Start Cimiez/Hôpital Nice
Finish Bibliothèque Romain Gary
Time 3 hours
Good for History, art, archaeology, Belle Epoque architecture
Points of Interest Roman baths & Amphitheater, Franciscan Monastery, Matisse Museum, Chagall Museum, Archaeological Museum
Points to Note Museums are closed Tuesday
Cinephiles love to point to the Victorine Studios in west Nice as the beginning of cinema in Nice but it’s not true! I was as surprised as anyone to discover that Nice’s first movies were made on an estate in Cimiez (item number 14 in the Cimiez walk). But there are so many surprising discoveries on this walk from a saintly skeleton in the Franciscan church (item number 6) to a Buddhist pagoda (item number 25).
Now that the Nice Jazz Festival moved from Cimiez to central Nice, the neighborhood displays few remnants of the artistic life that once flourished there except for the architecture which is superb.
It’s hard to believe this splendid Belle Epoque building is now a hospital (item number 1). You’ll discover so many landmark buildings on this walk. Even buildings that were never famous or historic still display a fine sense of detail such as this one on avenue Leopold II:
Or this enchanting frieze you’ll pass on boulevard de Cimiez:
My favorite is the unusual Hotel Alhambra, now a residence (item number 22). You would never know you’re in Nice!
Don’t miss the outstanding Pietà by Louis Brea in the Franciscan church (item number 6)
I would love to show photos from inside the Matisse Museum but it was closed during the entire writing of this book. Have they changed the display of Matisse’s works? I wouldn’t know. Let me know in the Comments section below.