Some tidbits of trivia

Having been in Nice for five years now, I have done a few walking tours, along with some additional research. I would like to share with you some well-known, and some not so well-known, factoids and trivia – Enjoy!

Do you know?
Provence area:
~ the first area to be planted with grapes by the Greeks in 600BC; Rose makes up about 60% of wine production
~ total sunshine averages around 300 days per year, with hot/dry summers and mild winters
~ the violent wind that originates from North Africa is called the “mistral” which comes from the word “mistrau” meaning master; these winds can be around 200 km/hr. (124 mph) and last 3-10 days; the saying goes, it can “blow the ears off a donkey”
~ the provencal language differs from French in openness of vowel pronounciation
~ provencal food features garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, and olives
~ Nicois specialties include Pissaladiere (onion pie), Tourte de blettes (swiss chard pie), Farcis Nicois (stuffed vegetables), Beignets de fleurs de courgettes (deep fried flowering squash), Socca (chickpea-flour crepe), Pan-bagnat (sandwich)
~lavender originated from the Canary Islands and was brought in by the Romans
~ symbols include: sunflowers, herbes de Provence (thyme, basil, rosemary), fabrics called “Indiennes” with the most well-known brand being “Souleiado”; kir – white wine with creme de cassis; pastis – licorice flavored alcohol mixed with water; Petangue/Boules – also known as Bocce
~ Monet lived in Antibes; Renoir in Cagnes-sur-Mer; Picasso in Juan-les-Pins; Chagall in St. Jean Cap-Ferrat
~ Mediterranean France is like a tapestry with threads of history woven into it with a mix of architecture – Roman, Medieval, Baroque, Modern
~ Monaco is the world’s most populated country, second smallest independent nation, and the smallest French-speaking country

Nice:
~ the meaning of Nice (Nikaia in Greek) is the Goddess of victory; it became part of France in 1860
~ the Opera burned down in 1881 and was re-built in 1882; the 4 rooftop statues represent theater/dance/music/song
~ original name of the Promenade des Anglais was “La Strada del Littorale” and it was originally made of marble
~ Albert 1st park is named after a Belgian king and is the oldest garden in Nice
~ the Carnaval has been a tradition for 700 years
~ the name “Cote d’Azur” was coined by the writer and poet, Stephen Liegeard, in 1888
~ the destruction of the castle on Castle Hill was destroyed in 1706 by Louis XIV, but this resulted in the city’s growth
~ Nice’s traditional flower is the carnation; Nice’s specialty olive is the “caillette”, and tapenade is called the “caviar of Nice”
~ candied fruit was a favorite delicacy of Queen Victoria
~ Cours Saleya market was named after the sun “soleil” and has been Nice’s main market since the Middle Ages
~ Architecturally: Italian colors are ochre and yellow; French colors are beige and white – as seen in Place Massena

Hope you get to visit this area and enjoy in person all that it has to offer!

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