Grasse, Perfume Capital of the World

Grasse, perhaps the best smelling town in the world in 2018, was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity for its cultivation of perfume plants, the knowledge of processing natural raw materials and the art of perfume composition. Via Nissa brings you deep into the Perfume Capital of the World, its fields of flowers, perfumeries …

The Studies which Produce the Knowledge

We speak often about our visits and excursions during the primary seasonal months of March through October, yet all year round Via Nissa prepares historical studies, primarily studies on private homes and villas. We research the history of these homes or we do analyses for legal support. Depending on their age, we can focus on the builder and architect or …

Visit to Grasse and the Lavender fields of Provence

While it doesn’t bloom until next June, the lavender fields are always popular for visitors to the Côte d’Azur and Via Nissa is pleased that our visits to the Lavender fields as well as to Grasse, the Perfume Capital of the World and now a UNESCO World Heritage for immaterial patrimony in the know-how of perfume production will be led …

American Tour of Nice – Thomas Jefferson

Did you ever wonder why Nice seems to have forgotten the American President Thomas Jefferson? This plaque (dated 2009) was originally on display in Nice but I had never seen it. At the Hotel de York, where Jefferson spent from April 10-13, 1789, there is a plaque, but nothing mentioning Jefferson. And Jefferson was a lover of Bellet wines, buying …

How old is Nice?

Did you ever wonder how old Nice is? Well the Greeks came to the region 600 years before Christ was born. They came from today’s Turkey and initially founded Marseilles. They founded Nikaïa (meaning “Victory”) on Castle Hill. The Romans founded Cemenelum (Cimiez), a competitor to the Greeks, 13 years before Christ. Cimiez had belonged to the Ligurians known as …

Croix de Marbre – Marble Cross in Nice

In our American and English tours of Nice we often stop to visit the district of the Croix de Marble, the first neighborhood of Nice which was the home of the English during the 18th and 19th century. But if we go back a little further in history, we find ourselves back in 1431, when ten Niçois nobles were concerned …

Was Nice ever Italian?

It is a question that we are often asked, even by those who have lived in the city for more than 10 years. The quick answer is no. Nice was never Italian. Yet the administrative language of government in Nice was Italian and the local people spoke Nissart, a dialect of Occitan. During the time of the County of Savoy, …

Beaches in Nice

Have you ever wondered about Nice’s pebble beaches? Because of the great depth of the sea in Nice and the strong currents, Nice scarcely had a beach. But with the arrival of the Americans, and summer tourism it became necessary to create a beach. Sand was useless because the current carried it away, and the water, being so deep never …

Nice Midday cannon

The Vieux Nice Midday cannon: Every day at noon since around 1860, one can heard a sharp explosion in Vieux Nice. This is due to Lord Coventry, a retired British military officer who took up residence in Nice. The legend has it that his young wife was forgetting about his lunch. So to summon her, he installed a small canon …

Summer Paradise

It was the Americans in the roaring twenties which made Nice the summer paradise it is today. Before then, Nice was known as the Winter Capital. “On peut, sans crainte, avancer ceci comme un axiome: L’endroit du monde le plus agréable en hiver est cette partie du littoral méditerranéen dont le centre est marqué par Nice.” (One can, without fear, …