France or Italy?

In Nice, are you in the mood for French food or Italian? Well, with Nice being located only a 40 minute drive to Ventimiglia, the nearest Italian town on the border of France and Italy, sometimes it feels as though I am in Italy! Shhh…hhh…don’t tell the French I said that!

I seem to be picking up, more than ever, the nuances/differences of the Italian vs. French, this time around. But here are just a few of the basics.

When I go to one of the Beach Clubs, I invariably order a salad Nicoise, a salad that ‘grew up’ in Nice. As you can see below, each restaurant puts their own twist on the ingredients to include. And, you can google endless recipes for the salad.

Then there seems to be endless restaurants in Nice that serve pizza….and pasta and other Italian dishes.

You all know what pizza looks like…And, I actually have had one or two this visit…sans fromage, of course, due to my lactose intolerance.

I so loved these free-flowing vases of flowers on each table at one of the innumerable cafes where pizza is served, I decided the perkiness of them was more fun to show you than pizza.

According to a quote I found on the internet: “Pizza was first invented in Naples, Italy as a fast, affordable, tasty meal for working-class Neapolitans on the go, although if you look into history a few hundred more years, some can argue, Greece, for instance, may have been a starting influence.”

In the first season of Stanley Tucci’s ‘Searching for Italy‘ series (2nd season is starting tonight, Sunday-May 22 on CNN), this was also mentioned in one of his interviews in Naples.

And yet another quote: “While we all know and love these slices of today, pizza actually didn’t gain mass appeal until the 1940s, when immigrating Italians brought their classic slices to the United States.”

One block I often walk down in order to get where I want to go in Nice, makes me think I am in Italy. First, I would pass plates of pasta, pasta, pasta being enjoyed by the lunchtime crowd sitting on the outdoor terrace of a restaurant. Next came the Italian deli, sealing the deal on how Italy’s influence is seen in Nice. I wanted to stop and ask if I could take photos of the variety of pasta dishes being served and see if there was a winner-a most liked one, but I decided not to intrude.

And these desserts: I could be wrong but Italian, right? I ran across these in Old Town.

And these pastries below, French…recognized by me as being more refined, detailed, aesthetic looking but maybe not necessarily tasting more delicious? Which stimulates your palate more?

By the way, the first photo below is of meringue. I haven’t seen it offered looking quite like this. Leaning towards beautiful, especially if you were able to see it in person, like I did. Whereas oft times it looks more like just a bland chunk of white. Always ask, but if you are like me and are lactose intolerant, you can still have a macaron or two, if you select one with a jam center, like fraise (strawberry) or framboise (raspberry).

Nice has chefs creating delectable choices, often in compact restaurants with equally compact terraces providing outdoor seating.

I thought the ban on outdoor heaters at restaurants and cafes was only in Paris but, apparently, this is true for all of France. However, I did notice blankets being provided at some of the restaurants. And, now that the weather has gotten warmer in Nice, eating out in the evening is affording more comfortable enjoyment.

I won’t even be able to get to all the restaurants I’m hoping to include this visit. Here are a couple of websites that may come in handy if you choose to have some time in Nice: I’m having trouble with getting this blog site to open up. It has been around for a long time and I relied on it heavily for the 1st number of years I started to make Nice a regular stop. So, I don’t want to leave it out of my suggested websites. See if it will work for you.

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