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France: Will Winter Come Early for Nice's Famous Flower Market?

Written by Abdoulaye Bah · Translated by Joel Gilbourd On 27 October 2012 @ 13:36 pm | No Comments

In Arts & Culture, Citizen Media, English, France, French, Photos, Travel, TYPE, Weblog, Western Europe

On the occasion of the Sainte Fleur festival on 29 September, 2012, Nice-Matin, the local daily paper of the capital of the French Riviera, published an article titled “Nice: the famous flower market of the Cours Saleya in danger [1]” [fr]. According to Sophie Casals, the author of the article, the florists of the Cour Saleya [2] [fr] (a popular town square in Nice) are having to deal with more and more administrative red tape – in addition to problems posed by the waste-management authorities.

The article provoked many comments on the web. One reader [2]pinklotusinindia [3] [fr], has noted:

qu'elle tristesse si ce marché (presque typique bien que cher surtout en été) disparait, un lieu incontournable pour les touristes et les niçois qui aiment s'y promener, on l'a déjà amputé de la place à coté de la chapelle de la miséricorde, une grande place vide remplie de grands pots…
Il faut sauver le cours Saleya et ses petits marchands,et faire revivre une âme niçoise!!

how sad it would be if this market (almost iconic – although expensive, particularly in the summer) disappeared, a must for tourists and for Nice locals who love to go for walks there, we have already cut it off from the nearby Square of the Chapel of Mercy, a great open space full of great pots…
We have to save the Cours Saleya and its small merchants, and revive the Nice soul!!

The Nice flower market by Chris230*** on FlickR (License CC-2.0) [4]

The Nice flower market by Chris230*** on FlickR (License CC-2.0)

Writing on the Blog du Vieux Nice (the Old Nice Blog), Adèle thinks [2] [fr] that:

Il faut garder ce bout de paradis que représente le marché aux fleurs! Il représente l'emblème de notre belle ville partout dans le monde! On y trouve de magnifiques compositions et à prix abordables! Beaucoup de touristes retournent bien souvent chez eux avec un bouquet “Niçois”!

We have to keep the piece of paradise that the flower market represents! It represents the emblem of our beautiful city everywhere in the world! You can find there magnificent bouquets at affordable prices! Many tourists will often return home with a “Niçois” bouquet.

Here's a brief history of the Cours Saleya [5][fr] according to nicetourisme.com:

Ancien parc, le cours Saleya, zone piétonne au cœur du Vieux-Nice, est devenu un lieu pittoresque et immanquable pour les niçois et les touristes.

Dans un décor ocre, rectiligne et baroque, le marché aux antiquaires le lundi et le marché aux fleurs et aux légumes les autres jours offrent un ravissement pour les yeux et un délice pour les papilles (classé parmi les 100 premiers marchés les plus pittoresques de France).
Les soirs d’été, les touristes profitent de l’agréable marché d’art et d’artisanat.

Once a park, the Cours Saleya, now a pedestrian mall at the heart of the Nice Old Town, had become a picturesque, unmissable spot both for Nice locals and for tourists.

With its ochre setting, straight and baroque, the antique markets on Mondays and the flower and vegetable markets on the other days offer a ravishing treat for the eyes and delight for the taste-buds (they have been classed within the the 100 most picturesque markets in France).
On summer evenings, tourists also enjoy the pleasant art and artisan markets.

Here is a sample, taken from tripadvisor.co.uk, of what the tourists themselves think. David_PRG85, from Prague in the Czech Republic, wrote [6]:

We've visited Cours Saleya around 8-9am, to avoid crowds and it was great. Still had the atmosphere of local city market with all the fresh fish, sausages, cheese, mushrooms, flowers, etc. You can have still warm croissant, quiche, or pain au chocolat for breakfast for a very reasonable price and eat it just across the road on the beach.

The Cours Saleya by Dalbera on FlickR (license CC-2.0) [7]

The Cours Saleya by Dalbera on FlickR (license CC-2.0)

On the same site, Yung T from Austin, Texas, wrote [6]:

Great place for people watching.
This is a must do attraction in Nice. If you want to learn the local culture, and see what local folks are doing, this is the perfect place. It's the local market and it has everything from garden products to seafood, flowers, etc. Recommend mid morning for smaller crowd.

Faldi wrote [8]:

I hardly remember such a big place like this, with so many restaurants and bars all crammed at night with so many nice people, all in the same spot. A beautiful view, reat to stroll just a bit too hot  :-).

The Riviera online community suspect that the administrative red tape binding the florists works to the advantage of the restaurants with whom they share the town square – and this is provoking anger. Many netizens have posted their reactions on nicematin.com. Here are some examples:

chfjdli [9] [fr], appealing to the local municipal authorities, wrote [1] [fr]:

Il est impensable que le marché aux fleurs du Cours Saleya disparaisse. Une des vitrines de Nice après la promenade des Anglais lieux incontournables pour les touristes, ce marché doit faire l'objet de toute notre sollicitude et les pouvoirs publics doivent impérativement se pencher sur la question de la cohabitation des restaurants qui grignotent tous les jours du terrain comme je le constate en qualité de cliente de ce marché très agréable. Si les fleuristes quittent la place ce sera la fin aussi pour beaucoup de restaurants, les touristes passeront dans d'autres secteurs il n'y aura plus ce pôle d'attraction pour les inciter à venir. D'autre part les employés de la voiries doivent recevoir des instructions pour montrer un peu plus de discernement dans leurs interventions. Merci à notre Maire de bien vouloir prendre un moment pour se pencher sur ce problème très important et trouver un bon compromis.

