With an international
airport and the fast train from Paris, Nice is
the first experience of the renowned Côte
d'Azur for many tourists. The city was established
by the Greeks and named for Nike, goddess of victory,
but the Romans started the tourism industry here
when they popularised their mineral baths on Cimiez.
British and Russian
aristocrats favoured Nice in the 19th century,
but today it is more of a commercial centre and
not as fashionable as its smaller neighbouring
resorts. Nice still has excellent connections,
but these are in the mode of transport options
rather than the pedigree of its visitors. In spite
of modernization, the city retains its medieval
heritage in the Vieille Ville (old town), with
its closely-packed red-tiled roofs and narrow
winding streets packed with shops and small restaurants.
The Cours Saleya has
a flower market and food market every morning.
There are scores of stands, from large, professionally
displayed wares to folding tables set up by family
farmers with their produce directly from the farm.
Separating the Cours Saleya from the sea is a
strip of low buildings.
Once the repository
for the fishermens' catch, they have given way
largely to seafood restaurants. The other side
of the Cours Saleya is lined by terrace cafés
in lovely old buildings. Nice's beaches are shingle;
only from the peninsula at Antibes do they become
sand. The Promenade des Anglais lines the shingle
beaches for about five miles (eight km) and has
been a favourite for leisurely strollers since
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