Travel blog post about Nice and Monaco, France

Last April I went to Nice for a long weekend. I really like Nice, I love the old town, the colourful buildings and houses, the tiny balconies, the cute shops in every corner, the amazing food and the Art museums. I had been to Nice once before, in 2016, again for a long weekend but I was sick so I didn't have the opportunity to see much. This time, I wanted to see as much as possible. 

We walked everywhere, the weather was fantastic! We walked around the old town, finding small delicatessen shops, vintage stores and cute restaurants. We went to the flower market, walked at the Promenade des Anglais, and walked around the port. We also took the train and went to Monaco for a day. 

The above photos are from two art museums in Nice. The Musée Matisse and the Musée d'art Moderne et d'art Contemporain. 

Henri Matisse is one of my favourite artists. I've seen so many of his exhibitions and so much of his work, but I love seeing it again and again. This museum is in a beautiful area in Nice. The building was constructed from 1670 to 1685. In 1950 it took the name of Villa des Arènes. The museum was created in 1963. It exhibits the entire permanent collection which continues to increase with the help of donations.  

Matisse was a French artist, printmaker, sculptor and painter. He was part of the Fauves (wild beasts) group. His early work (mostly paintings) consisted of intense colours and brushstrokes. He lived and worked in Nice from 1917 to 1954. After 1930, he adopted a bolder simplification of form, focusing on decorative patterns as well as flattening and simplifying forms. In his final years he could't paint anymore and he started creating works using the paper collage technique known as his "cut-outs". 

Except from paintings, drawings, prints and photos there also sculptures, illustrated books by Matisse as well as objects, tapestries, ceramics and stained glass windows created by Matisse. 

The Musée d'art moderne et d'art contemporain (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art) is another museum in Nice I love and I've visited twice. It opened in 1990. The museum is located near the Place Garibaldi. The collection includes work from the late 1950s until today. There is a room focusing on Yves Klein, another French artist I really like. He was a leading member of the nouveau réalisme movement. In the museum, there is a room that focuses on his work. 

There are a few works of American Pop Art by Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. 

The gallery spaces take up three floors, the first floor hosts temporary exhibitions whereas the other two consist of the permanent collection. There is also a terrace where you can walk around and see amazing views of Nice. 

There are so many other places in Nice I wanted to see but didn't have time to. One of them is the Parc de la Colline du Chateau. It is a beautiful green park on Castle Hill. It is located at an elevated location, providing everyone with stunning views of Nice. There is a waterfall, and various spots to view the Old Town, the Port and more. 

I wanted to visit the Massena Museum, but unfortunately I didn't have time to. It's meant to be one of the most beautiful villas in Nice. It is on the Promenade des Anglais, and is surrounded by gardens. There are interesting artefacts, artworks and displays.

The Marc Chagall National Museum is another museum I wanted to visit. It houses the series of 17 paintings illustrating the bublical message painted by Chagall and given to the French state in the 60s. The collection has grown now and there are stained glass works as well as sculptures. 

I also wanted to visit the Parc Phoenix, a botanical garden in Nice. It opened in 1990, along the Promenade des Anglais. It is divided into several zones, and consists of a large greenhouse with a pond, and there are also animals such as pelicans, turtles, ducks and swans. The greenhouse is one of the largest greenhouses in Europe. There are also temporary expositions about nature usually. 

Finally, next time I am in Nice, I want to visit the Musée des Beaux-Arts. The museum houses a collection of art spanning the past four centuries. There are paintings from lots of artists that lived and worked on the French Riviera as well as some ceramic pieces by Pablo Picasso. 

Like I said, while we were in Nice we also did a one day trip to Monte Carlo. It took 22 minutes, and it was a very nice train ride. We walked around, we saw the famous Monte Carlo Casino and walked around the Jardin Exotique and Les Jardins Saint-Martin. We of course went around the Monaco Harbor and also walked around the Old Town. It was a nice experience however it's not a place I'm dying to go back to. 

I remember I booked to go to Nice maybe 10 days before I went... A year later and we are all staying home, and we have to send a text in order to go out for a walk. It's crazy how things change... I can't stop thinking about all the places I want to travel to when this is all over, but at the same time, I am enjoying the sunny weather and the fact that I can sit outside in my garden with Ito. Things are moving slower, but I'm spending my time creatively doing lots of natural dyeing, weaving, cooking, baking and reading! Hope you are all safe and healthy! 



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