With its balmy Mediterranean air, Nice captures the hearts of all who set foot here. You’ll lose your heart too, especially when you start exploring the Old Town. Strolling around the city, you’ll often hear youngsters calling to each other, “I’m going up to ‘le vieux’!” “Le vieux”, or the “old one”, is how the locals refer to the Nice’s Old Town, that spectacularly pretty area of France’s fifth largest city. Surprisingly, this smart urban centre boasts its own little town within the city.
The Old Town is one of nature’s beauties, unspoilt and full of the joy of living. It is famous for its narrow streets with their ochre, red and yellow façades and green shutters. There’s a hint of Italy about it all. The washing hanging out of the windows is typical and adds a characteristic touch to the neighbourhood. This is where the traditions of Nice live on. All along the streets you’ll see typical restaurants… taking a stroll here will soon awaken your appetite. Nice’s local specialties are well known for their flavours and freshness. Socca (chickpea pancake), petits farcis (stuffed vegetables), Niçoise salad… it must be time for a gourmet pause. People here love things that are authentic and traditional.
The flower market at Cours Saleya is one of the Old Town’s greatest traditions. Every day except Mondays, gaily coloured awnings are set up in Cours Saleya. The locals display their regional products in a swirl of colours. This is also the spot where Nice’s residents like to sit on the terraces to watch a game of football or listen to a short concert. Other features of Nice’s Old Town include the superbly restored Place Garibaldi, artists’ galleries, Palais Lascaris, Place Rossetti where you will find the city’s greatest ice-cream parlour, the Opéra… so many wonders tucked away in these little streets. Nice Old Town has a perfect balance between history and up-to-the-minute attractions. All in all it’s the city’s number one place to visit. In the evening, the district has a completely different atmosphere. Now it’s time to party in the bars and pubs that line the streets.
But the only way to truly appreciate Nice’s Old Town is to be prepared to lose yourself in it. You have to go up and down the narrow streets to touch their authenticity with your fingertips. You have to sit on a bench or on a step, and listen to the sounds of life. Soak up the Mediterranean atmosphere, spend time people-watching, get to know them and pick up on snippets of their life. There is no other smile quite like the smile of a person from Nice. The people of this city are warm, not only in summer but in winter too, and they speak with passion when they tell you about their city. In Nice’s Old Town, every moment counts… Life is here, simple and unhurried.
Later, snug inside the Best Western Alba Hotel, you will fall asleep as relaxed as can be! We will be more than happy to help you penetrate all the secrets of the Old Town…