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  • Writer's pictureDiAnn

Experiencing Nice through Airbnb

Updated: Dec 3, 2021

Not only is Airbnb a great way to find affordable lodging while traveling; it is also a great way to meet and make new friends all over the world. On this four month trip through Europe, staying in short-term rental properties was the plan I chose to follow. As I am also a short-term rental host I wanted to find out what prompted hosts in other parts of the world to share their homes with strangers and if it was what they had expected. I wanted to meet local hosts in the cities I was staying as well as participating in Airbnb Experiences in order to get up close and personal wherever I might be.

What I have learned while in Nice, France….

Nice is a wonderful, vibrant city, small enough to get to know intimately yet large enough to allow diversity and mystery. It is a city where history has left its mark in not only the architecture but in the people that call it their home. There are many sides to Nice. Here, where the sea is the color of aquamarine and clear as a gemstone of the same name, the people of Nice invite travelers to share in their history and slower pace lifestyle. I have made some forever friends and look forward to a return visit.

Experience #1:

‘Learn how to cook the Pan Bagnat’ hosted by Monique

What is a Pan Bagnat?

Pan bagnat was originally a working class snack, especially among the fishermen and other morning workers. It is made with simple, fresh and local ingredients. The traditional version contains anchovies but nowadays they are widely replaced by tuna. In the old days, tuna was an expensive fish compared to anchovy. In the 19th century, there was an influx of immigrants from Italy to Nice. They had an influence on the social, economic, cultural and gastronomic development of the city.

We met at the Liberator market to start the selection of products which would make the Pan Bagnat.

I had a wonderful experience learning to make this delicious sandwich. The host was a lovely French lady named Monique. She met us, her guests, at the local, lessor know market in the Liberation neighborhood of Nice. I could not believe the amount of produce at this market and the quality was of the highest quality. The market takes place everyday except on Monday. It stretches more than two blocks on both sides of the street. Markets like this are where the local people shop for most of their produce, fish, meat, cheese and flowers.

She selected only the finest ingredients from the local farm vendors who come daily to sell their freshly picked produce. She filled her basket as we went from stall to stall. After selecting all the ingredients, we walked a short distance to the apartment where we helped prepare the sandwich.

What a great experience!!! The sandwich was a hit and the wine as well. I had the pleasure of meeting Monique’s good friend, Anita, and her son Renald during this experience. Renald spoke English and was able to help communication during the experience. What was to be a two hour experience ended up lasting until the late afternoon.

**********************************************************************************Experience #2:

‘Taste,smell and colors of Vieux-Nice’ hosted by Marion

We met at the beautiful Place Garibaldi in Old Town Nice. It was a grey day with rain in the forecast. Good thing I had my umbrella along. The walk from the main square to the port was the perfect opportunity for Marion to give the history of the area to our group of four.

The first stop was the famous local confiserie, where Sandrine, the queen of the place, welcomed us into the small production factory. This is a place where the candied fruit is made. It is quite the process and very time consuming, taking days to get the fruits perfectly processed.

This is the main working area for making the candied fruit. It takes 45 days from start to finish.
Sadrine was a great tour guide and explained the process in detail.

After the tour of the Florian we walked along the port wall to the castle on the footsteps of the maritime Odyssey. There were many yachts in the harbor, the largest being owned by a Russian who uses the Nice harbor for winter mooring.

Can you see the swimming pool on the top deck of the yacht?
Here we are at the bottom on the hill on the promenade looking east to where we started the climb to the top.
View from the top of Castle Hill looking southeast to the sea. On a clear day the water is a crystal clear aqua blue.

Even though the weather was not the best day we had a wonderful experience and made another new friend.

Marion also does another experience called "Sunrise breakfast or Sunset aperitif"

Marion has an Airbnb apartment in NIce, France. I did not stay at her apartment but I did want to share the information for future travelers:


Experience #3

‘Breakfast Lovers with a local’ hosted by Emma

What can I say about Emma? One of the most vibrant and enthusiastic hosts I have yet to meet. I had a most marvelous time at her home!

Emma is a propre hostess. Here she refills our coffee.

And, it was a surprise to see Monique and her god-son, Renald at this experience.

Renald and Monique. Monique was our host for experience #1.

Our one hour breakfast lasted into the early afternoon as Emma’s Airbnb room guests arrived and joined us and her good friend Morgane. Morgane (sitting by the window) is a up & coming film director. She invited us to an event she was having later that evening where she introduced her film 'OLD MAMA' . .

We exchanged conversation, laughs and good food-which was the reason to be there.

If you are in Nice do sign up for one of Emma’s experiences. You will not be disappointed.

Emma also has an Airbnb room rental in Nice, France. I did not stay at Emmas but I did want to share the information as it is a beautiful place:

**********************************************************************************Experience #4

‘Discover the Old Town and its Wonders’ hosted by Celine

This was a walking tour in and around the Old Town of Nice. I met Celine and the other participants of this experience at a lovely local cafe in the old part of Nice. After a cappuccino and introduction of pronunciations of some key French phrases, we began our walk about this part of the city.

On the promenade, through the Old Town where we stopped by some of Celines favorite local businesses & eateries. There are simply so many fun and interesting places. It really helps to have a local resident that can show you the way. Plus, I was introduced to locals that I would never have met otherwise.

One of my favorite places was Caprice. A vintage clothing store where I could not resist a few great finds. Nothing beats French least I haven't found it yet.

There is one more experience that we were not able to do but needs mentioning. It is called 'Night Bike Stroll & Beach Aperitif'. It is an experience given by Moniques son, Renald and would be a great experience. He speaks English and is a fun and exciting person to get to know. Here is the link to view it:

There is so much more to tell about my Airbnb Experience. It is almost impossible to put it into words. Here I have met the most wonderful hosts I could ever imagine. We somehow connected on a level that was not expected. Almost as if we were meant to meet. I continued to meet up with all these wonderful people throughout the two weeks that I was in town, getting to know them and their families. I can say without a doubt that I could not have asked for a better experience while in Nice. The best thing is that I have made some wonderful new friends that I can visit on my next trip to France.

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