A lil while ago, I spent a wonderful long weekend in the French Riviera. Even though it was only March, the weather was unreal – i’m talking blue skies, blue seas, warm sunshine without a single cloud – and the whole trip was honestly just so great for my mental health. it was truly rest & relaxation at its finest.
I stayed with a friend in Antibes but took day trips to Nice and Monaco so I’m gonna do a separate post for each place just for ease of access (I’m great, I know x)
After arriving on the night bus from hell, I dropped my stuff off in Antibes but since Aniella had to go to work, I decided to hop on the train to nice to do a lil bit of sightseeing on my own.
(I got a 24hr transport pass to make travelling around slightly easier but buses are super cheap so if you’d rather buy per journey, that works too)
I decided to start further out of town and work my way inwards so my first port of call was the Musée Matisse. Generally speaking, if my trips are short and I don’t have time to see all the main art galleries, I try to make it my priority to go to the ones dedicated to one artist. Since they’re more focused, they tend to be curated really well and can usually give you a deeper insight into the artist’s style and ethos. You can also see some of their more obscure artworks that wouldn’t be in a national art gallery.
Items on display in the Musée Matisse range from paintings to sculptures to his signature paper cut-out collages but what’s really interesting is that most of these came from his own studio and are therefore works that were of particular importance to him. Pieces to look out for are his early sketches of La Danse as well as his preparatory brush paintings for the Vence Chapel.
My next stop was the Musée national marc chagall which was incredible. Prior to Nice, I’d never seen a Chagall painting in person so I was honestly blown away. Most of the pieces in the museum are his religious works but that doesn’t mean that they’re any less artistic or imaginative. His command of colour is second to none and even if something only features primary colours, there’s a richness and vividness that you perhaps wouldn’t expect. It’s hard to pick a standout piece but I did particularly like the room containing paintings of the Song of Songs. The colour palette primarily consisted of reds and pinks and every piece was just so striking. There’s also a selection of his circus-inspired paintings which is where his surrealist style really shines- the most famous work is perhaps La Danse.
I then decided to make my way to la colline du château. I stopped by Mama Baker for some lunch and picked up some olive bread and a chocolate chip cookie. Even though I don’t like olives, this was glorious (French baking, oh man, they really know what they’re doing) and I had a wander through the Vieille Ville whilst eating.
The climb up la Colline du Château ordinarily wouldn’t be too bad but in the searing heat, it felt like I was on law of the jungle. The views at the top were definitely worth it though. There’s a park to chill in as well as several look out spots which have panoramic views over all of Nice. You can see the beach, the port, the old town, and even the Alps in the distance.
I met a fellow lone traveller (Tara) at the top of la colline du Château so we stuck together and spent the rest of the afternoon meandering through the city and chilling.
We grabbed some ice cream at Fenocchio in the Vieille Ville, an ice cream parlour with one of the largest selections of flavours i’ve ever seen! i even tried cactus ice cream for the first time!
We waited for Aniella to get to nice and then the three of us had dinner together at di più. It’s an italian restaurant that’s a little pricier than what i normally go for but the food was delicious and the portions were ginormous so no complaints.
That’s it for my day trip to nice! Next up is Monaco!