Curious Histories of Nice, France

Curious Histories of Nice, France

Would you like to get more enjoyment from your stay in Nice?

Are you curious about the events that shaped the character of this intriguing city by the sea?

Yes? Then this book is for you.
In it you will:

• Meet Nice’s unlikely heroine and find out how she chased away an army
• Follow the city’s zigzagging path to becoming French
• Find out why Queen Victoria travelled with a donkey
• Learn about traditions at the heart of Niçois culture
• Discover dastardly crimes… And much more…


This book is not a guide to Nice in the traditional sense. I won’t be mapping out tour routes or recommending restaurants. Others can do that much better than I can.

What I will be doing is recounting stories about the people and events from Nice’s past that have helped to form the city’s character. These stories are meant to be entertaining as well as informative and to help you better understand the city that I happily call my adopted home.

The book is divided into four parts: Before France, Trail of Tourism, Disaster and Dastardly Deeds, and Taste of Tradition. In each part, you’ll find an overview or comment on the subject, followed by several related short stories. Most stories have “What to See” and “Fun Facts” sections at the end with additional information.

I feel very privileged to have lived in Nice and to have been able to explore its history on a daily basis. I hope this collection of stories will help to make your time in Nice more interesting and memorable.

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Loved it!

Calling all Francophiles! Margo Lestz does it again with her second book filled with fascinating and quirky bits of information that inform us about essential aspects of the culture of la belle France.

– Patricia Sands, author of the “Love in Provence” series

Thoroughly enjoyed this book

As a resident of this wonderful city, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it actually taught me a few things about the place I didn’t know! Very entertaining and informative in a light-hearted way.

– Roy from France

Funny and fascinating stories you won’t hear anywhere else

The only thing better than reading all of these quirky little stories about colorful characters and historical events in Nice, France, was having Margo Lestz visit our local book club. All of us at Riviera Readers greatly enjoyed not only reading this book – but hearing how Margo set out on a one-woman mission to research all this local lore and pulled it together to be published for the first time. Great insight into behind-the-scenes Nice that gives some added depth to your stay beyond sunny days spent at the beach.

– Riviera Readers book club, Nice, France

Riviera Reporter review of Curious Histories of Nice, France.


Margo Lestz

Margo Lestz is American by birth but now divides her time between London, England and Nice, France. Life in a foreign country is never dull and every day is a new learning experience.

She describes herself as a perpetual student and is always taking some kind of course or researching a moment in history that has caught her fancy. She’s curious by nature and always wondering who, what, why, when, where, and how.

Margo shares her adventures (and her questions) with Jeff, her husband of many years. She enjoys travel, history, observing cultures and traditions – and then writing about them, of course.

You can find Margo here:

Blog:  |  Facebook
Twitter  |  Amazon Author Page  |  Goodreads

Available in Bookstores

These bookstores in Nice carry my books:

  • Papeterie Rontani, 5 rue Alexandre Mari – This stationary shop in the Old Town is where Queen Victoria used to by her writing supplies.
  • Librairie Masséna, 55 rue Gioffredo – off Place Massena
  • Librairie de la Presse, 105 rue de France – This shop specializes in used English books, and the staff is especially friendly.

Even More About Nice

This walking tour of the Old Town will help you locate some of the sites mentioned in this book.

Download this free E-Book for more sites in and around Nice that didn’t make it into Curious Histories of Nice, France.

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