Nice, the seductive capital of the Côte d'Azur is more often than not drenched in sunshine, and life is more or less lived on the beaches lining a sparkling Mediterranean. The Baie des Anges, or Bay of Angels, is a busy as well as beautiful one, with water-skiers and boats leaving their bubbled wake briefly upon the deep blue waters. Swimmers and splashers revel alongside sunloungers awaiting their return to the pebbled shore.
But there's much more to Nice than beach life - for years the area has drawn artists eager to capture the exceptional light that deepens and heightens all the colours under its glow, and the museums and galleries here are full of works by Matisse, Chagall and a host of other geniuses.
Then there are the overflowing flower and food markets, works of art themselves, a glorious riot of colour and texture. Like the sea air, they whet the appetite for lunch or dinner at any number of the city's cafés or bistros or restaurants, a big part of the pleasure of being a visitor here. These fine eateries serve everything from local Niçoise staples based on bold sun-filled local flavours from fruity olive oil to Provençal tomatoes to gourmet haute cuisine.
There are other pleasures to fill Nice days - exploring the hidden passages leading to the lovely old town, archaeological sites to wonder at, including the ancient Roman city of Cemenelum, and numerous trips into the charming countryside and small villages of Provence. But the day ends and the evening starts with a wander along the famous, full of fairy-lights Promenade des Anglais, lined with palm trees and with wonderful views out to sea, before a sundowner stop at one of the many hip bars overlooking it all.
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