What comes to mind when visiting Nice? Let’s see…. La Promenade des Anglais,
But also that “coolitude” ( cool+ attitude) depicted by the nonchalance life style of rich and beautiful people.
The French Riviera of the 1920s and early ’30s was a haven for artists and writers from the far reaches of the world. Legendary personalities such as Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Picasso, Picabia, Cocteau, Josephine Baker and Piaf – just to name a few- chose Nice, between a desire for creation, the quest for happiness, and the looming darkness of World War II.
To this day, Nice is a major destination, partly because of its international airport. On this particular occasion, I only stayed for a couple of days. I walked around the three main attractions of the city,
Le Cours Saleya and its wonderful flower market
Nobody is indifferent to them. The seven resin statues on Massena square were created by Jaume Plensa, Spanish artist specialized in monumental art. These seven characters represent seven continents and the communication between the different communities of today’s society. The name of this creation is “Conversation à Nice”. The statues are illuminated every night, colours are changing smoothly to emulated a dialog between them. There are quiet impressive.
You will see a large fountain called the “Fontaine du Soleil”, the Sun Fountain. There are 5 bronze sculptures in the basin and in the centre stands an impressive marble Apollo. He is 7 meters (23 feet) tall and weighs in at 7 tons. He is definitely the king of the square and you would think this giant would be admired and respected… but not by the Niçois.
The spectators claimed that he looked like an advertisement for the most popular automobile at the time, the Renault 4CV, known as the “4 horsepower”. So the magnificent Greek deity was saddled with the nickname – “the 4 horsepower statue”.But there was a bigger problem – and it was located further down the nude sculpture. Some conservative inhabitants of the city thought that his “manhood” was too large, while some older ladies thought it was too small …
There is something about the light in Nice that makes blues seem bluer. Monsieur Matisse would agree.
Henri Matisse first came to Nice in 1916, when his doctor sent him to recover from bronchitis. In his first decade in Nice, Matisse lived at the Hôtel Beau Rivage on the Promenade des Anglais, which also hosted the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nietzche and Chekov. In 1918, Matisse took a room at the Hôtel de la Mediterranée, which he kept for four years.
I mentioned twice F. Scott Fitzgerald, because somehow I associate him to the ambiance of the Riviera and Henri Matisse to the colours of it. Please visit the Fitzgerald link above and you’ll be mesmerized.
On my way back to Paris, I stopped over night in Valbonne to visit dear friends and we had a fantastic time.
Until next time, bye and be good 🙂