You thought the Nice Côte d'Azur Metropolitan Area could only offer the sea and the beaches? Well, think again! It is an immensely rich land, offering a profusion of things to see and do that you might not have thought of. Why not make a special trip to discover them? The character of a territory is also lived through its trades. So set off on an adventure, try your hand at a pastry chef's or painter's job, become a winegrower or nose in a perfume shop... Just one thing, have fun!
The olive has always had an important place in the culture and in the hearts of the people of the Côte d'Azur. You will find it in most of the typical dishes of the region. In fact, it has been made here for centuries. It is said that the oldest oil mill (dating from 1250 anyway!) is in the village of Castagniers. Even if it is not yet the olive season (from November to February), discover an ancestral know-how that is part of the local culture. The mill museum will allow you to understand all the stages of the creation of the green gold of the Mediterranean. The processed products offered in the domain's shop will give you the opportunity to take a little piece of Provence home with you!
For a visit, you just have to contact the producer (06.03.11.05.14) in order to book, the estate is open from Monday to Friday, depending on the season.
Also to be discovered, the Nicolas Alziari oil mill, the only one still in operation in Nice and the last mill in Europe still working in a "Genoese" know-how, which offers guided tours and tastings (from 9:00 to 11:00 and from 14:00 to 16:00). Not to be missed, the old shop next door with its incomparable charm.
And what better to marry with olive oil than Mozzarella? How do you say, mozzarella is only produced in Italy? Well, believe it or not, it is indeed on the French Riviera, and more precisely in Saint-Laurent-du-Var, that the production workshop of Casa della Burrata is located. The young chef Fabio Merra, a native of Corato, having trained with none other than the great Ducas, wanted to import this Italian know-how to Nice. Today, the production is entirely from Nice. The originality of his concept also lies in the fact that he offers many recipes to sublimate the mozzarella. A visit to the production workshop will surely whet your appetite. (A victim of his success, the star of the caprese salads is not accessible during the summer. But if you're around here from September, it will be able to show you all the facets of its personality).
Are you familiar with the Crocus Sativus? No ? Well, you've certainly tasted it before. This lovely flower has the gift of producing a spice commonly known as "Red Gold". You still don't see it, do you? A little hint, it's the main ingredient in Paella... Yes, it's really Saffron that we're talking about. Did you know that there is a Saffron production site, not far from Nice? The Safran des Baous estate is located in Saint-Jeannet. Erkia Rasse, the producer, will show you this know-how that comes from the Greeks and Persians. But, beware, discovering the secrets of red gold is well deserved! After a deep sleep during the summer, the pretty bud opens gently in the middle of autumn. It must be harvested quickly, at dawn, before it wilts during the day... A flower as evanescent as it is mysterious, to be discovered for sure!
Contact Erika Rasse at 00 3188.8.131.52.42 for more information.
As in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, discover the secrets of one of the best chocolate makers in France.
In addition to a good tasting (gourmands will have a blast!) the LAC chocolate factory in La Trinité offers you the opportunity to take part in a course on how to make the various sweets offered by the shop. Between chocolates of all kinds, macaroons, raspberries and other desserts as classic as they are original, you are sure to find what you are looking for!
If you are near Castagniers, you will also have the opportunity to visit the Cistercian Abbey Notre Dame de la Paix. In addition to discovering a place full of serenity, surrounded by nature and calm, you will have the opportunity to admire the work of the "chocolate sisters" and to taste their sweets. A gourmet moment that will please young and old alike! (Visits from Tuesday to Saturday from 14.15 to 17:00 and on Sunday from 14.15 to 16:15).
On the same theme (Gluttony? A sin? Never heard of it!) go and discover the Florian production workshops in Nice, a confectionery open since 1974. A small museum tells the story of the arrival of cocoa in Nice and the history of the House of Florian. Between chocolates and sour candies, you will find what you are looking for....
