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Help - sudden change in plans because of rain in Italy. Nice??

We are currently in Venice for our 30th anniversary and were heading to the Italian Alps tomorrow. Now, however, they are predicting heavy flooding rains the rest of the week. We are really disappointed - the Dolomites were to be the highlight of our trip.

We're scrambling, trying to find somewhere to go that won't be soaked with rain, and we thought of Nice. We have to be back in Milan on Sunday to fly home on Monday.

Question - are we crazy? Neither one of us speaks French and we obviously didn't research France at all. Are there reasonable hotels near the beach (or downtown). Something less than $150 US a night? Or, is there transportation if we don't have a car?

Thanks! We need to book our flights soon, so if you can help, that will be great!!

Theresa

Posted by
11450 posts

NO .. NOT crazy at all.

No need to speak French.. most tourists don't .. remember si vous plait( please) and thank you (merci) and always greet people with "bonjour madame /monsieur" before you start any conversation.

No car needed,, and you can take many side trips easily and cheaply.. bus is one euro to Monaco.. train to Cannes is 3-4 euros and only 25 minutes away.. Nice is a great base.

hotels.. get on internet.. check out booking sites.. Expedia, Venere, booking.com etc..

We stayed at Hotel Solara.. not fancy,, clean, super nice staff, a few blocks away from beach ( beach front is pricey) .. loved area.. get a top floor room with balcony if they have it.

Go.. have fun.. ( you did check weather for nice didn't you.. )

Posted by
145 posts

Thanks! I did check the weather - not perfect (rainy on Thursday), but MUCH better than we will be getting here!

Posted by
7698 posts

A second to pat's information that Nice is a great base without a car - you can catch the bus (or the train) to different parts along the coast, they make it really to do (and Nice of course itself is fun to explore as well, with a nice Matisse museum if you're a fan of his work).

I also agree you don't need French, but that "Bonjour madame" or "Bonjour Monsieur" and "s'il vous plait" and "merci" will do you just fine!

Posted by
31519 posts

Theresa,

Sorry to hear about the rain, but hopefully you can salvage the latter part of your trip. Nice would make a great spot to spend a few days, and there are some great photo op's in that area. However, I'm not sure how easy it will be to find hotels on short notice at this time of year. For a 30th anniversary, I can't imagine a nicer place than http://www.hotel-nice-suisse.com/uk/boutique-hotel-nice-mer-site-officiel.php (be sure to ask for a room with a view of the beach).

If you're flying, the airport is not far outside of Nice so transportation is easy. For travel back to Milan for your flight home, there's a direct train departing Nice Ville at 08:09, arriving Milano Centrale at 12:50 (that assumes you're going to spend the night prior to your flight in Milan). That's an EC train so you'll need reservations. I'd probably try booking on Capitaine Train as soon as you have your plans locked-in.

Don't be too concerned about not speaking French. As the others have mentioned, do your best with the "polite words" and that should work fine. Most people working in the tourist industry will be able to function in English to some extent.

For sightseeing in that area, you probably won't have the appropriate RS guidebook along. If you're travelling with a Laptop, Smartphone or other device that can handle PDF files, you could try downloading the appropriate Lonely Planet chapter at http://shop.lonelyplanet.com/france/france-travel-guide-11/france-the-french-riviera-monaco-chapter-11/ ($4.95, 11th Edition, March 2015).

Good luck and congratulations on your anniversary!