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Why Nice?
Throughout history Nice has always been popular  -  a home to the Greeks, Roman, Saracens and Italians and it had benefited beautifully from all these influences. The olive was introduced way back in the 4th Century, the lemon and orange trees arrived in the Middle Ages and the Gothic, Baroque and Neo-Classical buildings and churches established themselves in the centuries that followed.
The French eventually made Nice their own and soon after the English also staked a claim. Following the billowy trail of Queen Victoria, the British gentry turned nice into one of the most fashionable vacation hot spots having discovered it's temperate and rejuvenating winter climate.
From Australia they introduced palm trees, mimosa and eucalyptus to sway alongside the typical pin parasol pines of the French coast and built the beautiful Opera House on Le Promenade des Anglais. It was in the writer Somerset Maugham's garden that the first European avocados were grown.
It's no surprise that they were drawn to the strawberries, melons and pumpkins of Provence and the fields of lavender rippling in the hazy sunshine. Truffles, too, were on offer all winter long and The South of France was home to one of the world's first Internationally known chefs, August Escoffier.
It was in 1887 that the phrase Le Cote D'Azur was coined and the first tourist guidebook to the South of France hit the British bookstores. The popularity of the Mediterranean Coast grew and in 1922 Le Train Bleu, also known as The Train to Paradise, made it's first 18 hour journey to the South from the English Channel at Calais, through Paris.
These days, Nice International Airport is served by airlines from all over the world and most European's journey time is now shrunk to around 100 minutes.
As the Cote's reputation spread during the 1920s more and more travelers sought out the beautiful light, the beautiful people and the average 2700 hours of sunshine a year.
Cubism and surrealism were born in this part of the world and the Duke of Westminster and his jet-set friends were frequent visitors alongside some of the most famous artistic influences of the 20th century  -  Henri  Matisse, Marc Chagall, Robert Louis Stevenson. Pablo Picasso, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Noel Coward, DH Lawrence, Raoul Dufy, Evelyn Waugh, Ian Fleming, Isadora Duncan, Vincent Van Gogh, Ernest Hemingway, … all of whom either spent time or settled in the Riviera sunshine, bringing recognition to their chosen region and leaving a legacy through their local homes, churches and museums.
Monaco's annual Formula1 Motor Racing event first took off in 1929 and the bustling Cannes Film Festival was born in '46, bringing along with them even more of the "world's most watched".
It was here that Coco Chanel first wore a "suntan" and later it was also here in The South of France that actress Bridget Bardot and friends chose to wear only one half of their bikinis. In paintings, poems, novels, fads and films  -  The California of Europe continues to be celebrated for its exclusivity, cheekiness, beauty, climate and "richesse".
Why Nice?
Well, it even has it's own personal salad…..

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