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Avenue Jean-Médecin, named after the city's most popular mayor, is one of Nice's grandest promenades. An epicenter of upscale retail shopping, this broad, pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare is bursting with brasseries, boutiques, and department stores (and it's nearby the incredible Basilique Notre-Dame to boot!). Avenue Jean-Médecin runs from Place Masséna to the train station and makes for a delightful half-hour stroll.
Marc Chagall is famous for his works inspired by Jewish folklore, and this museum reveals a deeply mystical poet in him. Chagall was born in Russia in 1887 and died near Nice at St Paul-de-Vence in 1985. His interpretations of the Bible are presented on vast canvasses, blending candid forms with a poetry of colors. The bright and spacious Musée Marc Chagall boasts of the finest of his works. At the entrance, a small bookshop stocks a number of publications about Chagall and his art, as well as prints of his work.
Place Masséna is without a doubt Nice's most famous square, and the most majestic. Surrounded by contrasting greenery of the Albert I and Masséna gardens, the imposing red-colored buildings command the eye and demand admiration. During Carnival, the King's float takes pride of place in this very spot. Place Masséna is also one of the city's key central points: Vieux-Nice is within easy reach, as well as the sea and the main shopping thoroughfares. You're bound to pass through it at some point!
Since its establishment in 1869, Molinard has come to be one of the county's most revered parfumeries. Shop for Molinard's signature fragrances and soaps at the Nice boutique, or sign up for a perfume making workshop and create a fragrance of your very own with a little help from Molinard's expert parfumiers. The boutique also offers guided tours that offer an insight into the process of perfume making. Stop by Molinard and treat your olfactory senses to an extravaganza of fine fragrances.
A part of the beautiful Hotel Beau Rivage, Plage Beau Rivage, its on site restaurant offers a dining destination like no other. The private beach location, exceptional Mediterranean cuisine and upscale ambiance add up to a lovely dining experience at this charming place. Whether it's a family dinner, a business meet or a romantic date, Plage Beau Rivage should meet your needs perfectly. The use of fresh, locally sourced products is evident in the sublime tastes of offerings such as gnocchi, grilled sea bass and pan seared foie gras. At night, the charming restaurant transforms into a trendy bar with DJ nights and parties being organized on a regular basis.
Withstanding the ravages of time, the Opera de Nice is one of the finest cultural venues in the city. The earlier structures were destroyed and torn down and the theater as seen today was inaugurated in the year 1885 with a magnificent performance of Verdi's Aida. Hosting Napoleon III, the royal concert was conducted by music maestro Johann Strauss. Frequented by royals of all European nations, the theater still preserves its heritage. Home to the Nice Philharmonic and Ballet Nice Méditerrannée, the opulent theater invites patrons to enjoy operas, ballets and classical concerts. Rich in history and a beacon of elegance, the venue is a spectacular symbol of Nice's culture.
Though this cathedral is located in Nice, it is actually the property of the Russian Federation. The cathedral was founded and opened by Tsar Nicholas II in 1912, and is representative of Russia's presence in the Riviera. Like many of the area's visitors, Russian nobility found Nice to be utterly charming, and wanted to spend as much time there as possible. Thus, their Tsar founded a cathedral that they could attend while vacationing in France. Its coral colored facade ornamented with blue onion dome tops is reminiscent of peculiar Soviet architecture. Cathedrale Orthodoxe Russe St-Nicolas is the largest Russian Orthodox cathedral in the western hemisphere. Visitors to the church can wander around the beautiful interior or attend a service on Sundays.
Musée d'art moderne et d'art contemporain (MAMAC) is not only a bastion for modern art, but an architectural triumph. The Carrara marble towers are linked with glass footbridges; at the top, a terrace/walkway (known as the Jardin d'Eden) gives visitors a bird's-eye view of the city. Works from the 1950s to the present day are featured in the permanent collection, including some fine Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein Pop Art pieces. Temporary exhibitions and the École du Louvre lecture series are held here (November to April), as well as monthly film screenings. There is an excellent museum shop on the ground floor which offers design pieces and books.
Just a stone's throw from the sea, this municipal gallery gives all kinds of French and foreign artists the chance to express themselves through their brilliant art works. In fact, the curator of the five municipal galleries located along the seaside and in the old quarter chooses which artist or event to present from the numerous propositions received. All kinds of artwork are exhibited, but preference is given to contemporary art. Each exhibition lasts from one to three months. The admission to this gallery is free.
Situated on the hill between the old town and the harbor, this park is a favorite with locals and tourists alike. Surrounded by a typically Mediterranean backdrop of pine trees, carobs, figs, and aloes, the park's impressive waterfall, children's play area, breathtaking views over the city, medieval ruins and Maritime Museum are all part of its appeal. Get here on foot, by car or take the lift from Rue des Ponchettes at the foot of Bellanda Tower.
Built in 1878, this magnificent private mansion houses a collection of more than 6000 works of art dating from the 17th Century to the 1940s. As well as work by French artists (including sculptures by Carpeaux and Rodin), the museum also boasts a fine collection of remarkably restored Flemish school paintings. Two exhibition spaces are entirely devoted to modern art, featuring Kees Van Dongen, Raoul Dufy and Picasso. Of particular note is symbolist work by Nice artist Gustav Adolf Mossa, who for many years was curator of the museum. Call ahead to know more.
Housed in a magnificent red building, this museum stands on Cimiez Hill, close to the city's Arènes (ancient amphitheater) and the Musée Archéologique. Henri Matisse lived in Cimiez from 1917 until his death in 1954. The museum was established in 1963. Paintings, drawings and some of his earliest works are on display, along with pieces that reveal his lesser-known talents as a sculptor. Several black and white photographs offer glimpses of the artist's private life.