On our second last day in Nice, I awake to find that all the plane tree allergies and cigarette smoke (the French smoke everywhere and often one after the other) have taken a toll on my system and I’m not feeling crash hot, coughing and coughing for most of the night. So we opt for a quiet day. Fresh croissants from the bakery next door, a nice late start, a bit of shopping and a spot of pasta for lunch.
Nice has long had ties with Italy (in fact Nice only became part of France in 1860 when Italy reluctantly gave her up in order to repay France for their help in defending Italy against the Austrians) so there is a lot of traditional Italian cooking to be found.
And as the Italian restaurant we have chosen for lunch is right next door to Fennochio, it’s only fitting we have ice cream for desssert – this time ginger, vanilla meringue and rose pepper.
Our last night in France is to be spent checking out how the other half live in the town of Monaco. We have a guided tour and end up being the only ones on it, once again. Our guide is lovely and full of information.
Along the way, we stop at several points overlooking the marvellous coast between Nice and Monaco.
Monaco is the second smallest country in the world (first place goes to the Vatican City) and squeezes itself into just 2km². It does well in this area though, housing not on the glitzy Monte Carlo Casino, but a grand prix racetrack, two harbours (filled with high end yachts), streets full of high end boutiques and loads more – in short, a playround for the rich and famous.
They speak Monégasque here – a mixture of French and Italian – and it’s citizens don’t pay income tax. In fact, most of its citizens don’t even live here year round, but it’s not easy to become one of those.
One lady who did was the American actress Grace Kelly, who married Prince Rainier in 1956 and became the Princess of Monaco. While the Prince was happy for her to continue her acting career after their marriage, the people of Monaco were not and she had to make adjustments to her new life. She sadly passed away after a car accident in 1982.
About half an hour’s drive and we are back home in Nice.