J’aime Nice

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Nice, France is an amazing place. We fell in love with it while visiting these last few days. This trip was to check out the area, look at an apartment, and explore food and dining options. But most of all we had looked forward to the change in scenery—to enjoy Nice and the Mediterranean Sea.

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We have decided to leave Paris and move to Nice hopefully starting July. Although we like Paris, it is not the place for us. When we last visited in 2009 we were different people. Now back, we appreciate the city for its history and fabulous architecture and sites, but the quality of life here is not for us. Because health has become tremendously important for us and is a big part of our life, we have yearned for cleaner living and a calmer pace of life. We are drawn to a beach life. We love the sun, ocean, mountain and clean air. We love being outside, hiking and biking. That said, this only confirms our desire to live in a beach town in California when we get back to the states. And while in France, Nice is going to be our new home.

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We did not want to leave Nice as we were in heaven. We love it for so many reasons, and the place is a perfect fit for us. I had done my research on things that would be available to us while living here, and during our trip we checked all of these things out. There are several organic stores; there is one 100% vegan, organic restaurant, but plenty of vegan friendly restaurants; there are many fresh-pressed juice and salad shops. And lastly, restaurants are more happy and willing to customize dishes to be vegan.

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We would be living one block from the beach and since Nice is accessible on foot, we would walk everywhere. The Promenade des Anglais makes for a nice place to go walking and biking. And Vieux Nice (Old Nice) has an outside market, a plethora of shops, cafes and restaurants. Shopping, dining and entertainment are easily within reach around town square, Place Massena. There are even several movie theaters around that play some movies in English with French subtitles. We checked one out on Sunday night and watched Oblivion.

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Place Massena

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Promenade des Anglais

And for the love of beaches, Nice is a short train ride to Cannes, Antibes, St. Tropez and Monaco, and a short ferry ride to the island of Corsica. We look forward to beach hopping around the Mediterranean and three hundred and twenty days of sunshine! Of course while we were visiting it happened to be the few days when it rained or had bipolar weather. Despite it, we had a blast and look forward to going back.

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8 thoughts on “J’aime Nice

  1. I don’t blame you for wanting to get out of Paris and head for the south. Much, much nicer weather, probably a healthier lifestyle as well. It’s an enviable part of the country to live in, the problem is most often jobs. Mind my asking what you will do for work? Great post & pictures, by the way 🙂

    • Thanks! Yes, the weather is much nicer. The air is MUCH cleaner with the ocean breeze coming through. My husband works remotely for the U.S. I quit my job in science and am writing a novel while in France.

    • Thank you! Glad to hear you really like the region as well. We wanted to go to Antibes, but didn’t have a chance. We’ll have to visit it once we’re living in Nice.

  2. Thanks for this post. We moved to Brittany last June from the U.S.. This fall, we came to the Cote d’Azure for the sun and haven’t left yet. We plan to explore Nice for a long term home. Any ideas for neighborhoods to rent apartments near-ish the beach?

    Alice

    • I think Brittany is a lot nicer and cleaner than the Cote d’Azure. Unfortunately Nice didn’t turn out to be what we had hoped for, but that may not be the case for you. We stayed in a prime location, The Golden Triangle, and was very close to the beach. To be exact, we were on the street Rue de France right behind Musee Massena and Hotel Negresco. We were just a block away from the Promenade des Anglais and beach. If you want to stay right on the promenade, there are some properties for rent and sale further down towards the airport, and further away from the main area and Old Nice. Otherwise, where we stayed is a great location: it’s close to the beach and near restaurants, shops, and walking distance to everything towards Old Nice.

      • Wow. Thanks for the advice on Nice. We’ll drive there and explore. I’m fond of historic areas. The kids would like to be nearer a beach. Walking distance is a must. I like to leave the car parked. But it may be too big a town for us.

        I LOVE Brittany. That’s the area that pulled us back to France. My physiology simply doesn’t tolerate the low heavy clouds and rain that is so often there. even last summer was a bot gloomy for me. If the weather were sunnier, we’d still be there.We moved south for the sun.

        The rental we’re in here is done mid-April. We’ll have to find another place. This town (La Londe les Maures) is pleasant, calm, easy to walk in and safe for the kids. The beach requires a long bike ride or a car trip from the house. And it lacks any historic area or old stone church at the heart. The town was built about a hundred years ago.This may turn out to be “it”. But I want to look around more.

        I’d prefer to rent (furnished if possible) till I can be more sure of what we’re doing and where. I don’t look forward to loading our life down with possessions again. It was hard enough to sell our home and give everything away.

        It sounds like you’re no longer in Nice. Have you found a better fit elsewhere in France or moved on?

        I was interested to read your experiences learning Italian on top of French. I’m working on this now. I’ve studied Spanish in my past. Now, I can say a sentence with spanish, french, english and italian confused all together. 😉 Progress, I suppose?

        Happy New Year. All the best.

        Alice .

  3. Hi Alice,

    Nice main center by the beach isn’t that big. We walked everywhere, and they have bike rentals, Velobleu, that you could rent for really cheap. I guess we lived in a good location as well, so walking to the Bio market was only 10 minutes for us and to the beach was just a minute. Walking to shopping and the old town took a little longer, maybe 15 minutes, but it wasn’t bad. Since you have a car, I’m not sure about the parking situation with the apartments there. You’ll find some apartments furnished around here. Check on Craigslist. Unfortunately, the place we lived in is already booked… and it is quite small.

    There is some history to Nice, but I don’t find it as rich and interesting as other places. And the place does have nice weather, but the cigarette smoke, sewer and dog poo is pretty bad there. It really was unpleasant for us. It is very crowded too, since it’s a big tourist spot. Nice looks nice in pictures and to visitors, but living there for us was very different than visiting the first time. Also, the place isn’t very well maintained for being such a high trafficked place. It could be a lot nicer of a place if it was.

    Yes, we’ve moved away from Nice — and France. We’re now in Berlin for a couple months before we head back to the States.

    That’s funny about the languages. I’ve mixed French and Spanish up as well, and now with German.

    Happy New Year to you, too!

    Angie

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