I began the day by leaving the apartment. It’s the one on the lower right of the picture. Yes, the one with the giant street light that makes an audible hum in the evenings. Luckily the bedrooms are around the back and are super quiet.
I started with a wander back through the Vieille Ville, or Old Town.
Violet Sky wanted more information on the food. Here is the most famous chocolatier in Nice. Queen Victoria used to visit here.
Hand made pasta. Nice invented gnocci. I ate some gnocci for dinner last night. I had veal escalopes with tomato, mozzarella and basil. The gnocci accompanied the dish. I ate at La Baie d’Amalfi and it was good. It was very good. I will stop with the short sentences now. Must be something to do with thinking about food.
No candlestick maker but I’m sure there must be one.
Some of the buildings in the old town date back to the 14th century.
The streets still follow the medieval plan.
Just when you think the streets can’t get any narrower…
…you come across a square…
…or place. This is the Basilique-Cathédrale Sainte-Marie et Sainte-Réparate de Nice on Place Rosetti. The cathedral is named after the patron saint of Nice who was martyred at 15. Her head was chopped off and was said to be transported by three angels over the sea, which is why the sea by Nice is called the Bay of Angels. It was built between 1650 and 1699. It’s very beautiful inside but you can’t take photos.
By this time I was a little peckish so I stopped for a mid-morning coffee and a crepe (citron et sucre) just to the right of the tables pictured. I forgot to take a picture of the crepe.
A fairly ordinary (by Nice standards) doorway on a narrow street? This is the seventeenth century Palais Lascaris. Many of the buildings in old Nice were originally large homes of the wealthy.
The entry hall.
Tapestry room. You get the idea.
I then took the bus out of Nice to Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat to visit Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild.
A glorious Genovese-inspired palzzo built by Beatrice de Rothschild to house her collection of art, antiquities and porcelain, this was one of the places I was looking most forward to visiting. The house is built on the top of the narrowest part of the Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat peninsula and has over ten acres of gardens.
The fountains come on every twenty minutes and are choreographed to classical music.
The house and gardens have glorious views over the town of Villefranche-Sur-Mer.
Not bad looking in the other direction either (towards Monaco).
Everywhere you turn there’s a wonderful vista.
The entire estate was designed to remind Beatrice of being on a grand ship as she loved to travel.
There was the formal French Garden, a Japanese Garden, Spanish Garden…
…the Rose Garden was not quite ready to bloom yet.
The Stone Garden was for all of the stone antiquities she couldn’t fit in her house. No reproductions here folks, these are the real Roman thing.
The interiors were just as spectacular.
The grand Salon.
A table that once belonged to Marie Antoinette.
Miniature chairs for her dogs.
There was all sorts of Sevre and Meissen porcelain, tapestries, doors from the Imperial Palace in Beijing, you name it, she collected it.
I had lunch there. This was a spinach and salmon quiche.
A pear and apricot tart.
I was there for most of the day and got the bus back to Nice around 4:30. I walked through the Port of Nice area looking in antique shops.
It then started to rain. This evening I wandered the streets looking for a nice place to eat dinner but I wasn’t feeling too intrepid, particularly given the wet weather. After looking around I decided to go back to the Baie d’Amalfi, where I had the best beef fillet I have ever tasted. It came with a a sauce made of gorgonzola and green peppercorns and was served with a delicious home made pasta. I had caramelised apple pie with ice cream for dessert. It was even better than the lemon pie I had the night before. There are no photos as it kind of feels weird sitting by yourself in a restaurant taking flash photography of your food. I was planning to take Mark to this restaurant when he arrives but it’s closed the two nights he’s going be here. That’s a shame.
Perhaps I need to go back again, so that I can fully explore the menu and can describe it to him.