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This is a preview of the full content of our Nice’s Best app.

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Hotel Excelsior, Regina Palace, Cimiez, Nice, France-LCCN2001697642

Nice is one of the oldest cities in Europe dating back to 350 BC when Greeks, from today's Marseille, came here and founded the settlement of Nikaia. They named it after Nike their Goddess of victory following the defeat of the local Ligurians. As time went by it and its surrounds, the County of Nice, developed closer historical links with Italy than with France.

The Roman Era: Nikaia and Cimiez

Nikaia was very successful and continued to do well even though it eventually faced competition from the Roman settlement of Cimiez (Cemelenum) further up the hill. The Romans gradually defeated the remaining local Ligurian tribes and constructed a Trophy nearby at La Turbie on the Via Julia Augusta to commemorate this achievement. Soon the region was fully Romanized and known as Regio IX Liguria. Cemelenum became so important it even had its own Amphitheatre.

The Middle Ages: The Contea di Nizza

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Cimiez & Around


Perched Village over the Vésubie Gorge

Monastery Garden at Cimiez

Formal Garden with a sensational view

Palais Lascaris

Museum of Folk Art, traditions & musical instruments

Roman Amphitheatre at Nice

Les Arènes at Cimiez

The County of Nice

La Contea di Nizza

Text © Paul Shawcross

Image by Ashley Van Haeften