Riviera 8-hour tour: Nice and its cultural heritage
If you have never been on a tour to the French Riviera (“coastline”), this is your chance to get a wonderful introduction to the architecture and scenery of the South of France. There will be multiple opportunities to take once-in-a-lifetime photos of the Mediterranean coastline. On this private tour in a comfortable vehicle with an experienced driver, you will visit several remarkable places in the city of Nice.
First, the Russian Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas in Nice. It gives you the impression of Russia outside Russia, one of the most ornate cathedrals in France. It was constructed in 1912, and after the Revolution, was ruled for decades by the Paris exarchate that consisted of the clergymen who fled to France after persecutions from the Soviet government. Some of its patrons represent noble families and aristocracy who have been living in Nice since late XIX century.
The second stop is the museum of Marc Chagall (tickets and audioguide not included in price). This is the world’s largest collection of Chagall’s paintings and works, as exotic as the architecture of the southern resorts of France. The main highlight is the collection of paintings on Biblical themes, and their hidden meanings are explained by the audio-guide available in multiple languages.
After the visit to the Marc Chagall museum, you can opt to visit the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. There, you can explore the vast collection of works by Arman, Martial Raysse, Yves Klein, fine examples of American pop-art (Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstain, and Dadaists), artists from Nice, representative of the Arte Povera school (literally “poor art”), minimalists and bizarre architects.
After you start feeling peckish, the driver will stop at court with some of the best restaurants in Nice, Cours Saleya (food and drinks not included in price). The most captivating thing in Cours Saleya is the flower market and tents selling fresh fruit that all fall together into a magnificent colourful picture.
One of the paragons of modern architecture on the roadmap is the Palais Nikaia, the famous concert venue that hosts concerts with world’s most famous stars participating (the most famous one being Elton John).
Next, you are going to drive past the Opera of Nice, a magnificent building constructed in the vein of the XIXth century Early Romanticism. It has held performances directed by Johann Strauss and Verdi, and plays staged by Charles Garnier himself.
The last point in the journey is The Museum of Matisse, sitting atop the hill of Cimiez. There is a Franciscan monastery nearby, and a hotel where Matisse used to stay. The museum holds a collection of paintings, sculptures, sketches, personal objects, and publications.