Nice is located in the sourtheast of France on the Mediterranean cost and is one of the largest resort towns on the French Riviera (Côte d’Azur). Nice handles the official administration for the department Alpes-Maritime, and is also the second largest city (after Marseilles) in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur.
The town is beautifully situated on the Baie des Anges (Angel Bay), only 34 km from the Italian border. The long, palm edged coastal street Promenades des Anglais is world famous.
Nice has 347,000 inhabitants (2007), and if the suburbs surrounding the town is included, this figure rises to around 1 million in population. The economy of the town is largely based on tourism, however, Nice is also a trading centre and an important university town.
The area’s Mediterranean climate – hot dry summers and mild winters – is very favourable, and large numbers of tourists come here every year with this as an added attraction. They are also lured to this place by the long, inviting sandy beaches which stretch both east and west.
Nice was founded by the Greeks of Massilia (Marseille) around the year 350 BC and they gave it the name Nikaía. It rapidly developed into an important trading post at the Ligurian coast, which is an ancient name for the coastal strip which stretches along the Italian Riviera, a short distance along the French. Its history is rather complicated and it was amongst other things also allied for a while to the Italian city of Pisa. From 1718 until the Italian unification in 1860 the county of Nice (Nizza) was a part of the Kingdom of Piemonte-Sicilia, and Nice has as such also played an important part in Italian history.
It should be mentioned that the aras around Nice offer many exciting destinations, including the beautiful peninsula of Cap Ferrat, with one million houses owned by some of the world’s richest families. The town Saint Jean de Cap Ferrat is a peaceful and popular place on the peninsula, with a famous marina.
Nice is a modern city with a well developed infrastructure. The international airport, Aéroport Nice Côte d’Azur, at the end of the Promenade des Anglais, is the third largest in France. It has two terminals, serving around 10 million passengers annually. The city has otherwise a ferry connection with Corsica (both conventional ferries and fast ferries), as well as excellent rail and road links both to the west, east and north.