It is unthinkable that the Cours Saleya flower market should disappear. An unmissable Nice showcase for tourists (second only the Promenade des Anglais), this market warrants all of our concern and the authorities must immediately address the issue of co-existence with the restaurants which munch up more territory with each day as I, a customer of this very pleasant market, am noticing. If the florists leave the square it will also be the end for many restaurants – the tourists will pass over to other areas as this attraction will no longer be there to incite them to come over. In addition, waste-disposal employees should be instructed to be a bit more discerning in their work there. We would be grateful if our Mayor took a moment to address this very important problem and to find a compromise.

Aristide [10] [fr], appreciating the tiresome work being done by the florists, said [1] [fr]:

Parlons-en des fleuristes du cours Saleya: ils font un boulot dans des conditions de travail qui ne sont pas enviables et pourtant ils font partie du patrimoine Niçois. … Faudrait les aider, plutôt que les critiquer et les verbaliser, mais nous sommes dirigés par des personnages qui sont plus souvent à Paris ou ailleurs que dans la ville qu'ils sont censés gérer.

Let's talk about the florists of the Cours Saleya: they are working in conditions that few would envy and yet they are part of the Nice heritage. … We ought to help them rather than criticize and regulate them, but we are being led by people who spend more time in Paris and elsewhere than they do in the city that they are supposed to be managing.

Bastian [11] [fr] expresses his sentiments on the matter with a sense of humour [1] [fr]:

Place aux restaus ….De toute façon il n'y a plus de producteurs, qui ont vendu leur terrain agricole en terrain a bâtir, il n'y [en] aura plus dans quelques temps… Mais qui fera vivre ces restaurants quand les touristes iront ailleurs… au fait il faut penser à alerter les guides touristiques sur la disparition du point d'intérêt qui a fait historiquement la gloire de NICE.

More room for restaurants…In any case there there are no longer any local producers, they all sold their farmland and turned it into building plots, so there won't be any soon enough… But who will keep these restaurants viable when the tourists go elsewhere… incidentally, we should think about alerting the tourist guides about the disappearance of this attraction which has historically been the glory of NICE.

On a practical note, ABDULLAH [12] [fr], a resident of the Nice Old Town, wrote [1] [fr]:

Les fleurs c'est fini, les romantiques disparaissent progressivement, les gens pensent uniquement à leurs estomacs, il faut de la bouffe; par conséquent le produit à la mode est le kebab, et les ingrédients qui vont avec : frites salade; produit peu cher à la portée de toutes les bourses. Il faut réserver le meilleur accueil aux futurs vendeurs de ce produit d'avenir sur Nice, car les temps changent, il faut s'adapter aux nouveautés

Flowers are finished, romantics are progressively disappearing, people are thinking only about their stomachs (we need chow!); as a result, the currently preferred product is the kebab and its various accompaniments: chips and salad – inexpensive products within the reach of every budget. We should save our warmest welcome for the coming vendors of this future product in Nice, because times are changing, and you've got to adopt to the new

When it comes to what makes Nice an internationally renowned city, apart from its climate and coast, credit must also go to the many tourist attractions – among them the Cours Saleya – which ought to be cherished and conserved.


Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org

URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2012/10/27/france-will-winter-come-early-for-nices-famous-flower-market/

URLs in this post:

[1] Nice: the famous flower market of the Cours Saleya in danger: http://www.nicematin.com/nice/nice-le-celebre-marche-aux-fleurs-du-cours-saleya-en-peril.1004619.html

[2] Cour Saleya: http://leblogduvieuxnice.nicematin.com/2012/09/cours-saleya-un-march%C3%A9-en-voie-de-disparition-.html

[3] pinklotusinindia: http://leblogduvieuxnice.nicematin.com/2012/09/cours-saleya-un-march%C3%A9-en-voie-de-disparition-.html?cid=6a0120a864ed46970b017c3237b51f970b#comment-6a0120a864ed46970b017c3237b51f970b

[4] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/krikou/1388678518/

[5] brief history of the Cours Saleya : http://www.nicetourisme.com/a-faire/45-LE%20COURS%20SALEYA

[6] wrote: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g187234-d255251-Reviews-Cours_Saleya-Nice_Provence.html

[7] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dalbera/5954794766/

[8] wrote: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g187234-d255251-r137704930-Cours_Saleya-Nice_Provence.html#REVIEWS

[9] chfjdli: http://www.nicematin.com/users/chfjdli

[10] Aristide: http://www.nicematin.com/users/aristide

[11] Bastian: http://www.nicematin.com/users/bastian

[12] ABDULLAH: http://www.nicematin.com/users/abdullah

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