Nice, Cote Azur and the French Riviera call to mind sunshine and vacation. The region enjoys a truly exceptional climate. On top of this, it is accentuated by a countryside encompassing an abundance of touristic and cultural opportunities. It is these same surroundings that began to stimulate tourism within the region back in the 19th century. No wonder so many people would like to live here. And buying a second home to enjoy the French Riviera lifestyle does bring you happiness. Once you have the keys to your apartment or villa in Nice, you can enjoy the benefits of living close to the seafront.
Nice, Cote Azur is one of the principals and most popular cities of France. With its favorable climate, it inspires a way of life that is typically the Mediterranean, making Nice a sought-after tourist destination. In 2019, over 13 million tourists cane to visit Nice, Cote Azur.
The city and the region are, of course, oriented toward tourism and pastime activities, but they also welcome numerous academics and scientists to their acclaimed centers of research, as well as businessmen during conferences and other various events.
Best reasons to buy a property in Nice French Riviera
The name “French Riviera” is often evoked as a synonym for the Côte d’Azur. However, the term originally referred solely to the part of the Mediterranean Coast that extends from Nice toward Menton and the Italian border in the East. Its long-standing attraction to tourists stretches back to the 19th century, when many English aristocrats visited the region regularly. The other principal cities of the region are Villefranche, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Beaulieu, Monaco, and Roquebrune-Cap Martin. Two additional sites, Eze and La Turbie, also merit special attention.
The Nice, Cote Azur area backs onto the Southern Alps, where certain summits reach an altitude of 3,000 meters. The Alpine foothills look directly over the Mediterranean Sea. The ensemble of the Mediterranean Coast and the countryside of Nice offers landscapes and panoramas of exceptional quality, with rich and vivid colors.
Best reasons to buy a property in Nice French Riviera
The Nice countryside belongs to the Southern Alps and offers spectacular sights, resorts, winter sports stations, and, above all, many villages including Sospel, Sainte Agnès, Peille, and Lucéram. Other sites that shouldn’t be missed are Mercantour National Park, the Vallée des Merveilles with Mount Bégo, the valleys and gorges of the Nice countryside, including Vésubie, Tinée, Roya, and La Turbie.
Nice, Cote Azur is located along the Baie des Anges, a vast crescent formed by the Mediterranean Coast. In the center of the city we can also find the mouth of a small river, the Paillon. On the West coast, the town stretches to the mouth of the Var, where the second largest airport (by traffic) of France is located.
The city has many points of interest:
– The Promenade des Anglais on the waterfront with large hotels and a casino,
– The city center, the square, and Masséna Street, making up the heart of the modern city,
– Vieux Nice—Nice’s Old Town—and Castle Hill both dominate the two parts of the town and overlook the Mediterranean,
– Rauba-Capeu, on the other side of the port, with its tall houses from the 17th century (see the adjacent photo),
– Cimiez, which conserves several vestiges from the Roman epoch (amphitheatres, thermal baths, houses, arenas, etc.…), in addition to beautiful properties built for the English aristocracy at the end of the 19th century.
Last but not least, a historical spot that is also worth a detour: The Russian Orthodox Cathedral.
The history of Nice allows us to better understand the disposition and the characteristics of a city that is marked by a strong personality.
The Carnival of Nice is the most important tourist event of the winter season. Numerous other celebrations also take place throughout the year, including the Festival of Jazz and the Fête de Mai. Nice has many green spaces, such as Jardin Albert I, the Promenade du Paillon, and spaces along the pedestrian trails that surround the city, allowing visitors to discover the beautiful panorama of the Baie des Anges.
Great spots to visit when you own a property in Nice French Riviera
The Promenade des Anglais
The Promenade des Anglais symbolizes the city of Nice, Cote Azur. It expands along the Baie des Anges, and is very long; it begins at the airport on the west coast, ending only as it reaches Castle Hill on the East coast.
It was created in 1820 by an English pastor, Lewis Way, which explains its name, The Path of the English. It was refurbished around 1930, and inaugurated in 1931 by the Duke of Connaught, one of the sons of Queen Victoria, the late queen of England. It now encompasses a double lane for cars; the median planted with palm trees. On the waterfront, the pedestrian promenade seems boundless.
The Promenade des Anglais has very beautiful properties like the Palais de la Méditerranée, conceived in 1929 by the architect Charles Delmas, in addition to large hotels like the Negresco Hotel and the West End.
The City Center of Nice
Rue Masséna (a pedestrian street), Place Masséna (the main square of the city), and Avenue Jean Médecin make up the active heart of the city. Rue Masséna is the principal pedestrian street of the city. On the Westside, it extends along with the rue de France (Street of France) on which we find an Anglican church that was built in the 19th century, yet has a Gothic style. Above all, it is the interior of the church that is remarkable. Staying on the rue de France, we find the Cross of Marble that was installed in 1538, on the occasion of the meeting between François I, Emperor Charles Quint, and Pope Paul III. Facing the cross is a column in the Egyptian style, commemorating Pope Pius III’s visits during the epoch of the first Empire at the beginning of the 19th century.
At the end of rue Masséna, we reach Place Masséna, adjoined on one side by the Jardin Albert I and the Théatre de Verdure. On the other side is the Promenade du Paillon. This entire ensemble was created above the mouth of the Paillon River. The buildings on the north side of Masséna Place (see the photo below) were constructed in 1835 in the Genoese style of the 17th century with a typical red color.
Nice: Masséna Place
The above photo shows Masséna Place after the construction of the tramway. In front, at the beginning of rue Jean Médecin, is the principal artery of the city. The Notre-Dame basilica is situated on this avenue. It is the biggest church in Nice, and was built between 1864 and 1868.
The Carnival of Nice
The first Carnival of Nice took place in 1878, having a similar spirit to that of the Carnival of Venice during the 18th century. It occurs at the end of the winter season, close to Mardi Gras, and includes cavalcades and float parades with flower and confetti fights on the Promenade des Anglais, concluding with an impressive fireworks show.
Vieux Nice and Castle Hill
Castle Hill is the original birthplace of the city, its location making it easy to defend. It is there that the Castle of Nice—of which there are no remains—was razed at the beginning of the 18th century by Duke Berwick, one of Louis XIV’s marshals. On this hill, we find elements of the old cathedral that was constructed in the 11th century. The major part of Castle Hill is now a public park. The panorama is splendid, overlooking both the port and the modern city.
Vieux Nice is situated between the Paillon River, Castle Hill, and the sea. It was reconstructed during the 17th and 18th centuries and preserved the architecture of the time period. The old city is composed of narrow, straight streets surrounded by tall houses. This quarter is under rehabilitation and has become a popular site for tourists. We find numerous monuments along and near to the narrow streets. Place Saint-François, home to fish markets, is one of the most animated points of Vieux Nice. In the 19th century, it marked the terminus for French diligence coaches.
Cours Saleya traces the border of Nice. It is home to both flower markets and a fruit and vegetable market. In the middle of the courtyard, behind the square, is the Palais de la Préfecture, which is the former Palace of the Sardinian Kings.
Architect Jean André Guibert, a native of Nice, constructed the Nice Cathedral in the 17th century. The style is baroque and the bell tower is from the 18th century. The cathedral carries the name of a Christian martyr, who is the patron of Nice. The Place Rossetti faces this church; it is one of the liveliest spots in Vieux Nice. The Church of Jesus, l’Église Saint Jacques le Majeure, was edified by the Jesuits during the 17th century and is also of baroque style.
The Port itself is its own small city, as it is slightly removed from the center of the city, to the east. It connects to the rest of the city by Ségurane Street.
It is not, however,