A little drop…of belle epoque

Rue de la Liberté from the Place Magenta, Nice

Although the Carré d’Or lacks the almost medieval charm of Vieux Nice, its turn of the (19th) century architecture has its own appeal.

At left, the Boulangerie Multari, a chain of bakeries selling extraordinarily delicious tartes and other farinacious delights.

From Russia with Love

Interior, Chiesa Ortodossa Russa, Sanremo

The domes of La Chiesa di Cristo Salvatore, Santa Caterina Martire e San Serafino di Sarov (Church of Christ the Savior, St. Catherine the Martyr and St. Serafin de Sarov) are its most beautiful and distinctive attributes.  They featured fleetingly in the 2009 movie Io Sono L’amore (I am Love), whose heroine, Emma Recchi (Tilda Swinton) passes the church enroute to an unexpected – and life-changing – encounter with her son’s best friend.

Domes, Chiesa Russa Ortodossa, Sanremo
Chiesa Russa, Sanremo

The movie’s main theme, that of identity and self, finds expression in a number of key scenes.  Recchi, Russian by birth, has lost her cultural identity in a cold and sexless marriage to an Italian plutocrat: “When I moved to Milan, I learned to be Italian.”

As she walks through Sanremo, she  looks up to the roof of the Russian church, and a shaft of sunlight breaks through from behind the domes. This prefigures the coming plot point at which Recchi meets the man who will awaken yet other aspects of her self, cut her hair, and cook for her a peculiarly revolting (and deadly) fish soup.