July 03, 2017

Vieux Nice, the Old Town

During the first week of our tour of southern France we stayed in the Old Town of Nice, Vieux Nice. The city’s past under Italian rulers is reflected in the sunset colours and contrasting shutters of its buildings, and its scenic location between the Alps and Mediterranean has drawn sun-seeking tourists since the 19th century.

Vieux Nice, the Old Town of Nice

The Red Tiled Rooftops of Vieux Nice

The heart of Vieux Nice is Cours Saleya where the heady scent of jasmine envelopes the popular flower and vegetable market that has operated here since the Middle Ages.

Cours Saleya Market, Nice

Market Stalls and Cafés on Cours Saleya

Fresh Flowers in the Riviera's Largest Flower Market

Fragrant Roses and Peonies



Sweet Peppers and Zucchini Blossoms

Dried Tomatoes



Cavaillon Melons

Candied Fruits

Shoppers browsed through regional products like fragrant lavender and painted scenes by local artists or relaxed on sunny café terraces.

Lavender and Roses

Local Artwork

Café Terrace

The French Riviera was a popular destination for modern artists. Henri Matisse lived in the yellow house at the eastern end of Cours Saleya from 1921 to 1938 and the city has a museum tracing the evolution of his work.

The House of Henri Matisse

The shady, narrow passageways of Vieux Nice offer welcome relief from the hot summer sun.

Street in Vieux Nice

Many of the buildings are designed with iron grills that allow cool sea breezes to flow through the interior and then exit through vents in the roof.

Iron Grill for Ventilation

The baroque Cathédrale Saint-Réparate on Place Rossetti dates from the 17th century. The lively square filled with café tables is also where you’ll find the popular ice cream shop, Fenocchio.

Cathédrale Saint-Réparate, Place Rossetti

Café Terraces on Place Rossetti

Fenocchio Ice Cream Parlour

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