French Riviera is often associated with sunny skies, sandy beaches, soft sea breezes, and streets bustled with tourists. A farmers’ market right next to the sun-drenched seafront? It will surely strike you with sweet surprises.
During a recent trip to Nice, France, I got a chance to visit Cours Saleya, the famed food market that attracts tourists from far and near. Situated in the Old Town just blocks from the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, Cours Saleya is famous for its fresh flowers, fruits, fish, and vegetables. Year round, locals and travelers alike take pleasure in the produce and pavement cafes under the striped awnings at the market. Food is an important part of French culture–often times, the French will spend hours socializing over a carefully cooked meal, or simply cheese, wine, and baguettes. In France, the Michelin guide and haute cuisine coexist with classic dishes and simple, flavorful ingredients. There are also influences from nearby Italy, which likewise boasts rich culinary traditions, making Nice a perfect crossroads for exotic and fresh ingredients.
Enjoying the colorfulness and charm of the market, I could not help but embrace the warmth, exuberance, and above all, originality of Cours Saleya. Perhaps, this is what food markets are really about, what traveling is really about.