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Interior of the Palais de Marbre, Nice
Interior of the Palais de Marbre, Nice. Courtesy of Nice Tourist Office

The Villa Les Palmiers (aka Palais de Marbre) is the jewel of West Nice. Ernest Gambart, an English art dealer, built a vast mansion on an 18th-century estate to house his extensive art collection. 27 boats sailed from Carrara, Italy laden with marble for the statues, columns, balustrades, walls and floors. It soon became the center of Nice’s social life when Gambart welcomed his famous friends. Argentinian meat-baron Edouard Soulas later renovated the interior in a neoclassical Louis XV style replete with chinoiserie, paneling, inlaid wood and gilt. He also laid out the English-style garden.

Readers of Nice Uncovered know that the vast garden is open to the public and well-worth a visit. The interior contains Nice’s Municipal Archives and is usually only open to researchers and on special occasions.

This spring however, the interior will be open for free guided visits (in French). It’s an unparalleled opportunity to experience the art and design prevalent in 19th-century Nice.

The visits are from 10-11.30am every other Friday morning through June. The next visit is Friday 25 March. You must reserve in advance:

     tel 04 93 86 77 44  


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