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Friday, April 9, 2010

Strolling the Nice Flower Market

We made our second trip to Nice this weekend & amidst the swirl of French, Italian, & English I conversations I overheard as we explored the old city, I couldn't help but feel that this town is in the grips of an identity crisis.  Whistling distance from Italy, situated on one of the most luxurious coasts in the world, & awash in British expats, Nice feels like rock-n-roll & Vivaldi all rolled into one.  

Being the fifth largest city in France, Nice proper is quite large & jam-packed with cafes, bistros & boutiques for every taste & budget.  To get a feel for the city at its most charming, head to Le Vieux Nice and enjoy the small treasures of the Marchè aux Fleurs.
Located on Cours Saleya, the market is accessible from diverse points in the city using Nice's ultra-modern tram (stop: Cathedrale-Vielle Ville) or is a short detour from Promenade des Anglais. Arrive early and experience the hustle & bustle of merchants arranging their colorful wares, take time to sample the Provençal olives, pick out an exotic spice or two, and finish with an afternoon lunch at one of the cafes that line Cours Saleya.

A short left-turn at the end of flower market will leave you at the entrance to the twisting back streets of the old city and also allow you to grab a cone at the famous Fenocchio.  If your senses have survived the mornings activities, and you've gotten used to seeing Nice's finest turnout for market day in leopard coats with cowboy boots (there are some outrageous fashions on display here folks), it won't seem like a huge leap to try the black olive, avocado, or rosemary ice cream the well-known glacier has to offer.

Nice Flower Market
Cours Saleya
Hours: Tues-Sat: 6am-5:30pm
Sunday: 6am-1:30pm

2 Place Rosetti
ph: 04 93 80 72 52

Le Merenda
(Niçoise cuisine)
4 Rue Raoul Bosio
no phone, credit cards
same day reservations in person

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