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Nice (New Town)

Oct 5th, 2009 | By | Category: Historic Sites

The new town, laid out in the 18th and 19th centuries with palm trees, squares and stucco villas, is divided from the old town by the river Paillon, though you’d never know it as it is covered over for most of its length. The pink facades of Place Massenna and the jardins Albert 1, which run down the river’s course to the promenade des Anglais, form the centrepiece of the area. Among the 20th-century buildings in variable taste north of place Massena are the Theatre de Nice and the striking Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain (MAMAC). Northeast of here, bordering the old town is the elegantly arcaded, though traffic-infested, place Garibaldi. It was laid out in 1750-80 and later named after the Italian unification hero, Guiseppe Garibaldi, who was born in Nice in 1807 and whose statue stands in the centre.

On the seafront west of the rivermouth, the promenade de Anglais is 19th-century Nice’s famous landmark. Getting safely across it through manic traffic can be a challenge, and the palm trees ain’t what they used to be, but the grandiose belle epoque and the art deco palaces that line it such as the Hotel Negresco and the Musée Massena – are a joy. Shortly before the Musée Massena, the Palais de la Mediterranee, an art deco gagner casino en ligne jewel built by American millionaire Frank Jay Gould in 1929 has been converted into a hotel casino. to the west, a couple of blocks back, the Musée des Beaux-Arts has a delightful collection. A kilometre further on is the Musée International d’Art Naïf Anatole Jakovsky, while just before the airport, the Musée des Arts Asiatiques nestles among the botanical species and giant hothouse of the Parc Floral Phoenix.

The beach itself, though long, is not particularly spectacular: pebbly, and not sparklingly clean (though it’s OK to swim).
While some stretches are open to anyone and have attraction ranging from parascending and volleyball pitches to kids’ sandpits, other parts of it are carved up by private beach concessions, some run by hotels for their guests and some are open to paying customers. One of our favourites is Castel Plage, across the street from the vieille ville. It’s got comfy mattresses, bronzed pretty people and some artsy local celebrity playing chess over coffee in a friendly, relaxed ambience.

Slicing north-west through the new town from Place Massena, avenue Jean Medicin is the prime shopping street, and home to every chain store imaginable. At its northern end is the main train station, to the west of which, across boulevard Gambette, stands the Cathedrale St-Nicolas, the Russian church is Nice most visited attraction

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