Author Robert Kanigel offers a witty history of the sun-kissed beaches of Nice since the time of the Roman Empire. “ High Season: How One French Riviera Town Has Seduced Travelers for Two Thousand Years ,” offers an overview of the city with its distinctive mix of French and Italian cultures, and how it became the playground of the rich and famous years before the jet set. He explores the ever-changing city; offering glimpses of its well-traveled visitors and even dares to delve into the dark periods, such as touching on those French collaborators who worked with the Nazis during the Second World War. Concise light reading through most of the book, Kanigel offers some excellent history whether you’re going to Nice for the first time, or just want to better understand the city.

From 1917 until his death in 1954 the artist Matisse called Nice his home, and Jean-Beranrd Naudin and Gilles Plazy chronicle his painting and his recipes! “ Matisse: A Way of Life in the South of France ” covers this artist’s style both as a painter and cook. The colorful book will serve as inspiration, and while the recipes aren’t really for every day meals, would you expect any less of such a great master?

If you are searching for a good guidebook to Nice with updated maps, photos, hotel and restaurant reviews, etc., or just want to explore the French Riviera virtually on your computer, then be sure to download the free 2006 Schmap Nice Guide .  You find up-to-date information about Nice on the Provence-Hideaways website, a free online travel guide of the Provence and Côte d'Azur, written by expatriates living in the Provence.

The social and cultural history of the Riviera from the late 1800's to the modern day is thoroughly researched and quirkily brought to life in Jim Ring's clourful " Riviera. The rise and rise of the Cote d'Azur " (paperback 2005, John Murray (Publishers)) 

If your trip to Nice will include venturing further afield then don’t leave home without DK’s “ Provence & The Cote D’azur ” (Eyewitness Travel Guides) by Paul Hines (Editors). This book, complete with detailed maps, will tell you where to go, where to shop, where to eat and how to be prepared for your journey of a lifetime to the south of France.