On our second to last day we trotted off to Nice on the train, and my oh my was it Nice! We started by walking an extremely long way to the Musee Matisse - we realised rather too late that we could've caught a tram there. It was glorious when we did finally arrive, lots of fabulous drawings, paintings and cut-outs. My only sadnesses were that they were changing over the temporary exhibition and that there were no pictures allowed.
Nice has lots of amazing museums, galleries and churches, and many of them can be accessed by paying for 10 euro for a museum pass. It's amazingly cheap and gives you access to all the big museums for 48 hours! We were pretty delighted when we found this out as it meant we could blow more of our money on postcards in the shop (always my biggest indulgence!!)
Having wandered about the Matisse museum and seen the Hotel Regina were Matisse spent his last days making the cut-outs, we walked back into the centre (getting a little lost along the way). Next up was the MAMAC, home to a wonderful selection of Niki de Saint Phalle pieces (this was my main reason for visiting - I LOVE her). They really do have a extraordinary collection; if modern sculpture is your bag then I definitely recommend a visit. They had great pieces by Calder, Christo, Stella etc. I was particularly enamoured by the Saint Phalle sculpture in the outside foyer, it reignited my dream to visit her Tarot garden in Tuscany.
|More Niki de Saint Phalle|
We then headed into the old town, which was SO beautiful and filled with signs for interesting monuments, churches and palais'! We stumbled on Nice Cathedral, and I am SOSO glad we went in, it was truly one of the best places I've ever happened upon. It's completely mad; everything is gilded and frothy and wonderful. There are heaps of dedications to saints and reliquaries, including a fantastic dedication to Saint Reparata (who the cathedral is also dedicated to in it's entirety).
|Dedication to Saint Reparata - including wax memento mori dolls (which I have been waiting a lifetime to see in the flesh!! They are very popular in French and Spanish churches)|
After our visit there I didn't think Nice could get any better but it really could! We visited Palais Lascaris, a late 17th century palais home to thousands of ancient musical instruments from across the globe, plus the state apartments covered in frescos and filled with glorious high baroque furniture. It was one of the highlights of the entire trip and it was included on the handy 10 euro card - amazing. Again no pictures but I managed a few very sneaky ones when the guards had their heads turned!
Nice was such a fab place to visit for the day, I think I could spend at least 4 more there! I'd love to go back and see all the things I missed. There's a fabulous looking Russian Orthodox church, several more palais', a monastery... etc etc!!
I only have one more post from France and I'm done - PHEW!