Weekend in the French Riviera

I just returned early Monday morning from the South of France, and quickly unpacked and packed again to head to school. This weekend I spent most of my time in Nice, France, with a couple of day trips to other nearby cities.

My friends and I left Thursday morning for Nice, and we spend the day walking around and exploring the city. We got crepes and waffles at an outdoor cafe and they were SO delicious. We checked into our AirBnb in the afternoon, rested up for a bit, then walked a couple blocks down to the beach. The beaches in Nice for the most part are all pebble beaches, but it really wasn’t that uncomfortable. We all took a nap on the shore and then hung out and watched the sunset. For dinner we walked about a mile into the center of town. We ate at Bazar Cafe – I got spaghetti a la carbonara and for once here I felt uncomfortably full after a meal.

More of our friends flew in Thursday night, so once they arrived we headed back past the city center to an American-style pub called Wayne’s Bar. As packed and hot as it was, the music was great and we all ended up having a really good time.

Friday had the best weather of the trip, so we made this our beach day. We found a pebble-less beach in Villefranche-sur-Mer, and the view here was BEAUTIFUL. The water was so clear and so warm, and all around us were mountains with colorful houses. We ate lunch at a beach club called Deli Bo right next to us, and I had the most refreshing quinoa-veggie bowl. We walked around a bit and explored the Hotel de Ville of this area. The old architecture and the views from the top were so amazing. Friday night we went to a nice pizza place back in the center of Nice, and then went back to Wayne’s Bar (it was so much fun the first night!).

Then came Saturday, which might have been the coolest day of my life so far. We started the morning with breakfast in Nice at another small cafe called Marinette, where I got potato pancakes with tzatziki sauce, smoked salmon, avocado, a poached egg, tomato, and greens on top. I never would have imagined this combination, but it was one of my favorite meals so far. We then hiked up Castle Hill to see a waterfall and a beautiful view of the mountains on one side, and the French Riviera coast on the other.

We headed back to our apartment to change, and quickly hopped on a train to Monte Carlo, Monaco. Never in my life would I have expected to visit Monte Carlo, but it’s only 20 minutes on the train from Nice, and it is SUCH a cool place. We walked around the city for a while, which is pretty small so this wasn’t hard to do (except it’s VERY hilly!). We climbed up to the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, which, like most sites we’ve seen so far, also gave us a beautiful view of the city and the coast (and all of the major yachts). We then went to the Casino de Monte Carlo, opened in 1863, and so of course we had to gamble. We only spent a little bit of time here, but the experience was so unbelievable.

The day has already been insane, and to top it off, we then got on another train…to another country. One of our friends got a few recommendations from a local on his train ride to Nice, which really came in handy. One of these was what he named the best pasta in Italy. So we went to Italy for dinner. We took the train from Monaco to Ventimiglia, Italy, and walked to a local restaurant on the water called Pasta & Basta. I had never been to Italy before, but so far this was the best pasta I’ve had in my life. Everyone warned us about the big portions, so we started off by splitting pasta dishes. I shared a pesto fettuccine with potatoes and green beans, and this was definitely my favorite. However, one we all finished, we still wanted more. So we got another round of pasta, and this time I shared a four-cheese fettuccine. Both dishes were so amazing, and so was the tiramisu for dessert. After spending the day across three countries, we finally headed back to France for the night.

Sunday was our last day in Nice, and it was rainy, so we spend the day walking around Old Town. We got crepes again for breakfast, then tried another recommended restaurant that has the most well known gelato in Nice – Fenoccio. The gelato was amazing! We tried macaroons as well, and then shopped for a bit before heading back to the apartment. Once it stopped raining, we ordered a few pizzas and some wine, and had a picnic on the beach. This was the best way to end our vacation – it was so relaxing to sit by the ocean, and it was nice to just spend time with each other before our early Monday morning flight back to Madrid.

This weekend’s trip was definitely on the longer side, so I’m excited to have some time back in Madrid this week to get organized again. On Friday I’ll be heading out of the country again, so I look forward to updating you all then!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s