The city of Nice, heart of the Côte d'Azur and renowned Mediterranean tourist destination, needs no further introduction. And yet, behind its post-card reputation lies a complex and changing reality which is little known and stands in defiance of its own stereotypes. Nice is first of all a thriving urban center, core of an international metropolis of more than a million inhabitants with its ultra-modern airport, business districts and neighborhoods.
A cosmopolitan city, Nice is an interface not only between mountain and sea, but also between France and Italy and the many countries behind the ethnic communities which have become an integral part of its daily life. On another level, Nice is part of the Côte d'Azur mosaic which includes Cannes and Antibes, Monaco and Menton, and at its extremities, San Remo and St. Tropez. Lying right in the middle of this mosaic, Nice is the unique product of a turbulent history. Before becoming French in 1860, the city was regimented as early as the 18th century on the Baroque model of Turin, former capital of the Savoy provinces, a model which entirely found its roots in the Italian renaissance.
Today Nice has also become a university city closely associated with the Sophia-Antipolis technopole and home to a scientific community which thrives on the challenge of the remarkable heterogeneity which makes this one of a kind city so attractive and exciting.