Miraculous light, colors, “Mediterraneanism”… so many words to describe what Nice was for Nietzsche.
This city, which according to the philosopher has charm only by its Italian part, was his source of inspiration. He imagined Turin. He loved to hear Italian spoken in the old town. He had a real aversion to the French part of Nice.
The cosmopolitan spirit of Nice gave him a sense of freedom.
Loneliness as a source of creation was what he sought during his many stays in the capital of the French Riviera. He found in Nice the vital energy in response to his desire for death. Nice the curator, that’s how the city could have been described in the eyes of Nietzsche.
Between 1883 and 1887 Nietzsche spent five winters in Nice and found the unexpected sweetness of this season during each stay. He first stayed in a room at 38 rue Ségurane, then at the “pension de Genève” in the present rue Rossini. He set about writing Zarathoustra. His walks last several hours and inspired him. He went to Mont Boron and on the path that leads to Èze, today known as “Nietzsche’s path“.
In the footsteps of Nietzsche
His second stay is a reflection of the previous one, as he stays at the pension Genève and finishes writing Zarathoustra.
His third stay begins in the same pension and ends at 26 rue François de Paule. There he wrote Par-delà le Bien et le Mal (Beyond Good and Evil). Nietzsche wishes to surround himself with cultured minds. He is immersed in the musical life of Nice and likes to go to the opera. He wanted to create a new class of learned and enlightened spirits, “superior beings” who could guide souls in “distress”.
His fourth stay took place at the pension “de Genève” and then at 29 rue des Ponchettes. He will begin writing the Gai Savoir.
For his fifth winter in Nice, he stays once again at the pension “de Genève”. This is his last winter in the city. Indeed, the following winter, Nietzsche will spend it in Turin, a way for him to keep his Italian inspiration alive…