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Nice

Seven days

Notable from its surface (a broad expanse stretching to Nice airport), thePromenade des Anglais skirts the main beach here. There are pay-per-umbrella-and-chaises parts and absolutely free parts. A place to relax even more.

Considering that its spread-out limits enclose nearly a million people, Nice is quite an endearing city along the French Riviera. I've enjoyed kids crossing the street after school, uniforms still relatively neat after days spent playing soccer or maybe jump-rope, and learning a foreign language (English perhaps); I've seen the casual fellowship of off-duty cops or firemen playing Petanc in a vacant lot; enjoyed a kvetching barista's excellent Americano presented in the ever-present white china ILLY cup. I've joined people-watching people at bistro tables occasionally sipping from that glass of white wine. There's a difference between being mellow and just lazing about—these citizens are clearly of the former sort.

With 15th century Spanish cannon balls falling in the town, how comforting to go about your local business scurrying along this Rue obscure.

Or ride the train (or walk an hour or so) over the hill to the east, to the wonderful little town of ​Villefranche-sur-mer which is smaller and also more laid back.

Click to see our lodging

And we couldn't leave this part of the world without spending some beautiful days in Provence; in particular

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