Nice – located in the extreme south-east of mainland France, 30 km from the border of France and Italy. Distance to Paris – 960 km, to Marseille – 230 km Genoa – 200 km.
The city lies on the shore of the Bay of Angels, near the city is the mouth of the Var River. To the north of Nice is surrounded by a number of low hills. Nice is the largest city of the French Riviera.
The first known hominid settlements in the Nice area date back about 400,000 years; the Terra Amata archeological site shows one of the earliest uses of fire, construction of houses, and flint findings dated to around 230,000 years ago.
Nice (Nicaea) was probably founded around 350 BC by the Greeks of Massalia (Marseille), and was given the name of Nikaia (Νίκαια) in honour of a victory over the neighbouring Ligurians; Nike (Νίκη) was the Greek goddess of victory.
The city soon became one of the busiest trading ports on the Ligurian coast; but it had an important rival in the Roman town of Cemenelum, which continued to exist as a separate city until the time of the Lombard invasions. The ruins of Cemenelum are in Cimiez, now a district of Nice.