Nice is Nice

Jake asked me where I enjoyed visiting the most during our trip to France and I answered Nice. 

Mark visited Nice once when he graduated from college and has never spoken highly of it. 

The only reason we stopped over in Nice was for me to visit the Chagall museum.  I have been an admirer of Chagall’s since high school when I did a report on him for my Art History class.

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We hired a tour guide for the Nice portion of our trip.  He took us to Monaco and around Nice.  Jake loved visiting Monte Carlo.  We both thought it was fun to see it in person after seeing it in Madagascar 3 – I know it’s silly but I’m actually serious.

Why did I like Nice so much? 

Maybe it was because to begin the tour, Anthony told us that though Nice is a part of France now, that it actually was occupied by the Italians longer than it has been by the French therefore there are a lot of Italian roots. 

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We were supposed to visit Cinque Terre in Italy on this trip but a mudslide caused our train to be cancelled and then overbooked for the next day.  We eventually had to rearrange our trip a tad minus Italy.  Hearing that Nice had a lot of Italian influence – buildings and food made me happy. 

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The buildings in Nice are beautiful and thanks to Anthony, our tour guide, we found the most amazing couple of Italian restaurants.  Italian cuisine is my family’s favorite.  So we indulged! 

Additionally, the flower market downtown was a quaint little treat to experience.  The striped canopies, spice stands, artists selling their original pieces…  We picked up a few little paintings. 

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And finally the Chagall museum…  It was quite religious actually and I learned that Chagall himself chose all the pieces personally and the arrangements as well.   That was interesting to me as these were the pieces he chose to highlight and represent himself and his work. 

I couldn’t help contrasting Chagall’s career to Van Gogh’s in that moment.  Both celebrated artists today but Chagall, in his lifetime was able to experience so much acclaim for his art.  You may be aware that Chagall was commissioned to do the ceiling in the Paris Opera in addition to the stain glass as well as several other cathedrals in France. 

Chagall Museum cafe

Chagall Museum cafe

And, Van Gogh?  Van Gogh is said to have only sold one painting during his lifetime using his paintings to barter for necessities.  It led me to wonder about the definition of success.  Doesn’t everyone think of Van Gogh as being successful?  I believe this is the subject of another blog.  Perhaps tomorrow…  I also visited Arles where Van Gogh painted his most famous works. 

 

Chagall Museum

Chagall Museum