Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Nice, France

This isn't Italy,
but Italy is nearby.

For our
dismount from Italy in 2007, we opted to venture into France to deepen our quest for travel abroad.

We researched the area and learned there were technically two Rivieras ~ the French Riviera and the Italian Rivera. That's how connected this region is. Who knew!? Maybe you, but not me!

So we settled on the seaside city of Nice for our home base. While we weren't charmed by the abundant re-construction efforts, we encountered some fun day adventures in and around the area.

Suggested Stay: 2 days.

Must See & Do:

The Market. On select days, folks set-up for market and it's a wonderful site. Under tent covered tables, you'll find fresh and dried flowers, lavender sachets, fruits and veggies and lots more. Restaurants line the streets and it's a great place to sit out and enjoy some wine, the sites - and especially the people-watching.

On the strip here, there's a great store featuring olive oil that you won't want to miss named A L' Olivier. We dropped a good portion of money we don't have there (a.k.a. virtual money) and had our luggage had been bigger, we would have purchased more goodies from this awesome store.

A L'Olivier has everything celebrating the olive ~ soaps, infused oils, olive oil bottles. I fell in love with the store and wanted to buy at least one of everything. All for me, of course. ; )~

Locally, Sur la Table carries a limited line of their olive oil, so check them out.

Ville Franche sur Mer.

"Tina, you knew!"

Tina Turner has a property here and despite the fact we didn't see her while there, we know all too well why she picked this place to call home (even if her schedule only allows here and there).

Ville Franche is an unspoiled, seaside town that is relaxed, quiet and charming. Located between Nice and Monte Carlo, we found Ville Franche a great find, recommended by our pal, Ann.

There is an awesome bakery/dessert store near the main bus drop-off from Nice. Make sure and find it, if you can. Sorry we didn't catch the name!

Citadelle Saint-Elme is a wonderful citadel that has wonderful views of the sea, wrapping Ville Franche (shown at left). Allow at least 1-2 hours to take-in the views of great architecture... and the landscape!

The flowers were very happy here.

Biot. A short bus ride out of Nice can land you in Biot. I read about Biot in our travel pubs and went there to experience some of the famous hand-blown bubbled glass that the region is known for.

We visited La Verrerie de Biot for a first-hand viewing of colorful glass being shaped into wonderful pieces right before our eyes.

You can choose to ship your special finds back home, or you can have them packaged up in cleverly wrapped packaging, suitable for gift-giving.

Our Hotel:
Hotel Beau Rivage. This chic hotel was just a couple of blocks away from The Market and the seaside views. It was small, but clean and had a modern style. We'd recommend it, although a B&B or villa rental might prove more "special."

for the love of : france italy

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