The Lap Of Luxury: Nice

Film Stars Whizzing Around In The Latest Model Cars, Honeymoon Couples In Luxury Restaurants, Multimillion-Dollar Yachts And Vibrant Festivals… That’s Nice In A Nutshell.

With its back to the Alps and its fingers in the Mediterranean, Nice on France’s Côte d’Azur is the pearl of the Mediterranean. Home to numerous famous figures from Julius Caesar and Queen Victoria to Renoir and Picasso, the city has an interesting story. Approximately three thousand years ago, sailors setting out from Foça (Phocaea) near Izmir founded the city, which they named Nikaia for the war god Nike. In honor of its founders, one of the city’s most popular thoroughfares today is called the Avenue des Phoceens. Capital of the Duchy of Savoy in the 14th century, the city’s fate was in a sense determined by its air and water.

Drawn by the Mediterranean’s limpid blue waters, pure air and sunny weather, European aristocratic families began building elegant mansions here. This rapid proliferation of palaces changed the face of the city, which was also a favorite with prominent Ottoman families at the end of the 19th century. A typical example today is Lascaris Palace on the Rue Droite, a splendid structure which was restored after the French Revolution. Built in the Empire style, the Opera House in this city where numerous celebrities, among them Elton John, own property, is worth seeing for its frescoed ceilings. And the Promenade des Anglais, known for its long beach lined with palm trees, is a good starting point for a city tour. From here it’s only only a few minutes to Vieux Nice (Old Nice) and the open air flower market, Marché aux Fleurs, on the Cours Saleya.

You will encounter Baroque buildings everywhere you turn in old Nice. But perhaps the most beautiful among them is St. Augustin - St. Martin Church with decoration by the 15th-century painter, Louis Bréa. Massena Square on the Rue Jean Medecin, one of Nice’s most colorful avenues, is the heart of the city. Besides the cultural venues, this area is also chock full of shops boasting world brands. Cimiez, one of the city’s fashionable quarters, is famous for its art museums and gardens boasting panoramic views. Besides the Beaux Arts, where you can see the original of Rodin’s The Kiss, exciting venues like the Matisse and Chagall Museums truly make Nice the jewel of the French Riviera.

Getting There
Turkish Airlines has Istanbul-Nice-Istanbul flights daily. Flights times are 8:45 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. from Istanbul and 11:45 a.m. and 6:20 p.m. from Nice.