Nice is said to be one of the oldest human settlements in the whole of Europe. Terra Amata, which is one of the archeological sites in Nice, shows that there was some very early use of fire. It was around 350 BC that the Greeks permanently settled in Nice. They called in Niakai, after the goddess of victory Nike. The name today is Nice La Belle, which means Beautiful Nice.
The town has changed hands many years throughout history. This is mainly due to its very strategic location and old port. This lead to it being a maritime force to be reckoned with. Unsurprisingly, it was dominated by the Italians for many years, until it became part of France in 1860.
Nice has been a touristic area since the late 18th century. It was then that the British upper class discovered the beauty and glorious landscape of Nice and started to flock here to escape the cold British weather. In fact, one of the main touristic areas of Nice is called the “Promenade des Anglais”, which means the Walkway of the English.
Interestingly, Nice has been a popular tourist destination across the years not just for its lovely climate and beautiful landscape, but also because it is a city of inspiration. Because the light is soft and the air is clean, some of the best known painters of Europe have been here, including Matisse, Chagall and Arman. Some of these now have museums dedicated to them in Nice.
Clearly, Nice has a very long history. In fact, it is believed that the first settlement took place over 400,000 years ago. It will come as no surprise that many archeologists relish at the thought of being able to spend some time in Nice, trying to find new artifacts and new evidence of early human settlement.
We had a great time!
read our story