In part one of my tour of Nice I focused on Le Promenade des Anglais, but the city has much more to offer those keen to search for cinematic connections.
Cours Saleya Flower Market
The outdoor market in the Cours Saleya is famous on the Côte d’Azur for its fresh food, flowers and cafes. I stopped off for a coffee at La Civette Du Cours (below) before taking a walk around the market. Fans of To Catch a Thief (1955) may also recall that Cary Grant’s character, John Robie, was summoned to a meeting at the flower market where he could be found flipping a coin.
Sadly, director Alfred Hitchcock decided not to film the scenes in the actual market, but it’s still well worth a visit.
The French artist, Matisse, lived In Nice at 1 Place Charles Felix in Cours Saleya (below). From 1921 to 1926, he rented a flat in the third floor with a panoramic view on the market and the sea. From 1926 to 1938 Matisse rented two flats on the fourth floor with view on the Promenade des Anglais, the city, Castle Hill and the sea, find out more at www.musee-matisse-nice.org.
Palais de Justice
The Palais de Justice is located close to the Cours Saleya and was the location for the 2008 film, The Easy Way, by director Jean-Paul Rouve. The film tells the story of Albert Spaggiari, a French criminal behind the “Heist of the century” which took place at the Société Générale in Nice, in July 1976.
Another good place for film fans to stop off while in Nice is the Cinéma Mercury, at 16 Place Garibaldi.
The cinema shows an extensive range of new release art house and classic films on its three screens, and there’s a real atmosphere inside – this is a proper cinema rather than a form of kindergarden for schoolchildren! Vist the website at www.mercury-cg06.fr.
Au Petit Gari
After visiting the Mercury I headed to the small Au Petit Gari restaurant at 2 Place Garibaldi, where they serve a wide range of traditional French food in a bistro style setting. Admittedly I did have pasta as a main course, hardly the most French item on the menu, but I felt I was still soaking up the French atmosphere.
Chambre de Commerce
In the first part of this two-part look at Nice I mentioned the car chase in 2002’s The Transporter, which sees Jason Statham’s character, Frank Martin, drive around Nice and Cannes while trying to escape from the police.
The car chase begins outside the Nice Chambre de Commerce, with the name visible in the opening moments. Frank’s car parks pulls up to the main entrance before his passengers get into the car and they take off into Nice. The front doors can clearly be seen in the film, though it’s not clear what the thieves are stealing.
The interior of the Chambre de Commerce can be seen in various other films, most notably 2001’s Swordfish, which sees Halle Berry’s Ginger Knowles stroll through the foyer which has been redressed to look like a bank.
In the next post I’ll be visiting the small village of Eze and following in the footsteps of a Thief…
The Côte d ‘Azur, within 3 hours of over 30 European destinations, offers a wide range of themed stays all year round. With France’s second airport, Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport, the French Riviera is within reach of over 33 countries, 103 destinations and served by 56 airlines. The 2013 schedule is available at www.nice.aeroport.fr and the Nice tourist Board website can be found at www.nicetourisme.com.
Visit the Côte d’Azur Tourist Board website for more information on visiting the region.