Located close to Monaco and the Italian border on the beautiful Côte d'Azur, Nice is the fifth largest city in France and is believed to be one of the oldest human settlements in Europe. Over the years, Nice has changed hands many times, thanks largely to its importance as a maritime stronghold. It only became part of France in 1860, having previously been an Italian dominion. The city's principal avenue is the Promenade des Anglais - a palm-tree-lined Mediterranean version of the Champs-Elysee. This superb seaside promenade separates the glamorous shops and hotels from the beach and owes its name to the earliest visitors to the resort as it began to be regarded as a tourist destination.
Those who manage to resist the draw of the azure water (from which the Côte d'Azur takes its name) will soon by trapped by the irresistible pavement cafés and inviting bars which fill the city's attractive squares.