South of France: Nice
Nice is a visual feast.
The soft light toys with the entire spectrum of human emotion as if it is a paintbrush joyfully dragging itself through a colorful palette warmed by the Mediterranean sun.
To understand the level of enchantment that Matisse, Chagall, and countless other painters have felt through the decades in Nice, one only has to wander aimlessly through the streets in the summer when the sun is languidly descending in the sky.
Nice is the second largest city on France’s Mediterranean coast. Due to its close proximity to Italy (it is located 20 miles west of Italy’s current border) and its geographic good fortune of being one of the busiest trading ports dating back to around 300 BC, it went through many different periods of ownership until it became a part of France in the 1800s.
The Italian influence is strong especially in the older parts of Nice where the narrow streets wind through rows and rows of ochre, and orange buildings, most of which date back to the 1700s.
The Port of Nice is located in the center of the city. This port serves as a main point of transfer to Corsica as there are ferries that travel to Corsica from the Port of Nice regularly.:
The colors of the walls in Vieux Nice are a stunning backdrop for its many restaurants, shops, and cafes. The South of France, much like many other Mediterranean cities and cultures, possesses a very laid-back attitude which carries over into every aspect of life. It’s almost impossible to feel the anxious rush that tends to hum along the periphery of life in cities like New York City, London, and Paris while in Nice. :
It’s in the quiet moments that Nice really blossoms:
An overhead perspective of Nice showcases the Cote D'Azur and riviera as well as the wealth of colors that dominate its architecture. This photo was taken from a public lookout spot at Castle Hill, or Colline du Château:
In the early summer, the sun takes its time setting in the South of France. The sunsets range from anywhere between 10:00 pm and 11:00 pm on the solstice., Walking through the streets of Nice in the late evening is highly recommended. The light washes over the brilliantly colored walls and creates such a spectacular glow through the city:
One of my favorite things to do when I am in a city I have never experienced before is to watch where the tourists congregate and then walk in the opposite direction. It’s in these moments, that I tend to feel like I am one with the streets. These moments I treasure. This was taken during one such moment:
But, I also appreciate the beauty in the places that are popular. These are the places that beckon people from around the world to bask in the expectations of a place. The beaches in Nice on the riviera don’t fall short of expectations:
One of many motorbikes that pepper most French cityscapes regardless of geographic location:
A heart-wrenchingly gorgeous scene on a late afternoon in Nice which prompted me to write this prose while there:
The setting sun in Nice:
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