Let's continue our discovery of professions and know-how with, this time, beverages.
Wine has always had an important place in Mediterranean culture. In Saint-Jeannet, a village on the heights facing Nice, you will discover the Hautes Collines vineyard. The particularity of this production is that part of the harvest is worked as in Roman times, letting the wine rest, organic, in bottles in the sun for an even more intoxicating nectar. The other part of the estate works the wine in a more traditional way, in wooden barrels. You will be able to compare the two methods... The labels of the bottles are created by the producer's brother, a painter, and personalized according to the vintage. You will surely be tempted by a visit of the estate, as well as the cellar.
Domains open every day from 9.30am to 12.30pm and from 2.30pm to 7pm except on Sundays.
Being the only major city with a D.O.C.. (appellation contrôlée since 1941), Nice offers you the opportunity to visit the many vineyards - one of the oldest in France - with an astonishing diversity. At the Domaine du Château de Bellet, a free stroll through the estate's vineyards, the guided tour and the small tasting offered in the shop will seduce and transport you.
Opening hours of the shop: Tuesday-Saturday from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 17:30. Reservations and information: firstname.lastname@example.org or 04.93.37.81.57
The Domaine de Fogolar also offers immersive visits in the profession of winegrower. You will be able to take advantage of the calm and serenity of the place to rest during a stay in a villa lost in the middle of the vineyards, proposed for rent.
(Visits accessible to a maximum of 6 people proposed at 15 € per person. Reservation at 00 334 93 37 82 52 or mail : email@example.com).
Other estates that can be visited: Domaine de la Source, wine and olive oil production, and many others.
Scotland has Whisky, Russia has Vodka, and the Côte d'Azur has... beer! These are no less than two breweries that we suggest you visit. The first one boasts of being 100% "made in Nice". After having lasted for nearly 70 years, the original brewery died out in 1967 before being taken over by new enthusiasts. La Brasserie Artisanale de Nice will seduce you with a know-how always in accordance with a traditional production method.
Visit and tasting from 17:00 to 19:00 from Tuesday to Friday, from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 16:00 to 19:00 on Saturday at 14 Avenue Villermont, 06000 Nice. Contact the artisan brewer on 00 339 73 59 20 30.
The workshop we suggest you visit is located in the hinterland, in Saint-Martin-de-Vésubie. Nestled between the mountains, the Brasserie du Comté brewery produces an organic craft beer. Its production involves the rich and intense spring water of the area. You can take advantage of your visit to admire the stunning landscape of the Vésubie valley. Visit and free tasting every Monday at 15:00 from June 29th to September 7th, reservation at the tourist information office of Saint-Martin-Vésubie.
The French Riviera is full of a flora rich in fragrances, all as different and shimmering as each other. The Parfumerie Galimard, created in 1747, whose boutique opened in Eze in 1986, will allow you to discover the profession of perfumer in a playful and experiential visit. And why not take the opportunity to make your own perfume? Yes, where else could you create a unique perfume that looks just like you? And take advantage of the opportunity to make all your friends envious...
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, holidays included, June to September included: 9:00 to 18:30 (visits from 9:00 to 17:45), October to May included: 9:00 to 18:00 (visits from 9:00 to 17.15).
Open from the 1st of July.
In order to offer fragrances with such original scents, perfumers know where to get their supplies. The French Riviera is full of a flora as rich as it is varied. Why not discover the origins of the world's best perfumes? The production of Les Saveurs du Claut, in Utelle, will allow you to discover how the flowers used to make the essences are harvested. Open days are organised on 26/07, 09/08 and 13/09. Do not hesitate to contact them to book at 00 334.93.02.10.72.
