Nice: Monastere Notre Dame de Cimiez (for free)
When in Nice, take a break from the Mediterranean waters and head to the posh, northern suburb of Cimiez. The town offers ancient ruins from its important past (it was the region’s capital city during Roman times, 1,700 years ago), along with museums, a famous cemetery, and the Monastere Notre-Dame de Cimiez. The area is also home to Nice’s jazz festival, which occurs every year in July.
A visit to the Monastere de Cimiez is a quiet, enchanted escape from Nice. Dating back to the 16th century, the gothic church you see today was the result of an 1850 renovation. The church is famous for three paintings by prominent brother painters, Louis and Antoine Brea. The near-by museum, the Musée Franciscain, explains the role of the Franciscans in Nice over the centuries, and allows visitors a peek into a recreated (and especially drab) monk’s cell.
The adjoining cemetery is notable for its picturesque qualities, marble graves, and notable residents. Painters Raoul Dufy and Henri Matisse, both former residents of Cimiez, are buried here. Wander through the cemetery, making sure to leave time for the beautifully landscaped gardens.
Visiting the Monastere Notre Dame de Cimiez
The church is open daily from 9 AM to 6 PM. The museum is open Monday through Saturday, from 10 AM – 12 PM, and 3 PM – 6 PM. Admission is free. For more information, call 04-93-81-00-04.