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Cimiez: Museums, Monastery & Ruins

The Arenas of Cimiez
The Roman Ruins of Cimiez

You could easily spend a day visiting Cimiez, enjoying the Matisse Museum, the Franciscan Monastery and Museum, the Archaeological Museum and the Roman ruins.

It's a cool and relaxed corner of Nice that was once the home of the annual Nice Jazz Festival in July. Cimiez is one of Nice's most desirable neighbourhoods and has been a status address ever since the Romans built the city of Cremenelum on its slopes. What remains of this settlement are the public baths (thermes) and the amphitheatre (arenes) where the Romans held their games. The worn white stones overgrown with vegetation are an evocative reminder of Nice's earliest residents.

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While in Cimiez, visit the Matisse Museum (closed Tuesday) which displays a few of the artist's famous blue paper cutouts, Indian ink drawings and oil paintings. The main collection is housed in a 17th-century Genoese villa while the temporary exhibits are displayed in a modern wing.

And, as long as you're in the neighbourhood, drop in on the Franciscan Monastery (closed Sunday and midday) which includes a small museum devoted to the history of the monks and a church with paintings by the Nice painter, Louis Brea. Around the monastery is a delightful garden and next to it is the cemetery where you can pay hommage to Matisse and Raoul Dufy.

Interested in Very Old Nice? Visit the Archaeology Museum (Admission 4EUR; closed Tuesday ) which displays artifacts from the Ligurian, Roman and early Christian periods.

Getting to Cimiez

Take buses 15, 17, 20, 22, 25 to the Les Arènes/Musée stop.

Related Pages

Museums in Nice

Nice Travel Guide

Recommended Tours




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