France Travel Update: Nice & Monaco

It’s day numero trois in France, and I am full. Well, not so full that I haven’t been able to manage a double scoop of gelato or molten chocolate cake after every meal (including lunch) thus far, but let’s just say any fears of hunger on this trip were thoroughly assuaged in Nice and Monaco.

MonacoView of Monaco Harbor. We elected to forego purchasing a first home in Wisconsin and find a friend with a yacht to move in with instead. This plan is golden.

I know what you are thinking—gelato is Italian! And so it is, but Nice, a bustling city on the French Riviera, is so close to Italy, you can practically smell the bolognese. The cuisine here bears much of that influence, (happily) including gelato.

Or, maybe you were thinking that a scoop of gelato sounds prettttty n-i-c-e right now, which is what I think about 45% of the time I’m awake. The other 55% is occupied with…

SOCCA. A specialty of Nice, socca is a spongy, peppery, and positively addictive chickpea crepe. It’s cooked until blisteringly hot in a wood oven, absolutely dripping with olive oil, and while it’s considered a street food, it’s one of the best things I’ve eaten in France so far. We ordered one to share, then immediately realized that neither of us were willing to part with a single bite.

Socca Crepes at the Nice marketHers and his socca (wood-fired chickpea crepe) at the outdoor market in Nice.

In addition to socca, the Nice market has graciously stuffed me with strawberries, cherries, figs, sausages, cheeses, olives, and apricots, as well as a few other vegetables I impulse bought because they looked to pretty to leave undevoured. Regular readers of this blog know that I have a serious love affair with farmers markets, and the freshness and diversity of the produce here has been one of my favorite parts of the trip so far.

Market BountyOne small side of one stall, among dozens at the daily market in Nice. 

Olives at the Nice MarketOlive-you a lot. Best olives of my life, period. I ate some for breakfast this morning. Don’t judge.

Tomatoes at the Nice MarketIf only I looked this good first thing in the morning.

Les Fleurs at the Nice MarketLes fleurs! In addition to an abundant selection of produce, Nice also boasts the largest flower market in Provence. I stuck my face in these bouquets 2.5 seconds after Ben took the picture.

In addition to our market finds, Ben and I each claimed a favorite dish in the city:

Mega mussels in Ville France sur MerMy pick: Just-caught mussels steamed in white wine and shallots. I already miss them.

Pizza in nice? Oui!Ben’s pick: PIZZA. Mine’s the one with the egg on top because…I don’t think I need to explain this to you. If you are with me on the whole runny egg + cheesy melty pizza divine combo, you are with me. If you are not, please try it. Then, let’s split a pizza. Actually, let’s order two pizzas and split a bottle of wine. High fives.

Right now, I’m having a terrifying realization that I’ve only posted half of the food we’ve eaten in the last 48 hours. Someone cut me off (please don’t.)

All this eating can really wear on a person, so Ben and I have also been taking time to relax and soak in our surroundings.

Albert 1 Park in NiceAlbert I Park, Nice.

Streets of Vieux NiceWandering along the streets of the old city of Nice.

Rose wine at 3 o'clock in NiceSipping rosé at 3 p.m…because we can.

Nice BeachStrolling along the Nice boardwalk beside the sea.

Espunga Bakery in NiceStopping at a bakery, because obviously all that walking made me hungry.

We also took a day trip to Monaco, the playground of the rich and famous, home of the famed Monte Carlo casino, and site of the Grand Prix.We marveled at the palace, then selected a yacht or two we’d be happy to cruise home to mom.


As you read this, we are onto the next stretch of our journey—driving through the hilltop villages of Provence. I have images of French story books, roadside vineyards, and sipping pastis in lazy mountainside cafes. After all, this map looks like a sure guide to success, right?

Cours Saylas-Nice

Thanks so much for allowing me to share this first leg of our French journey with you. Santé!

For more French travel updates: Like The Law Student’s Wife on Facebook (don’t forget to double click the “Like” button and select “Get Notifications”), where I’ll be posting quick blurbs of what we are up to each day. I’m also sporadically posting on Instagram when wireless connections cooperate, so you can catch a few shots there too.


Ready to go to France? Start right here with these other French travel posts:

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About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…


  1. Love this whole post… enjoy your trip (and keep sharing photos please!)!

  2. Sounds like y’all are having such a blast! Everything looks delicious – especially the olives and those tomatoes!! I was so surprised by the mass quantities of gelato and ice cream that people were eating when I was in Paris, even when it was kind of chilly out!

