VIA NISSA JEWISH HERITAGE TOURS BEGIN IN MARSEILLE

Founded by Greek colonists from Phocaea around 600 BC, Marseille (ancient Massalia) has a long history of Jewish presence dating back 1,000 years.  Today, France’s second largest city is home to about 80,000 Jews, or almost 10% of its population.  This represents one of the largest Jewish populations on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, outside of Israel, with Marseille …

Lou Camin dei Anglès – Promenade des Anglais

It was called “Lou Camin dei Anglès”. In 1822, reverend Lewis Way, put a group together to raise money to level the land, at the edge of the Paillon River where the Casino Ruhl and Meyerbeer street are today and built a place to stroll by the sea. Twenty years later, a culvert or pipe on the mouth of the …

Fontaine du Soleil

What’s wrong with Apollo in the “Fontaine du Soleil” by the sculptor Alfred Auguste Janniot (1889-1969)? In legend, the ancient Greek deity Apollo, the son of Zeus, master of Olympus, rode a chariot pulled by fiery horses across the sky every day to bring light to the world. Venerated in various guises and incarnations throughout classical antiquity, radiant Apollo came …

Pont Vieux – Old Bridge

Have you ever noticed the glass covering just at the tramway entrance Opéra? What could it possible show as the glass has become so dirty, nobody can tell. Well, it is the vestige of the former Pont Vieux, written about as early as the year 1250. The bridge was built from stone. The Paillon River has disappeared from our view, …

Exploring Jewish Nice

While working in the archives of the Alpes-Maritimes in Nice, sorting documents from a 20th century politician, I ran across a letter from a constituent which gripped my attention like no other.  The letter was one of palpitating fear.  You could almost feel the sweat dripping with each word as the writer, processing the horror of his circumstances, tried to …

Alfred Nobel in San Remo

“Am I feeling well?” Al is writing in response to a friend’s inquiry. “Am I feeling well, not necessarily”. I am even consulting doctors which is contrary to my custom and also to my principle. In the study where he composed those words, Al collapsed two day later. He was alone at the time and nobody knows how long it …

The Story of Monaco is an American story!

This is the story of a beautiful commoner and a handsome prince. The young woman was renown and glamorous, but without royal blood. The handsome prince when he first saw her was spellbound. She was a dazzling blond in her twenties and had the most eligible bachelors around the world seeking her hand. The prince, by contrast was a quiet …

Can you identify these symbols from the Jewish Ghetto?

Robert Levitt wrote an article in Nice Matin blog about the symbols that can be found in the old town of Nice.  The initial entry of Jews into Nice is subject to speculation, but the first documents related to the establishment of a Jewish Ghetto in Nice, called judaysium, are dated in the year 1430. We don’t know whether the Ghetto …

Lenin in Nice

You might know the Vladimir Lenin was a resident in Nice, living here prior to the Russian revolution in 1917, but do you know the fascinating story of his childhood? There were two men, Ilya and Theodore, both educators in a small Russian town, both with fathers of April born sons. Theodore boy was a preschooler, Ilya’s was a teenager …

Who is the architect?

This unusual villa was built by the architect Georges Massa.  It was one of a series of homes which were designed by Massa in the Vallauris region.   Massa was the architect of a recent Villa in Golfe Juan which Via Nissa studied in completing a historical report.  Our historical research involves archival and historical studies on properties, those who built …