French Riviera

French Riviera – May 28 – June 4, 2022

Cost $3800 Pay by March 31st

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Nice, France

Your hotel will be in Nice on the Promenade des Anglais.  Nice is a vacation hot-spot located along the French Riviera with spectacular Mediterranean beaches and mild climate. With old-world opulence, year-round sunshine, and a stunning seaside location, Nice is the unofficial capital of the Côte d’Azur, and a must-see for every visitor. The city has been a retreat for high-rollers since the 19th century and today offers fabulous markets, glorious architecture, and excellent dining options. 

The Promenade des Anglais

In 1931 following its refurbishment the city’s main seaside promenade, the Promenade des Anglais (“Walkway of the English”) was inaugurated by Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught.

Day 1

Welcome to Nice! Our group meets at the Nice airport at 1pm and we’ll be transported to our hotel in the city center. We’ll have a meet & greet to get acquainted and discuss the itineray. We’ll have the rest of the day to explore Nice at our own pace.

Enjoy the pebbly shores and beaches. Soak in the Mediterranean views. Or walk along the Promenade des Anglais, where our hotel is located.  This boulevard fronting the bay is lined with grand cafes and hotels. Nice offers a large concentration of restaurants to choose from.  The city is known for dishes made with olives and seafood, like salade niçoise.  

In the evening, we’ll dine together to celebrate the start of our exciting adventure.

Day 2

It is easy to understand why Impressionist painters were drawn to Nice. With its sunny weather and stunning seaside scenery, this picturesque city resembles a pastel painting. The city has a distinctive Italian character that’s especially visible in the Old Town.

Vieille Ville (Old Town)
Vieille Ville (Old Town) Popularly known as “Babazouk,” the Vieille Ville begins at the western end of the Colline du Château (Castle Hill) and is bounded by spacious boulevards, including the Jardin Albert I, Place Masséna, and Promenade du Paillon.After breakfast, we’ll walk the Cobblestone Street of Vieille Ville (Old Town).

Albert I Garden, Nice

The Place Masséna is a two-minute walk from the Promenade des Anglais, old town, town centre, and Albert I Garden (Jardin Albert I).

 Place Masséna – Main Square in Nice

The Place Masséna is the main square of the city. 

We’ll visit Nice’s Old Town, or Vieux Nice. The picturesque Old Town of Nice, with its maze of narrow alleyways and cobblestone streets, has a lively ambience reminiscent of Italy. We’ll meander through its maze of narrow lanes and architectural gems, such as the Cathédral Sainte-RéparateOpera House, and Palais du Justice and an awe-inspiring bell tower. We’ll visit the city’s daily market called Cours Saleya featuring a vast array of products from handcrafted carvings to fresh flowers and quality fruit and vegetables. 

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Saleya Course – Market

The southern end of the Old Town borders the Ponchettes market stalls at the Cours Saleya, where fishmongers and grocers sell fresh products. For tourists, among the most memorable things to do in Nice is visit the famous Marché aux Fleurs, a traditional Provençal flower market with outdoor stalls featuring colorful striped awnings (open every day except Mondays). Cours Saleya used to belonged to the upper classes. It is probably the most traditional square of the town, with its daily flower market.  We’ll have lunch here.

After lunch, going north, Cours Saleya also opens on the Palais des Rois Sardes (Palace of the Kings of Sardinia). In the present, the court is mostly a place of entertainment.  It is a splendid Neoclassical building abd was the former palace of the Kings of Sardinia and also known as the Palais de la Préfecture on Rue Alexandre Mari.

Exploring the Old Town further we’ll see a noteworthy 17th-century Baroque church, the Cathédrale Sainte-Reparate has an exquisitely decorative interior, featuring Corinthian columns with gilded detailing and many little cherub figurines in friezes surrounding grand pieces of artwork.

Just a few steps away is the Eglise Saint-Jacques, prized for its delicate frescoes and impressive sculpture collection. Continuing along the way is the  Opera House, and Palais du Justice and an awe-inspiring bell tower. 

Farther north is the Palais Lascaris (15 Rue Droite), a sumptuous Baroque palace (listed as a Historic Monument) that was originally the home of the Lascaris-Vintimille family, the Counts of Castellar. The rooms on view feature furnishings from the 17th and 18th centuries, Flemish tapestries, rich stucco work, and ceiling paintings of the Italian school.

 When we return to Viareggio, we’ll have free time to explore more of Nice at our leisure. And finish the day with a sunset drink at the port while watch boats bobbing in the harbor.

Day 3: 

Today is Free Time for the beach and other pursuits.

Day 4

Tour of Eze & Monaco

This morning, after breakfast, we’ll tour Eze and Monaco (4 hours). 

The first stop is Eze, a medieval village with crafts shops and breathtaking views from its perched setting. We’ll take a  tour of the perfumery Fragonard, for a real taste of Provence. 

Parfumerie Fragonard, Èze

The tour of the perfume factory includes a visit to the cosmetics laboratory where the brand’s creams and other skin care products are made.

The stills used for steam distillation are displayed in this room. This is a very old process for extracting essential oils. In use since antiquity, this technique was perfected by the Arab world as early as the 8th century and remains a major technique in traditional perfume making to this day.

Hot enfleurage or maceration consists in infusing the flowers in previously heated fats. This technique, known since ancient times, has been enhanced over the centuries. Enfleurage has today been replaced by modern techniques such as volatile solvent extraction or supercritical carbon dioxide extraction.

Monaco

Next stop is Monaco and Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo Casino

Monaco’s tourism and beaches, as well as, Monte Carlo’s casino attracks many foreigners each year.  We’ll have free time to browse the luxurious shops of Monte-Carlo or stroll through beautiful gardens, or simply watch the rich and beautiful with their megayachts in their favorite haunt.

Monaco is the second-smallest country by area in the world; only Vatican City is smaller. Monaco is the most densely populated country in the world. The state consists of only one municipality (commune), the Municipality of Monaco. There is no geographical distinction between the State and City of Monaco, although responsibilities of the government (state-level) and of the municipality (city-level) are different. 

Traditional quarters and modern geographic areas

The four traditional quartiers of Monaco are Monaco-Ville, La Condamine, Monte Carlo and Fontvieille. However, the suburb of Moneghetti, the high-level part of La Condamine, is generally seen today as an effective fifth Quartier of Monaco, having a very distinct atmosphere and topography when compared with low-level La Condamine.

Land reclamation in Monaco since 1861

 

We’ll visit the Prince’s Palace of MonacoSaint Nicholas Cathedral, and Cousteau Oceanographic Museum and drive the amazing Grand Prix circuit.

We’ll finish today’s tour with a drive along the spectacular Lower Corniche, which harbors ancient villages and modern marinas while checking out the Bay of Villefranche. When we return to Nice, you’ll have free time to explore more of Nice at your leisure.

Day 5

Beach time is observed!  And free to just be happy!

Day 6

Optional Museum of the Artists Tour. 

Tonight we’ll enjoying a gourmet dinner to celebrate the successful completion of our exciting adventure. 

 

Day 7 

Transfers to Airport