A lazy afternoon in this medieval pedestrian-only hill town is worth the 20-mile trip from Nice.
Musée du quai Branly
This eye-popping museum on the Left Bank of the Seine is devoted entirely to non-Western arts, and it’s France’s declaration of openness to the world and respect for all cultures. As important as the 3,500 displayed objects (of the museum’s 300,000 works) from Asia, Africa, Oceania and the Americas is the building itself, designed by the well-known French architect Jean Nouvel. Its atrium is dominated by a 46-foot-high totem pole from British Columbia, while a “living wall” passes as a vertical carpet of 150 species and 15,000 plants.
President Jacques Chirac inaugurated the Musée du quai Branly (nicknamed MQB) in June 2006, and it is the first major museum to open in the City of Lights since the Musée d’Orsay in 1986.
La Fondation Maeght
, Saint-Paul-de Vence, France
A lazy afternoon in this medieval pedestrian-only hill town is worth the 20-mile trip from Nice. Top it off with a visit to the cool galleries of one of the world’s most famous small museums of modern art. The museum is set on a wooded cliff outside of the town center and is designed to blend harmoniously with its surroundings. Colline des Gardettes
Lunch at the famous La Colombe d’Or, once the haunt of Picasso, Klee and others artists, who paid for meals with their artwork.
The foundation also owns a seven-acre vineyard, Le Mas Bernard, whose very respectable wines can be found in town.