a permanent settlement and called it Nikaia, after Nike, the goddess of victory. Through the ages, the town has changed hands many times. Its strategic location and port significantly contributed to its maritime strength. For centuries it was a dominion of Savoy, and was then part of France between 1792 and 1815, when it was returned to Piedmont-Sardinia until its re-annexation by France in 1860.
The natural environment of the Nice area and its mild Mediterranean climate came to the attention of the English upper classes in the second half of the 18th century, when an increasing number of aristocratic families took to spending their winters there. The city's main seaside promenade, the Promenade des Anglais ("Walkway of the English") owes its name to visitors to the resort. The clear air and soft light have particularly appealed to notable painters, such as Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Niki de Saint Phalle and Arman. Their work is commemorated in many of the city's museums, including Musée Marc Chagall, Musée Matisse and Musée des Beaux-Arts. Nice has the second largest hotel capacity in the country and it is one of its most visited cities, receiving 4 million tourists every year. It also has the third busiest airport in France, after the two main Parisian ones. It is the historical capital city of the County of Nice (Comté de Nice).

After the Treaty of Turin was signed in 1860 between the Sardinian king and Napoleon III, the County was again and definitively ceded to France as a territorial reward for French assistance in the Second Italian War of Independence against Austria, which saw Lombardy united with Piedmont-Sardinia. The cession was ratified by a regional referendum: over 25,000 electors out of a total of 30,700 were in favour of the attachment to France. Savoy was also transferred to the French crown by similar means. Giuseppe Garibaldi, born in Nice, opposed the cession to France, arguing that the ballot was rigged by the French. Many Italians from Nizza then moved to the Ligurian towns of Ventimiglia, Bordighera and Ospedaletti, giving rise to a local branch of the movement of the Italian irredentists which considered the re-acquisition of Nice to be one of their nationalist goals.
As war broke out in September 1939, Nice became a city of refuge for many displaced foreigners, notably Jews fleeing the Nazi progression into Eastern Europe. From Nice many sought further shelter in the French colonies, Morocco and North and South America. After July 1940 and the establishment of the Vichy Regime, antisemitic aggressions accelerated the exodus, starting in July 1941 and continuing through 1942. On 26 August 1942, 655 Jews of foreign origin were rounded up by the Laval government and interned in the Auvare barracks. Of these, 560 were deported to Drancy internment camp on 31 August 1942. Due to the activity of the Jewish banker Angelo Donati and of the Capuchin friar Père Marie-Benoît the local authorities hindered the application of anti-Jewish Vichy laws.
The first résistants to the new regime were a group of High School seniors of the Lycée de Nice, now Lycée Masséna, in September 1940, later arrested and executed in 1944 near Castellane. The first public demonstrations occurred on 14 July 1942 when several hundred protesters took to the streets along the Avenue de la Victoire and in the Place Masséna. In November 1942 German troops moved into most of unoccupied France, but Italian troops moved into a smaller zone including Nice. A certain ambivalence remained among the population, many of whom were recent immigrants of Italian ancestry. However, the resistance gained momentum after the Italian surrender in 1943 when the German army occupied the former Italian zone. Reprisals intensified between December 1943 and July 1944, when many partisans were tortured and executed by the local Gestapo and the French Milice. Nice was also heavily bombarded by American aircraft in preparation for the Allied landing in Provence (1000 dead or wounded and more than 5600 people homeless) and famine ensued during summer 1944. American paratroopers entered the city on 30 August 1944 and Nice was finally liberated. The consequences of the war were heavy: the population decreased by 15% and economic life was totally disrupted.

In the second half of the 20th century, Nice enjoyed an economic boom primarily driven by tourism and construction. Two men dominated this period: Jean Médecin, mayor for 33 years from 1928 to 1943 and from 1947 to 1965, and his son Jacques, mayor for 24 years from 1966 to 1990. Under their leadership, there was extensive urban renewal, including many new constructions. These included the convention centre, theatres, new thoroughfares and expressways. The arrival of the Pieds-Noirs, refugees from Algeria after 1962 independence, also gave the city a boost and somewhat changed the make-up of its population and traditional views. By the late 1980s, rumors of political corruption in the city government surfaced; and eventually formal accusations against Jacques Médecin forced him to flee France in 1990. Later arrested in Uruguay in 1993, he was extradited back to France in 1994, convicted of several counts of corruption and associated crimes and sentenced to imprisonment.

Tour: Nice
Depart: 09:00AM
Return: 01:30PM
Date: April 08, 2019
This lively city is nicknamed 'Nice la Belle', which literally means 'Nice the Beautiful', and as you will discover on this half-day tour, it certainly lives up to its name thanks to an abundance of European charm and vigor.
Your day starts at the Port of Monte Carlo where you will join your guide on the motorcoach for the hour-long journey to Nice. Traveling via the scenic Middle Corniche, you will enjoy stunning views of the surrounding countryside, the medieval village of Eze, the magnificent bay of Villefranche and various luxurious mansions.
Arriving in Nice the fun really starts with an hour-long guided tour on a little open sightseeing train, allowing you to fully absorb this town in all its glory. Nice is the capital of the French Riviera, and the fifth largest city in France. It sits on the Baie des Anges, a bay in the Mediterranean that is celebrated for its promenades and beautiful beaches where thousands flock every summer to soak up the sun.
Winding through the streets of this gorgeous city, your tour is narrated, so sit back and enjoy the sights which include the Old Town, and the climb up Castle Hill Park for the incredible views.
After a short 15 minute walk from the train arrival point, you will have an opportunity to explore the Old Town on foot, starting with a short guided tour before your free time.
Your guide will introduce you to the delights of the Cours Saleya, the most traditional square in Nice which was once home to its wealthiest inhabitants. The square features striking buildings painted bright red and yellow, and is peppered with wonderful cafes, and restaurants who all serve typical Nicoise cuisine. As well as the famous Salad Nicoise, you might want to try another local dish, the 'Pissaladière', a tasty local tart made with onions and anchovies.
For those of you with a sweet tooth, try the local ice cream and linger by the fountain in the centre of the square. Another fabulous sight to behold is the Place Rossetti, located in the heart of the Old Town, or take a stroll around the Cathedral Saint-Reparate, also known as Nice Cathedral, a 17th century building that houses an impressive organ.
Explore the bustling beachfront promenade, known locally as the Promenades des Anglais, or enjoy a glass of local wine before browsing the shops for a souvenir or two. For a shot of culture you might want to take a peek around the Museum of Contemporary Modern Art, before heading back to the bus.
The last hour of this tour is spent once again admiring the view along the coastal road, before you arrive back at the port of Monte Carlo, after a experiencing delightful few hours in a city that you will never forget


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Nice 2006

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