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In 1822, the orange crop at Nice was bad and the workers faced a lean time, so the English residents put them to work building the promenade des Anglais, a wide boulevard fronting the bay. Split by "islands" of palms and flowers, it stretches for about 4 miles. Fronting the beach are rows of grand cafes, the Musée Masséna, villas, and hotels.

 

In the east, the promenade becomes quai des Etats-Unis, the original boulevard, lined with some of the best restaurants in Nice, all specializing in bouillabaisse. Rising sharply on a rock is the site known as Le Château, the spot where the ducs de Savoie built their castle, which was torn down in 1706. All that remains are two or three stones -- even the foundations have disappeared in the wake of Louis XIV's deliberate destruction of what was viewed at the time as a bulwark of Provençal resistance to his regime. The hill has been turned into a garden of pines and exotic flowers. To reach the panoramic site, you can take an elevator. The park is open daily from 8am to dusk.

 

At the north end of Le Château is the famous old graveyard of Nice, visited primarily for its lavishly sculpted monuments that make their own enduring art statement. It's the largest in France and the fourth largest in Europe.

 

Continuing east from Le Château and "The Rock," you reach the harbor, where the restaurants are even cheaper and the bouillabaisse is just as good. While sitting here lingering over an aperitif at a sidewalk cafe, you can watch the boats depart for Corsica (or perhaps take one yourself). The port was excavated between 1750 and 1830. Since then, an outer harbor -- protected by two jetties -- has also been created.

 

Nice has a higher density of museums than many comparable French cities.