nice, côte d'azur, france - italian vibes in the south of france

a long weekend in the french riviera was my present to myself for 1 year of living in europe and 1 year of grad school in the bucket. peeling myself away from computer screens and e-textbooks and endless pages of math formulas and instead being dropped into perpetual paradise, always warm and pleasant temperatures, always a blemishless blue sky, and unlimited rosé... nothing better.

view from colline du chateau, nice, cote d'azur, france

port de nice, cote d'azur, france

port de nice, cote d'azur, france
we stayed in a doctor's second home directly on the port, windows in every room, for a 360' view. said doctor was extremely french and very touchy and friendly towards me, and essentially completely ignored alex. 

he also for some reason was completely baffled by my name, asking me to repeat it three times, and then settling on the pronunciation "messah," despite "michelle" actually being a french name?

port de nice, cote d'azur, france

we landed at some horrible hour like 7am and took a walk around the city's central market, on cours saleya.

cours saleya, nice, cote d'azur, france

cours saleya, nice, cote d'azur, france

cours saleya, nice, cote d'azur, france

cours saleya, nice, cote d'azur, france

cours saleya, nice, cote d'azur, france

cours saleya, nice, cote d'azur, france

cours saleya, nice, cote d'azur, france



cours saleya, nice, cote d'azur, france

cours saleya, nice, cote d'azur, france


we stopped for breakfast at Pain et Cie, but the internet says this doesn't exist in nice. it wasn't remarkable anyway, though it was immensely packed. good people watching, anyway.

afterwards, we wandered the streets of old town in endless, aimless loops -- the signature michelle/messah self-guided tour.

old town nice, cote d'azur, france

old town nice, cote d'azur, france

old town nice, cote d'azur, france

old town nice, cote d'azur, france

old town nice, cote d'azur, france

old town nice, cote d'azur, france

old town nice, cote d'azur, france

old town nice, cote d'azur, france

old town nice, cote d'azur, france

old town nice, cote d'azur, france

old town nice, cote d'azur, france

old town nice, cote d'azur, france

old town nice, cote d'azur, france

old town nice, cote d'azur, france

old town nice, cote d'azur, france
you know me, always playing it cool.

old town nice, cote d'azur, france

old town nice, cote d'azur, france

old town nice, cote d'azur, france

old town nice, cote d'azur, france

old town nice, cote d'azur, france

old town nice, cote d'azur, france

old town nice, cote d'azur, france

the fish market, teeming with greedy seagulls waiting for the men to turn their backs. and below, the goods.

old town nice, cote d'azur, france

when we looked at our watches it was 10.30 in the morning. too early for lunch, too early to start drinking. instead we decided to climb a mountain. 

the colline du chateau (chateau hill) has okay views of the entire city.

view from colline du chateau, nice, cote d'azur, france

view from colline du chateau, nice, cote d'azur, france

view from colline du chateau, nice, cote d'azur, france

view from colline du chateau, nice, cote d'azur, france

port de nice, cote d'azur, france


view from chateau hill, nice, cote d'azur, france
pas mal, i guess. eh. if you're into this kind of thing.

le barbecue, nice, cote d'azur, france
LE BARBECUE - 3 RUE DU FOUR 

stopped for an incredibly spectacular lunch here, that started with me ordering half a carafe of rosé. for myself. (alexander had a beer.)

le barbecue, nice, cote d'azur, france

le barbecue, nice, cote d'azur, france
herbed grilled prawns and salad and rosé for me, and for alex steak and a beer.

le barbecue, nice, cote d'azur, france

fenocchio, nice, cote d'azur, france
FENOCCHIO - 2 PLACE ROSSETTI

the most famous gelato joint in nice,  opened in 1966. they're notorious for their rather odd-duck flavors: tomato-basil, beer, cactus, avocado... we went the more traditional route.


fenocchio, nice, cote d'azur, france

and then waddled around the city some more, since we hadn't entirely covered it that morning (we absolutely had).

vieux nice, cote d'azur, france

vieux nice, cote d'azur, france

vieux nice, cote d'azur, france

vieux nice, cote d'azur, france

vieux nice, cote d'azur, france

vieux nice, cote d'azur, france

vieux nice, cote d'azur, france

vieux nice, cote d'azur, france

vieux nice, cote d'azur, france

vieux nice, cote d'azur, france

maybe we stopped for a drink.

vieux nice, cote d'azur, france
if this were america i would've ripped off all my clothes and rolled around in the cool cool water filling this square with all the other naked four-year-olds, but it's europe, and in the back of my head there is always this furious swiss voice going "IMMEDIATE DEPORTATION." so, next time.

nice coastline at night, cote d'azur, france

we took a little break at home before dinner and then walked back into the old town along the water.

restaurant du gesu, nice, cote d'azur, france
DU GESU - 1 PLACE DU GESU

we sat for dinner al fresco at Du Gesu, which is at the base of a magnificent church, whose doors were open, letting light organ music out into the square.

restaurant du gesu, nice, cote d'azur, france

restaurant du gesu, nice, cote d'azur, france
i snuck into the interior while alex fumed that the male owner seated two gorgeous young women in short skirts before us, when we'd come well before them... nothing you can do but laugh.

restaurant du gesu, nice, cote d'azur, france
alex had a pizza and i had carbonara, and we ordered the same rosé that everyone else was drinking. the other guests were mainly locals, laughing and shouting in that heavy italian-french dialect native there. i kept thinking back to a restaurant my dad and i ate at in sardinia, and i kept telling alex, "i love italy. italy is the best country."

"we're in france," he kept pointing out.

but can you blame me? all the marigold yellow buildings and gelato and italian-accented french (the cote d'azur is pretty much as italian as french cities come, being so close to the border); the street signs all written in italian and french... so damn easy to forget.

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