Palais Lascaris

Palais Lascaris, once an elegant home, is now one of the Nice's many museums. This stunning showplace was built in the mid-1700s to be a grand residence for the Earl Lascaris-Ventimiglia. After remaining a private residence for centuries, this palace in Nice France was transformed into a museum and historical monument in 1963. This stunning museum on La Rue Droite, lovingly restored, will usher into the world once occupied by the nobles who lived and vacationed on the Cote d'Azur.

While you're embarking on Palais Lascaris tours, you'll have the chance to admire one of the best remaining examples of Italian Baroque architecture in the South of France. This particular style, similar to the homes in Genoa, Italy, is known for its soaring spaces and balconies. Members of the Lascaris-Ventimiglia family had roots in Italy, so it made sense that the noble family brought with them the ways of their homeland. As you stroll about the palace, you'll find a stunning staircase and rooms filled with furnishings from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The palace is also filled with Flemish tapestries, an amazing mural, and subtle stucco work.

In 2009, the Palais Lascaris received an amazing collection of musical instruments, donated by Le Groupe AXA. The French financial company loaned the rare items that illustrate European music from the late 1800s into the first years of the twentieth century. This archival collection, on a long term loan, is composed of instruments and other items from three top French instrument makers will an illustrious history-Gaveau, Pleyel, and Erard. The collection also includes paintings and drawings related to music and musical instruments. While you're taking Palais Lascaris tours, you'll have the chance to see (and often hear) some of the pianos, harps, and clavichords that have made beautiful music.

The schedule of events is filled with music. When you settle in for a concert at Palais Lascaris, you might find the dramatic backdrop makes the music sound even better. The grand salon has been hosting concerts for centuries, a tradition that continues even today. At any given time, you might have the chance to hear an expert harpsichordist, students at the top of their game, or pianist. Concerts are scheduled for every Wednesday at noon, and Thursday talks combine music and history.

The palace in Nice France is open every day of the week, with the exception of Tuesday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you'd like to include one of the guided tours, you should know when to go. The Palais Lascaris tours depart on Friday afternoon. Reservations are not needed, unless you're planning on bringing a group. They need to make appointments at least two weeks ahead of their visit. The tours require a minor per-person fee, while entry to the museum is free no matter which day of the week you choose to come.

The Palais Lascaris used to charge admission, like many others throughout Nice. In 2008, a consortium of municipal museums decided to offer free entry. The Musee des Beaux Arts, less than ten minutes away, is another Nice museum with an elegant setting and free admission. Whether your goal is to explore all of the attractions or add a little culture to contrast time at the beach, you can meet your goal without spending a fortune.

Image: Debs Eye (flickr)
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