It’s probably time for a generic photo dump. I mean, in the olden days, there was a standard sitcom joke about people inviting you over and then making you sit through a slideshow of their vacation snapshots. Now we use Instagram for that. And places like this.
You are free to click away. This is the B-team of my pix, anyway.
Our Airbnb here in Nice is next door to the cathedral. Excuse me: Cathédrale et Sainte-Réparate de Nice. Sunday was the feast of the patron saint, who has quite the life story, if you’d like to click through. Now, my Catholic upbringing was American and suburban, and didn’t include elaborate celebrations of patron saints; everything I know about them I got from watching “The Godfather, Part 2.” And I still don’t know much about them, honestly. Are they Italian? Not sure. We are very close to Italy here, and there are many Italian names on the tablet listing the WWI dead on the facade of the cathedral, so maybe this tradition is entirely national, who knows.
Anyway, yesterday it was obvious something big was up, all of which we watched from our fifth-floor terrace. A near-truckload of flowers was delivered the previous day (all squished into a small Renault two-door, and what Americans could learn from Europeans about packing a cargo space could fill a book). Musicians rolled in large instruments. Early arrivals for the 11 a.m. Mass were wanded by security. The elderly Monsignor was delivered to the door. And so on.
Then, at eight minutes before 11, we could hear the horns and drums, and from the other side of the square, costumed dancers led a full-on parade to the front door. Following them were robed and caped individuals who I’m sure represented various religious orders, and then, yay! A statue of Saint Reparate standing on a litter in a rolling boat filled with flowers, pushed by a number of priests, who stopped at the cathedral door and transferred her litter to their shoulders, to go the rest of the way into the church.
I shot a short movie, and I hope it renders; if not, maybe J.C. can tinker.
(I wonder if the dancers were paid professionals; afterward, many didn’t go into the church for Mass, but stood around on the square checking their phones.)
Anyway, it was stirring.
We liked the Chagall museum, although the garden restaurant outside was awful.
Window-shopping, which is the only way I can appreciate Chanel:
I haven’t seen a Benetton store in the U.S. in decades, but it still exists here, and remains the McDonald’s of sweaters:
Yesterday we took the train to Monaco, just to say we did. It was pretty bleh, and had that look that tax havens all over the world get, full of bored-looking rich people seeking to stimulate their jaded souls with ever-greater thrills, which is to say the yachts in the basin were huge and there were cops everywhere, all in a country the size of a golf course. One pulled his motorcycle to the curb as we emerged from the train station, to inform us that in the principality, masks are required to be worn inside and out. OK, dude.
More to my liking was Villefranche sur mer, a village just outside of town, where we stopped on our way back for a couple of Campari spritzes. Hard-core Rolling Stones fans may recall it as the site of Nellcote, a villa Keith Richards rented for a time and generally acknowledged as the birthplace of “Exile on Main Street.” We didn’t see it. It’s owned by a rich Russian now, and the gates are kept closed all the time. The TripAdvisor reviews say stuff like “if you’re brave enough to swim out, you can see it from the water,” but I’m not that dedicated. Anyway, their yacht basin was full of pretty middle-class sailboats, and we approved:
And that brings us up to date and the Derringers off to another flea market.