Having been in Nice for five years now, I have done a few walking tours, along with some additional research. I would like to share with you some well-known, and some not so well-known, factoids and trivia – Enjoy!
Do you know?
~ the first area to be planted with grapes by the Greeks in 600BC; Rose makes up about 60% of wine production
~ total sunshine averages around 300 days per year, with hot/dry summers and mild winters
~ the violent wind that originates from North Africa is called the “mistral” which comes from the word “mistrau” meaning master; these winds can be around 200 km/hr. (124 mph) and last 3-10 days; the saying goes, it can “blow the ears off a donkey”
~ the provencal language differs from French in openness of vowel pronounciation
~ provencal food features garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, and olives
~ Nicois specialties include Pissaladiere (onion pie), Tourte de blettes (swiss chard pie), Farcis Nicois (stuffed vegetables), Beignets de fleurs de courgettes (deep fried flowering squash), Socca (chickpea-flour crepe), Pan-bagnat (sandwich)
~lavender originated from the Canary Islands and was brought in by the Romans
~ symbols include: sunflowers, herbes de Provence (thyme, basil, rosemary), fabrics called “Indiennes” with the most well-known brand being “Souleiado”; kir – white wine with creme de cassis; pastis – licorice flavored alcohol mixed with water; Petangue/Boules – also known as Bocce
~ Monet lived in Antibes; Renoir in Cagnes-sur-Mer; Picasso in Juan-les-Pins; Chagall in St. Jean Cap-Ferrat
~ Mediterranean France is like a tapestry with threads of history woven into it with a mix of architecture – Roman, Medieval, Baroque, Modern
~ Monaco is the world’s most populated country, second smallest independent nation, and the smallest French-speaking country
~ the meaning of Nice (Nikaia in Greek) is the Goddess of victory; it became part of France in 1860
~ the Opera burned down in 1881 and was re-built in 1882; the 4 rooftop statues represent theater/dance/music/song
~ original name of the Promenade des Anglais was “La Strada del Littorale” and it was originally made of marble
~ Albert 1st park is named after a Belgian king and is the oldest garden in Nice
~ the Carnaval has been a tradition for 700 years
~ the name “Cote d’Azur” was coined by the writer and poet, Stephen Liegeard, in 1888
~ the destruction of the castle on Castle Hill was destroyed in 1706 by Louis XIV, but this resulted in the city’s growth
~ Nice’s traditional flower is the carnation; Nice’s specialty olive is the “caillette”, and tapenade is called the “caviar of Nice”
~ candied fruit was a favorite delicacy of Queen Victoria
~ Cours Saleya market was named after the sun “soleil” and has been Nice’s main market since the Middle Ages
Hope you get to visit this area and enjoy in person all that it has to offer!