Valentine’s Day might mean a quiet romantic evening for many, but the Côte d’Azur’s Nice is gearing up for its biggest event of the year which starts on 14 February and runs until Mardi Gras on 4 March 2014: the Carnival de Nice.
Over one million people visit France’s fifth largest city to witness this spectacular colourful, lively and flamboyant event, which is also one of the biggest carnivals in the world.
The carnival’s origins started in the 13th century, but it was modernised in 1873 to become more like the show it is today. Guaranteed to blow away winter’s cobwebs with some gusto, this year’s carnival will also be particularly appealing to foodies as its theme is “The King of Gastronomy”.
The success of last year’s sports day means another will be held again this year on the opening weekend with the “Rock ’n’ Roll 1o Miles” race on 16 February, which will be followed by a Zumba party.
The carnival is generally made up of two events: day and night carnival parades and flower parades. The parades consist of elaborately-designed floats, some of which tower above the crowds and are as tall as a three-storey building. The carnavaliers demonstrate their creativity and talent with impressive papier mâché sculptures and some performers wear the famous “grosses têtes” or “big heads” to support the theme of their float.
Costumes, live music, dancers, acrobats and marching bands all combine to create a high energy crowd and an unbeatable atmosphere on the glamorous, sun-kissed Riviera. At night illuminated floats light up Place Massena with light colour and music.
Along the Promenade des Anglais, the Flower Parade, the only one like it in the world, is made up of floats abundant with flowers – such as roses, carnations, gladioli and daisies – which are thrown into the audience by costumed men and women. More than 100,000 are passed on to carnival goers, a wonderful demonstration of the variety and quality of the flowers available in the region as around 90% of them are grown locally.
Home Hunts has many properties in Nice that are well located for enjoying the festivities of the carnival. Located on the Cap de Nice, the look of this spectacular property (HH-7326928) has been inspired by warm Mediterranean colours.
In what can only be described as a dream location, as it is set directly over the sea shore, this five-bedroom house provides breath-taking panoramas over the bay of Nice, the Esterel mountains and St Jean Cap Ferrat. With a sauna and Jacuzzi in the master bedroom, a swimming pool, and a separate cottage for guests, as well as an independent apartment, this property is perfectly designed for entertaining family and friends.
In the popular neighbourhood of Cimiez, this grand, four-bedroom private mansion (HH-6201846), offers beauty, style and elegance across all of its three levels. A superb position and separate guest accommodation means that it could serve regular trips to Nice with friends and family as well as providing additional income potential. A sweeping staircase, terrace and wine cellar are also features of this luxurious property.
Just 20 minutes from downtown Nice, near the city’s observatory, this four-bedroom neo-Provencal-style villa (HH-7013700) is home to panoramic sea views, an impressive swimming pool surrounded by wide terraces and lush, green surroundings. Part of a secure and private domain, this spacious property is competitively priced at €1,790,000.
To find out more about these properties visit www.home-hunts.com, and to speak with a consultant directly contact the French office on +33 (0)970 44 66 43