On-line Guide: Le Cours Saleya
The sovereign of the Old Town, Le Cours Saleya is a fully pedestrianised street parallel to Quai d’Etats Unis and the end of the Promenade. You haven’t really been to Nice, if you leave without meandering around this area both during the day and at dusk – or even late into the night. You don’t have to buy anything, there are plenty who just soak up the atmosphere, colours and scents on offer, or watch others doing the same from one of the pavement cafes, bars or restaurants.
Dating back to the late 19th century, the famous markets continue to flaunt their wares, albeit for euros rather than livres and francs. You can enjoy the Marché aux fleurs, fruits et légumes de la ville (Tues – Sun, 6am-5.30pm for flowers and 6am-1pm for the local produce and products) and Marché à la brocante for vintage treasures (Sundays 7am-6pm).
The markets, particularly the Monday antiques and flea market, are often spread into Place Pierre Gautier which is found just to the side of Le Cours Saleya. Find your bearings by looking for the pastel pink tower near the Palais de la Préfecture and you’ll soon come across La Musée de la Photographie at 1 Place Pierre Gautier, which is also worth a short visit.
More of an elongated square than a street, Le Cours Saleya boasts a wide variety of options for food and drinks, accommodating something for everyone. If you fancy something chic, head towards the likes of Casa Leya or La Favola for a classy Italian meal. If seafood is more your thing, you have the more upmarket Chez Freddy, or right next door Le Grand Bleu for a slightly more affordable menu with a friendly atmosphere.
For the music enthusiasts, La Flore often exhibits live music for while you eat or sip on a cocktail and people-watch. Or for those wanting an evening that goes on into the early hours, karaoke and a boogie at Les 3 Diables on Wednesday nights can be fun – no talent required.
There’s a useful car park, Parking Saleya Marché aux Fleurs, which can be found at the west end. It doesn’t differ much in price to the other parking around the city; however, the location is perfect for those staying in the old town, and, of course, to carry home flowers, honey, jam, perhaps an antique or two.