|It's always time to enjoy life Alfesco on lively Cours Saleya|
|Welcome to my 'hood: Rue de Jésus (Jesus street)|
|Not all streets in the Old Town are as narrow as rue de Jésus.|
|View from the studio window|
|The studio overlooks Nice's first baroque church, 17th century St Jacques|
|La Place Masséna|
From Masséna, one can follow la rue Jean Médecin, the main shopping street in Nice. The local branch of the Galeries Lafayette department store and a fancy mall are located there, as well as many other boutiques.
|Rue Jean-Médecin: August crowds? What August crowds?|
10am on a Sunday. They are all sleeping or headed for the beach!
|Rue Jean-Jaurès in the 1830s (when Italian Nice became French Nice!)|
|Rue Jean-Jaurès today... this afternoon in fact.|
I also explored a neighborhood North of downtown Nice named Cimiez. It sits on a hill and I had to catch a bus to get there. There was enough to do on that hill to keep me busy for several hours...
The Chagall Museum was my first stop. I have always loved the colorful ceiling he painted inside the Paris Opéra House (Opéra Garnier.) I am also interested in anyone the Nazis called "degenerate," as they did with Chagall in 1935! Chagall, like many other artists, lived in Southern France for many years and was inspired by the French Riviera and Provence.
|Entrance of the Chagall Museum, Nice|
|I did not know about Chagall's stained glass work until I visited the museum... Impressive!|
|Chagall was inspired by the Old Testament: |
This is his version of Paradise (before Eve offers Adam the dang apple!)
When I left the museum, I walked uphill for about a mile to reach my next stop: a cluster of historical buildings, including a world-famous museum, le musée Matisse. On the way up - and les amis, let me tell you, it was hot this morning!- I passed elegant buildings. I pictured the European royalty who favored Nice once and wondered if they had lived in some of them.
Finally, I reached my destination: the 15th century church Notre Dame de l'Assomption (I did not visit it as a wedding was taking place there,) next to the Franciscan monastery and museum. I enjoyed my walk in the monastery's rose gardens. They offer amazing views of downtown Nice, and of the neighboring Matisse Museum and Roman archeological site.
|The Monastery's rose garden|
|The Church and Monastery from the gardens|
|One walks through an olive grove to get to the Matisse museum|
|The Matisse museum sits in a 17th century Mediterranean mansion|
|Loved the colorful walls, old shutters and trompe-l'oeil windows|
After visiting the Matisse museum (Matisse lived in Nice for many years and is buried in the small cemetery next to the Franciscan monastery,) I took a quick stroll through the Archaelogical site of Cemenelum. Founded in the 1st century BC, the Roman city once competed with Nice. Very powerful, it became the capital of the province and, because of its strategic location, was the permanent home of several Roman cohorts. The ruins were excavated after 1954. All that remains today are the amphitheater and the extensive Roman bath complex.
|The Matisse museum is in good company and sits next to|
the former Roman baths
|Roman Baths (aka: Roman sports club and spa)|
Voilà, you have it. Two very busy days, and it is only the beginning. I will be strolling around Nice and the Old Town some more tomorrow, then off on an out-of-town excursion on Tuesday. I can't wait. I will post some photos when I can and I hope this story keeps you entertained until I return. I am off to bed! From Nice, Côte d'Azur, over and out.
A bientôt, les amis.