Nice, Palais LascarisLe Palais Lascaris à Nice
©Anaïs BROCHIERO / CRT Côte d'Azur France

THE BAROQUE ROUTE ON THE CÔTE D’AZUR

Developed in Europe in the 17th century and characterized by a grandiose, luxurious and exuberant style, the Baroque invaded Liguria, and also the county of Nice and Monaco. This artistic movement representative of the Counter-Reformation, combining architecture, sculpture and painting left a rich historic and artistic heritage behind, throughout the east of the Alpes-Maritimes department.

The Baroque Route on the Côte d’Azur is a tourist route that allows for discovering the region’s Baroque jewels. This route offers a unique opportunity to discover the architecture, gardens and residences that were influenced by the Baroque artistic movement. It is an excellent opportunity to discover the cultural heritage of the Côte d’Azur and immerse yourself in the history of Côte d’Azur art.

THE BAROQUE ARTISTIC MOVEMENT

The Baroque artistic movement developed in Europe as of the 16th century and lasted until the 18th century. It was characterized by a grandiose, luxurious and exuberant style, with curvilinear forms, bright colours and dramatic compositions. The Baroque was influenced by the Catholic Counter-Reformation, aiming to strengthen the Catholic religion in the face of the Protestant Reformation, and by the Renaissance, which brought a rediscovery of antique art.

Baroque artists worked on religious, historic and mythological subjects, creating epic, moving and expressive works of art with specific attention to detail and dramatization. Emblematic works of the Baroque movement include the Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome by Bernini, the Vatican’s Staircase of Honour by Borromini and paintings by Caravage. This movement also had an important influence on architecture, music and the decorative arts, leaving an indelible mark on the history of art.

THE COTE D’AZUR INFLUENCED BY THE BAROQUE

The Côte d’Azur saw an explosion in the Baroque artistic movement in the 17th century, which marked the region’s architecture and decorative arts. The Baroque churches are particularly remarkable, such as the Basilica Notre-Dame-de-Pitié [Our Lady of Mercy] in Nice, which houses spectacular Baroque frescoes, and Saint Augustine’s Church in Menton, which has a magnificent Baroque altarpiece.

Baroque gardens were also in fashion on the Côte d’Azur with gardens such as those at Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, which are dotted with Baroque sculptures and fountains.

The Baroque also influenced the interior design of residences, with painted ceilings and sculpted mirrors, adding to the homes’ magnificence and luxury.

Today, the Côte d’Azur is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from across the globe to admire the Baroque masterpieces. This artistic movement is a remarkable example of a lasting influence on European history and culture.

THE BAROQUE ROUTE ON THE CÔTE D’AZUR

The Baroque Route on the Côte d’Azur is a tourist route that allows for discovering the region’s Baroque jewels.

This route, several dozen kilometres long, crosses coastal towns such as Nice, Menton, Antibes and Cannes, and also the east of the Alpes-Maritimes department, a rich historic and artistic heritage. It allows visitors to admire the Baroque churches, gardens, villas and chateaux on the Côte d’Azur.

The Baroque Route offers a glimpse of the richness and diversity of Baroque architecture, from the greatest basilicas to the most intimate of churches.

It also shows how the Baroque influenced the interior design of residences on the Côte d’Azur, adding a touch of luxury and sophistication to the houses.

It’s an easy route to follow and an excellent opportunity to discover the hidden jewels, by immersing yourself in the history and culture of the Côte d’Azur: a unique journey for lovers of art, history and heritage.

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NICE AND ITS HILLS

The prosperity of Nice in the 17th century was conducive to the emergence of Baroque art on the Côte d’Azur. With the construction of the Royal Road starting in Nice and ending in Turin, the Côte d’Azur town became a hotspot for Baroque art.

Nice, and particularly its historic centre of Old Nice, is brimming with numerous sites imbued with Baroque art to be discovered along the “Baroque Nice” trail. This starts in Place Garibaldi and ends at the Franciscan monastery.

Amongst other places, the “Baroque Nice” trail allows for visiting:

🏛️ Palais Lascaris
🏛️ The Cathedral of Sainte-Réparate [Saint Reparata]
🏛️ The Church of the Gesù
🏛️ The Chapelle de la Miséricorde [Mercy Chapel]

The towns of Peille, Lucéram and Escarène also each have a church with Baroque influences.

⏱️ Duration : 1 day
📍 Lieux : Garibaldi Square ➟ Saint Sepulcre ➟ Palais Lascaris ➟ The Cathedral of Sainte Réparate ➟ Church of the Gesù ➟ The Annonciation ➟ The Saint-Suaire ➟ Miséricorde ➟ Church of Saint-François ➟ Franciscain Monastery

THE 3 CORNICHES ROUTE

Between Nice and La Turbie, the beaches are immediately overlooked by the hilltops on which three road are laid out: the Corniches [Coast roads].

Amongst other places, the “3 Corniche Route” allows for visiting:

🏛️ Saint Michael’s Church
🏛️ The Church of Notre Dame de l’Assomption [Our Lady of the Assumption]
🏛️ Saint Elme citadel

⏱️ Duration : 1 day
📍 Location : La Turbie ➟ Eze ➟ Villefranche-sur-Mer

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LA ROYA VALLEY &
THE MENTON REGION

By following the Roya, you will cross the Italian border twice and follow the track of the old salt road. The Roya valley, and in particular the Haute-Roya, still have Baroque works of great historical and artistic value, bearing witness to the continuity of human settlement in these sites, both beside the sea and in the hinterland.

Amongst other places, the “Roya Valley” and “Menton Region” routes allow for visiting:

🏛️ The Church of Sancta Maria in Albis [Saint Mary the White] in Breil-sur-Roya
🏛️ The Church of Notre-Dame-des-Miracles [Our Lady of Miracles] in Saorge
🏛️ The Basilica of Saint-Michel Archange [St. Michael the Archangel] in Menton

⏱️ Duration : 1 day
📍 Location : La Brigue ➟ Tende ➟ Fontan ➟ Saorge ➟ Breil-sur-Roya ➟ Sospel ➟ Menton

THE VÉSUBIE VALLEY

It was only in the 17th century that the Baroque wave reached the Vésubie valley.

This Baroque route will have you discover a rich natural and cultural heritage, leading you through a variety of landscapes: terraces planted with olive trees, mountain vegetation, etc.

Some buildings in the valley were built in a Baroque style, while others were quite simply redecorated.

Amongst other places, the “Vésubie Valley” route allows for visiting:

🏛️ The Chapelle des Pénitents Blancs [Chapel of the White Penitents] in Utelle
🏛️ The Church of Saint-Martin de l’Assomption in Saint-Martin-Vésubie
🏛️ Saint Michael’s Cathedral in Sospel

⏱️ Duration : 1 or 2 days
📍 Location : Utelle ➟ Saint-Martin-Vésubie ➟ Belvédère ➟ La Bollène-Vésubie ➟ Sospel

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