Promenade des Anglais is the quarter west of Cours Saleya – a district of broad city blocks, apartment houses, Neoclassical hotels, and parks of green shrubs, palm trees, and magnificent fountains. The famous Promenade des Anglais stretches the city’s entire waterfront with its wide, car-infested boulevards paralleling the charming pedestrian walkway that descends onto the Riviera beaches. This strip used to be quiet and privately enjoyed by the rich, but today is swarmed by parades of joggers, sun bathers, rollerbladers, and casual strollers.
The eastern side of Promenade des Anglais at Place Masséna is the heart of the district. This broad square, in fact, is the heart of the city. You’ll find an array of Italian-style buildings from the early 19th century that have stucco facades beaming red ocher. Down the block is the Jardin Albert 1er (Albert I Garden), which is a luxurious underground garden overlooking the Paillon River Delta. The flowers and trees grown at Jardin Albert 1er get their light from artificial illumination. Close by the gardens is the Opéra de Nice where orchestras, symphonies, and ballets are performed. The opera is a flamboyant Italian-style theater designed by the same architect who laid out the Opéra Garnier in Paris. The highlight of the Promenade des Anglais is the Palais Masséna , a stunning Belle Époque palace open to the public. You can stroll around the palace gardens and admire the marble statue of General Masséna. The palace is home to the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire as well, which features a large collection of jewels, weapons, musical instruments, and portraits of the past dukes and counts of Savoy.
At the western edge of Promenade des Anglais is another fine museum, the Musée des Beaux Arts Jules Chéret (Jules Chéret Fine Arts Museum). The building of the museum is a spectacular 19th century Italian mansion, built originally for the Princess Kotschoubey of Russia. The mansion features a grand staircase, salons that are painted with Neo-Pompéienne frescoes, dozens of columns and balustrades, and an English garden on the outside. The mansion was sold and then turned into a museum in the 1920s, and now flaunts collections of paintings by Monet, Degas, Boudin, Sisley, Dufy, and Jules Chéret.
Musée d’Art et d’Histoire
Musée des Beaux Arts Jules Chéret
Jardin Albert 1er
Opéra de Nice