We did something that just had to be done while we are on St Jean-Cap du Ferrat. We drove by Nellcote and checked out the huge gates that surround the estate called Nellcote and took a photo of the name. The Rolling Stones recorded Exile on Main Street here in 1971/72. They chose the location because of their access to Marseille where heroin could easily be bought. They also were beginning to make a lot of cash and they needed to live somewhere else for an extended period of time in order to not pay everything to the British Government. Fred and I own every Stones record ( just vinyl) every made so we listened to Exile on Main Street this morning en route to Nice.
The last time I was in Nice was my junior year of college. After the semester ended I took a two plus week trip through Europe with a friend I had met on the program. As we drove down the hill into Nice this morning this is the first piece of art we saw. Good beginning to the day.
The one place I did recall going as a student was the Marc Chagall museum. I am pretty sure that they have upgraded the entire building but I so remember the glass stained pieces. It is funny how when you see something from a long time ago how other memories come rushing back. The museum is small yet powerful as each piece is so intense and beautiful.
The next museum we went to is the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. The building is shaped like a circle allowing you to walk into four different rooms on each floor that house an installation. The top floor is the terrace that has views of the city. The second and third floor under that are from the permanent collection and the first floor is for exhibits. Really enjoyed the collection. This piece is made of plastic bottles by Enrica Borghi.
They have quite a lot of Yves Klein in their collection. The second we walked into the room and saw that blue I knew it was Yves Klein. Although I am not that familiar with his work (now I am as they have a pretty broad range) it is the color that captured my eye.
We wandered around the old town of Nice. This is the rocky beach. So different from the sandy beaches at home. Stepped into a few art galleries in the area and then took a deep dive into old town. There are no cars allowed in this area and you could probably get lost. Windy small streets packed with shops, galleries, restaurants and in between a few squares with flowers, fish and vegetables to be sold.
Many of the stores have been around for a long time. Mason Auer, a chocolate shop has been in business since 1820. I could spend hours in this shop. They still make chocolates by hand in the back. Picked up a few treats for later in the day.
We stopped to look at Fenocchio, a 90 flavor ice cream shop including some out there flavors such as tomato basil and avocado. If it was post-lunch I probably would have tried them. We also popped into Chez Theresa that makes a chickpea pancake doused with olive oil and pepper like a crepe. They only sell them in the square where they sell flowers vs the restaurant where we went so we ended up not getting one. Alas.
We both went for the octopus soup that was like a spicy bouillabaisse. It was served with a pumpkin cappuccino that was amazing. Super rich and flavorful. Also on the plate was a mixed saffron rice. Nice presentation. A little heavy for lunch but quite good. We had our fill of Nice and decided to opt out of the Matisse museum and make our way back to the hotel.
Really like Nice. It is a lively city with great art, plenty of museums and lots to taste. The fifth most populous city in France. Watching the planes fly into Nice is wild too. They come across the city and bank left and land on the airport at the end of the town. Nice day.