The Matisse Museum is in an area called Cimiez. This is where the rich people live in fantastic buildings and this is also where you find the old Roman Ruins. In fact, the museum is on the same grounds as the Ruins so you have several reasons to go up here. I went to the museum with very high expectations. Although he was not originally from Nice, he spent a lot of time painting here and had a studio in a beautiful building at the end of the Cours Saleya. There are sketches, oils and sculptures dominating this exhibition, housed in this red-ochre, 17th-century villa standing in the middle of an olive grove.
The museum is open from 10am to 6pm, April to September (otherwise to 5pm).
The exhibition was way to small, the staff was rude and the whole thing was over before it began. Now I can at least say that I have been there, but that’s also pretty much all it gave me. And while you might think that I know nothing whatsoever about art, and be right in that assumption, I brought my mom along, who is really genuinely interested and she was also very disappointed. Too bad! Well, if you are super hooked on Matisse, maybe, just maybe this is something for you. Otherwise, see the parks and the buildings, have a cup of coffee up there, but don’t bother with the museum. At least the house, the olive trees and the ruins are beautiful. This is where the famous Nice Jazz festival is held every year, something I will get back to.
By the way, once you leave the park and head for the bus station, look west in the first intersection. In the monstrous white apartment building just on the other side of the road is where Queen Victoria used to live for a short stint and dabble in painting (told to us by a French English teacher with tons of lipstick on her teeth) just so you know!