For a weekend in early March, I went on an SAI excursion included in my SAI study abroad program. The location—Nice, in the South of France—was a wonderful change from the relatively gloomy and chilly Paris at this time of year! Since the hotel, meals, and a few activities were included, it was also a great break from necessary budgeting while studying abroad. Additionally, it was a great opportunity to bond with my fellow American students, especially those who are studying at other universities whom I do not see very often!
While in Nice, we visited all of the important sights. We saw the Cote D’Azur, a beautiful beach that reminded me of my hometown, Florida (there was even a sign that said Miami Beach!). We went to the Fragonard perfume factory, where we learned about the history and production of perfume. To get there we took a bus up a “mountain,” where we saw the most romantic views of the city. We ate at a creperie there, enjoying typical French cider. We then visited the independent country of Monaco, a magical land of casinos and sunshine.
The next day, we went to an ancient Roman amphitheater. Seeing Roman ruins outside of Italy is always such an interesting experience! This site was right next to the Henri Matisse museum—who happens to be one of my favorite artists! The museum was amazing, and I was able to learn some things about Matisse that I never knew (like how he designed a church in the town of Vence, not far from Nice). Nice truly embodied the romance and timelessness of a Riviera town. Additionally, the visit emphasized the diversity of France, both visually and culturally. It really is true that France begins to resemble each of its neighboring countries in that respective area. While I was in Nice, I often had to remind myself that I was not actually in Italy.
Giavanna was a Spring 2019 Paris student from University of Florida.