This long pedestrian thoroughfare—half street, half square—is the nerve center of Old Nice, the heart of the Vieille Ville, and the stage-set for the daily dramas of marketplace and café life. Framed with 18th-century houses and shaded by plane trees, the narrow square bursts into a fireworks-show of color Tuesday through Sunday until 1 pm, when flower-market vendors roll armloads of mimosas, roses, and orange blossoms into cornets (paper cones) and thrust them into the arms of shoppers, who then awkwardly continue forward to discover a mix of local farmers and stallholders selling produce (try the fresh figs), spices, olives, and little gift soaps. Cafés and restaurants, all more or less touristy (don't expect friendly service) fill outdoor tables with onlookers who bask in the sun. At the far east end, antiques and brocantes (collectibles) draw avid junk-hounds every Monday morning. At this end you can also find Place Charles Félix. From 1921 to 1938, Matisse lived in the imposing yellow stone building at Number 1, and you don't really need to visit the local museum that bears his name to understand this great artist: simply stand in the doorway of his former home and study the Place de l'Ancien Senat 10 feet away—the scene is a classic Matisse.
Nice, 06300, France
Nov 11, 2011
Lots of things for tourists to buy at the Cours Selaya -- having checked around at the various shops both in Nice and Antibes, I think the tourist prices here are about standard. I always fall in love with the spice sellers; their stalls are a feast for the eyes and the nose and make me dream of all the things I could make.. The Monday antiques/flea market here is quite amazing. The range of junk to fine pieces is something I've never seen before!
Too bad you can't lug home a 300 year old chest of drawers in carry on... One Monday in October there was a 4 piece band playing blues/jazz/rockabilly who were actually quite good! Not your typical street performance... If you are looking for a more working person's marche -- I recommend the one up at Liberation. Stall after staff of marvelous vegetables and an entire street of fishmongers with seafood I've never seen before (some of it still wriggling!) Bought fixings for supper here as we were lucky enough to be staying in an apartment.
Mar 29, 2011
Fantastic on market day----get your cameras out!