It is said that the beauty of the great Cleopatra was due to her very frequent baths in donkey's milk. Today the so particular properties of this product are not any more to show: it regenerates, nourishes, and firms up the skin thanks to its richness in vitamins and minerals. What if someone told you that a well-kept secret is hiding in the small village of La Tour-Sur-Tinée? La ferme des Ânes de la Brasque brings to life a know-how stemming from ancestral beauty practices. You will be charmed by the donkey milk soaps produced on the spot, 100% natural with a beautiful ecological philosophy. Take the opportunity to appreciate the so special - and so adorable! - donkeys of Provence, that Sabrina, the manageress, wishes to save from disappearance. You will discover, through an equestrian walk, the beauties of the territory in the most original way.
Visits are by reservation at 06.88.90.60.73 and by mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Cap d'Ail, Muriel Iris has a weakness for flowers!
This passionate herbalist grows medicinal plants and aromatic herbs, organically or collects them in the wild. Lemon balm, lavender, verbena, sage, mint, rosemary, calendula... are then transformed into herbal teas, floral waters or essential oils to be sold at markets or to the big names in the Côte d'Azur restaurant trade.
Muriel also picks the flowers of the bitter orange trees that grow in her commune, notably in the Jardin des Douaniers, and transforms them into organic orange flower water. She also opens her farm to offer family herbology workshops. Go and meet her in Cap d'Ail and discover her catalogue on https://lessauvages.co/
Bring out the artist in you!
Thanks to its light and the beauty of its landscapes, the French Riviera has attracted many artists throughout history. So much so that art has today an important place in the local culture.
Also, what would you say to discover the profession of potter, sculptor or painter? In Gattières, you will find many artists who will open the doors of their studios to share their knowledge with you. A real window on their world, as wonderful as it is mysterious. Stroll through this small typical village and stop at Anne-Marie Deloire, potter and gardener, to admire her magnificent creations, or in the other small typical workshops of the town.
Free visits on reservation at 06.60.88.67.77 (Le Jardin des Fleurs de Poterie, 250 Chemin des Espeiroures, 06510 GATTIERES).
If you are in Nice, you will have the opportunity to meet several artists who will allow you to discover the city under a new eye...
Take the time of a day for a painter and wander through the atypical streets of old Nice to reproduce the thousand nuances, under the precious advice of Sylvie T. Follow in the footsteps of the "Masters of the French Riviera" with the Petit pan de mur jaune, still in old Nice. Do you prefer drawing? Rendezvous with Leila Drici (who will teach you how to draw all the subtleties of the contours of the typical streets of Old Nice.
Numerous other workshops will allow you to discover art crafts such as painting on porcelain, and many more.
Stop for a moment in Tourrette-Levens to discover the musée des métiers. Thanks to these realistic stagings of more than 50 professions, you will experience a real leap in time. Trades such as stonemason, laundress, dressmaker, etc. will parade through the very well maintained tools from the personal collection of André Carlès, president of the association "Arts and traditions of the castle site". A playful break appreciated by children, offered from 14:00 to 18:00 from Tuesday to Sunday. Admission free of charge.
- Musée des métiers Tourrette Maison des Remparts, 171 montée du Château, 06690 Tourrette-Levens, open from Tuesday to Sunday, 14:00 to 18:00, free admission.
Another crafts museum can also be visited at Gilette. In the private museum "Lou Ferouil" you will discover a passionate person; Pierre-Guy Martelly will evoke, with emotion, his love for his former profession of blacksmith. Through the pieces of his collection, you will plunge into the past through the tools related to the professions of yesteryear.
- Lou Ferouil Museum - 3250 route de Gilette - 06830 Gilette - Tel: +33 (4) 92 08 96 04 www.louferouil.fr Open every day (Mondays and holidays by RV). Adult rate: 4 € Child rate: 1.50 €.
Photo Credits : Keldelice, Nice-Matin, Facebook Safran des Baous, Instagram de la chocolaterie LAC, Instagram Route des vins de Provence, Brasserie du Comté, Galimard, Made in 06, Nice Tourisme Sylvie T., Tourette Levens, Mairie de Gattières.