My weekend trip to the French Riviera was my first experience traveling to France. The whole weekend was so amazing that it made me question my decision to study in Florence. I truly fell in love with the vibe of the French Riv, and it will forever remain one of my favorite places in the world.
We arrived in Nice, France just in time to explore the fruit and flower market. I chatted with the French men at the fruit stand and purchased some fresh watermelon for our picnic lunch. The market sold the most beautiful flowers and jars of delicious olive paste and other food products. Everyone was so friendly. I could’ve spent the entire day there.
We hiked up to a lookout point that gave us an amazing view of the coastline. While the view itself was breathtaking, the hike up to the lookout point was just as good. We passed beautiful greenery and even a waterfall. When we reached the top, we admired the view and indulged in the fresh fruits we purchased at the market while relaxing in the shade. Next, we took a short bus ride to Villefranche to spend the rest of the day at the beach. The water was so blue, it was unbelievable.
The next day we headed over to Eze for a tour of a perfumery. We learned how perfumes are made and were given the chance to test the most popular scents. After the perfumery, we hiked up to one of Eze’s exotic gardens. The gardens offered an amazing view of the plants as well as the water far below us.
After Eze, we traveled to Monaco for the day to attend the International Yacht Show. In one of the brochures I learned that it cost each yacht owner $5 million to park their boat at the show for one week. After viewing the boats, we scoped out the Casino de Monte-Carlo. Casino de Monte-Carlo is one of the world’s first casinos and has some of the most beautiful architecture as well. We continued to explore Monte Carlo and hiked up to a lookout point in front of the Prince’s Palace of Monaco.
Monaco is truly one of the most luxurious countries in the world, and I can’t wait for the day when I return. On our last day of our weekend trip, we traveled to Antibes. Once again, we explored the local markets and taste tested all the different olive spreads. While the rest of my group lounged at the beach, I walked over to the Picasso Museum. The museum is housed in a building once home to the great artist. It was really cool to see the combination of photography and Picasso’s many genres of work all in one place. My favorite part was a painting that was actually physically painted onto the wall from when Picasso lived there.
After the museum I hustled over to a small sandwich shop owned by the cutest little old woman. The shop was called Miam Miam’s, which as the little old woman explained, spoken in a French accent sounds like “yum yum’s”. I asked her to make me her favorite sandwich and I was delighted when she handed me a pita filled with delicious curry chicken and grilled vegetables. I devoured the sandwich on the way home to Florence.
I truly adored the vibe of the culture in South of France. The beautiful scenery and the welcoming people were more than enough to encourage me to come back. The French Riviera was one of my favorite destinations while abroad, and one day I will most certainly return.