Every Monday the activities reps at Aplha.b run a free tour of Nice for the newly arrived and still slightly discombobulated students. The tour begins at 1.30pm after the reps have made sure that everyone has some water with them- it’s going to be a hot afternoon (28°c) and there will apparently be exercise involved. After just two minutes of walking we arrive in the middle of the high-street, Rue Jean-Médcin where the practical advice and history lesson begins – Nice étoile is the big shopping centre and did you know that Jean-Médcin was an old mayor of Nice ?
We follow Rue Jean-Médcin down towards the beach, stopping at Place Massena where we learn that Nice has only been part of France for 150years whereas it Italian beforehand- that explains all the beautiful terracotta and light green buildings ! The large fountain of Appollo in Place Massena also had its own moment of glory when we were told that the statue of Appollo was considered too offensive to the women of Nice when it was installed, so the sculpter had to make a certain masculin part smaller.
From there, we began to wander through parts of Vieux-Nice, through the winding alleys of high appartment blocks and passing through the market of clothes, furniture, books and toys. Arriving at Colline du Château which protudes into the sea, we understood where the exercise part of the tour would be ! However, after ascending a good few hundred beautiful old steps up the ancient hill of the medieval greek castle, we were certainly rewarded with not only a lovely cool breeze and some shade, but with a fully panoramic 360° view of Nice town and beach to the right, Nice port to the left and the stunning moutains behind. Naturally, there was also a violinist rewarding those who reached the top with beautiful music to accompany the view.
To finish off the tour at the bottom of Colline du Château in Vieux-Nice, we were given possibly the most important piece of information yet – where the best ice-cream shop is. In Vieux-Nice, there is an ice-cream shop that sells over 100 flavours of ice-cream ! Now that, if anything from this lovely tour of Nice, is something to remember.