Nice Côte d'Azur Airport (NCE)

There's a good reason Nice's airport is the second busiest in France. It’s the gateway to the Riviera, which the French call the Côte d'Azur or the deep blue coast. In the mid-19th century, the Riviera became a favorite getaway for royalty with the advent of the railroad. Luminaries from Queen Victoria to Léopold II vacationed on its shores — and the wealthy and famous soon followed suit. It was on the Riviera that F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby and where Pablo Picasso spent the last three decades of his life. The sun-drenched landscape is pure inspiration.

Nizza or Nice—C'est Bon

Before it was known as Nice, the city was Nizza, an Italian territory until as late as 1860. Today, it’s the second largest French city on the Mediterranean and one of the Riviera's most recognizable spots. When you arrive, a good place to get your bearings is the Colline du Chateau (Castle Hill), which offers panoramic views of the breathtaking city. Take a walk in Vieille Ville (Old Town), and enjoy the chic boutiques and fine restaurants that live up to their lavish backdrop. If you're an art lover, visit the Musée Matisse that houses one of largest collections of Henri Matisse's works.

Day trips are easy to take. Nice shares the Riviera with a host of dazzling neighbors including Cannes, Saint-Tropez and Monacoall easily accessible by train.

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