I was recently in Nice on business. My last visit was in 1990 and I could barely recognise the capital of the Riviera now. Surprises around every corner, especially at Place Massena, where the eye-catching Conversation in Nice takes centre stage.
In 2007, Catalan artist Jaume Plensa created this very cool and contemporary art installation, comprising seven statues along the tram lines, representing the seven continents: large opaque men, on tall pedestals. At night, they are illuminated in different, ever-changing colours.
And that’s how they converse, the continents, in a dialogue of colours – with each other, and with us. Where I’d normally hasten along, I’m instead persuaded to stop for a bit – and look up, waiting for the colour to change. What will he say next? What does purple mean? Green? Pink? Hypnotic, almost.
Greek gods at Place Massena
Another addition to Place Massena – or rather, a reintroduction – is the cherished La Fontaine du Soleil – a large fountain comprising five sculptures from Greek mythology: here’s Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars and Saturn surrounding a magnificent seven-metre tall Apollon in shiny white marble. Again I feel invited to linger, to walk slowly around it, taking in the details.
When I was here last, Place Massena was busy with traffic. Today, the square is equally busy, but much more pleasant. Like most of the old town, Place Massena is back in the hands of the city’s pedestrians. And the tram:
Buildings in Vieux-Nice look beguiling at night, like this red ochre Italianate facade on Place Massena:
… and these, on the lively Place Rossetti:
Just a few metres away, Promenade des Anglais hugs the Mediterranean coastline, an excellent venue for a lazy stroll to gawk at shiny people, fast cars and fabulous hotels, such as the legendary Le Negresco –
– and more superb facades
Have you been in Nice recently?
Nice, Winter Resort Town on the Riviera is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Here are more UNESCO World Heritage sites around the world.
Beautiful images! I love the are area around place Massena, used to live just around the corner for 2 years, unfortunately mostly during the big renovation project.
I’d love to live in this area for a while 🙂
I love the idea of changing the colors to indicate the exchange between them. Very imaginative. Nice conversation piece. Beautiful shots of Nice. You have a cool job!
Can’t complain 🙂
I’ve never set foot in Nice but it sure looks lovely. I like any city where the pedestrians have half a chance of walking without cars zipping by.
Me too. Thankfully, more and more countries are becoming aware…
I LOVE Nice – thanks for sharing your photos. Aren’t the colours beautiful?
Striking. I really enjoyed Nice this time.
I haven’t been to Nice in a long time and unfortunately it was almost always in transit. Looks very pretty!
The whole Côte d’Azur is gorgeous, but Nice is absolutely worth a few days in itself.
Amazing photos! Nice is a gorgeous place.
Thanks. It really is a lovely city now.
Those colour changing statues are quite cool, and the whole place looks quite pretty, definitely wouldn’t mind visiting 🙂
They are indeed very cool and unusual.
This is somewhere I’ve never been, and it looks wonderful from your photos, Sophie.
Thanks, Andrew 🙂
I love Jaume Plensa’s work, I think his figures have become very iconic – you don’t need to read his name to recognise those curves! I’m fortunate to live nearby England’s best sculpture garden, so you’ve just reminded me that I’m due a revisit!
Nice looks very striking by night…
You know, I wasn’t at all familiar with him before I was in Nice recently. Would love to see more of his works.
Gorgeous photos of what is such a cool building!! I’ve been to Nice once, so long ago. I was definitely focused on the markets and beaches lol
And fab markets and beaches they are…
I haven’t been to Nice for the last many years, but it looks exactly as remembered.
Hey Anne-Sophie, looks like you had a ball I wish business would take me to Nice! Thanks for putting up these pics!
Yes, I’m lucky with jobs 🙂
just a heads up, the gods around Apollo are roman not Greek.