  3. Everything looks so beautiful. I love those market pictures. I would be in heaven

  4. What a heavenly trip. My parents just returned from Nice and now your post makes me want to travel there even more!

  5. Erin, this is such a beautiful post! You guys completely deserve this time together (in an idyllic location – oh my gosh, that scenery, the food, the wine!) after all of those months apart. I mean, with the law student being incarcerated in the library. I thought it would never end! Soak it up, relax and have the time of your life beautiful. Thanks for sharing these snaps with us! xx

  6. Hi Erin!

    I’m just enjoying living vicariously through your travel pics!

    We used to travel a ton before we had kids (and although I wouldn’t trade them for the world and back) miss traveling a bit =(

    But I remind myself that when I get old (now there’s a reassuring thought!) I’ll be able to travel once again. Until then keep on traveling. Ok, I just stole that from Rick Steves, too embarrassing!

  7. you guys are the cutest! love love love the photos!! and sipping rosé at 3 p.m…because you can? freaking awesome. that’s what vacation is all about! :) love this!

  8. Yum yum yum! All of your beautiful food pictures are making my mouth water. Especially the olives! Looking forward to seeing everything else you guys devour

  9. One of my favorite posts ever! Just beautiful! I’m SO happy you’re having a ball!

  10. Wow….what a lovely trip! And, yes to farmer’s markets. Fabulous tomato photo! Looking forward to more of your vacation posts.

  11. Thanks for sharing your trip with us, Erin. I’ve been to Nice, but before I was such a foodie. Obviously I need to go back there again … especially to try that socca!

    • That’s how I feel coming back to France too Helen! Even though I studied here, I still have so many different foods I never tried, including really classic ones. And socca is definitely worth a trip to Nice!!

  12. Hi Erin, looks like a wonderful trip, love the all the different types of tomatoes at the farmers market.

  13. gorgeous pic! I love that you are drinking rose at 3.

  14. This looks like such a fun trip, I’m so jealous :) Love the updates and pictures, looks like you guys are having a blast!

  15. LOVE these travel posts. Please keep them up. So glad you all are getting enjoy some much deserved time together!

  16. Looks like you guys are having an amazing time! Oh how I miss the French farmers markets! They are fantastic!!! Enjoy every minute!

  17. I love that the zucchini not only is normal size instead of “Incredible Hulk” size, but that the blossoms are left attached. Also love that the basil is in the bin with the tomatoes. Last, if presented with the same olive smorgasbord, I would eat them for breakfast too.

  18. Those tomatoes look so amazing! As do all yalls eats! I so love all your pictures and your accompanying commentary – yallare adorable!

  19. It looks like the two of you are having a fabulous time. Those tomatoes are gorgeous. Um, yeah, everyone should stop for a little rose at three in the afternoon. It’s a must in France. Your photos are stunning. Enjoy!

  20. Oh my gosh!! That food!! I want to eat all of it! I could eat olives all day too and I want to bury my face in those! Also, those tomatoes, are they even real?! Wow, they are beautiful! Thank you for letting us live vicariously through you :)

  21. Wow! How fun. I’m definitely going there one day.

  22. Gorgeous, beautiful pictures! I especially love the market photos – so many lovely colors and amazing foods! I think I’d want to buy it all!! And then I would gain 15 pounds because I wouldn’t be able to control myself at those bakeries!
    That pic of you and your hubby having a drink at 3pm … seriously the cutest thing I’ve seen in a long time!

  23. How wonderful. It looks like you are having an epic adventure filled with ALL the fun and food that will fit. :) Absolutely love the pic of you kids sipping rose at 3pm, I say thats the best kinda way to spend an arvo. I am now on the hunt for a place that will serve a runny egg, great recommendation. Happy weekend to you and Ben. Looking forward to your next post. :)

  24. So jealous of your trip abroad!!! Monaco is definitely on my short list!

  25. Hi Erin,
    I discovered your post by coincidence…
    That stand of olives at the nice market: my favorite, ever! (specially the cassées ail-basilic!!!!)
    I actually live in Nice since 2013 and love it.
    You can now count me between your followers … My blog is in french, sadely…

    • Bonjour Clara! It is so wonderful to hear from you. The olives in Nice are truly heavenly. I’m jealous that you live there—it is such a vibrant city! I’m so glad that you found my blog and took time to say hi. When I need to practice my French, I will read yours too :-)

  26. Your pictures are beautiful! What type of lens do you use?

    • Thank you so much Katrina! For this travel post, my photos are a combo of a point and shoot Canon Powershot (not fancy at all!) and my iPhone. For my blog food photos, I use a Nikon D3100 and 50mm portrait lens, but it’s too big for me to haul around on the go.

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