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The French Riviera gained its glowing reputation for good reason. The glamorous towns speckled along the coast of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea have become tourist destinations, but many of them still hold the same ancient charm that initially attracted me to France. Nice is no different.

Like I said in my previous post (The Golden Glow of the Riviera), three years ago I was packing my bags in Hostel Smith, ready to board a high speed TGV train to Paris. I was leaving behind my new favorite region of France to set out for four lonely days in Paris and the north coast. (Do you see another travel post coming?)

I fell in love with Nice during my first visit there. But by returning a second time, I was able to do less touristy sight seeing and a lot more living. I shopped in the markets — my favorite is Cours Saleya, which is an antique or farmers market by day and a restaurant and bar mecca by night. I wandered the streets, admiring the facades that glowed in warm orange and yellow hues, speckled with shutter-lined windows. For four days, I became a regular at a patisserie (the meringues were giant masses of deliciousness) and sampled even more flavors of ice cream at Fenocchio than I had two months earlier.

We did take a day to venture by train to Monte Carlo, Monaco, where the architecture was equally beautiful but certainly more glamorous than the aged walls within Nice’s Vieille Ville. In Monaco, a feathery-footed chicken chased me as I screamed for my life through the zoo. (There’s a video of this, and it honestly looks like a horror film!)

Three years ago, I left Nice for the last time… For now. Even though there are so many other places I’d love to visit, when I click through photos, I know someday Nice will be my destination once again.

Nice, France. By Hallie Rybka.

A peek at the endless blue sky and the iconic Le Negresco hotel.

Nice, France. By Hallie Rybka.

The rocks may not be the most comfortable, but that never stopped us from hitting the gorgeous beach.

Nice, France. By Hallie Rybka.

Place Rossetti is my favorite spot, home to Glacier Fenocchio and Cathedrale Sainte-Reparate.

Nice, France. By Hallie Rybka.

Seeing the many forms of Cours Saleya is intriguing, especially during the market.

Nice, France. By Hallie Rybka.

I’ve never seen lemons look as good as at Cours Saleya.

Nice, France. By Hallie Rybka.

Once the market clears, Cours Saleya is hosed down and set up for dining.


I couldn’t visit Nice twice without making the quick trip to Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Nice, France. By Hallie Rybka.

My last glimpse of the Riviera on the train back to the cool, green north.

Photos by Hallie Rybka.