While working on privately owned yachts in the South of France, I spent some time in Nice and paid a visit to the magnificent Monastery of Cimiez. The monastery has been used by the Franciscan monks since the 16th century and includes a church, a cemetery, a convent, beautiful gardens and sweeping views across Nice.
The beautiful church boasts three major works by Italian medieval artist Ludovico Brea and a monumental altar-piece of hand-carved wood decorated with gold-leaf. The convent houses the Musée Franciscain which is decorated with 17th century frescoes, and displays more than 300 documents and works of art from the 15th to 18th centuries. Buried in the cemetery are the painters Henri Matisse and Raoul Dufy, plus the winner of the 1937 Nobel Prize for Literature, Roger Martin du Gard, as well as many notables of the Grand Italian Families laid to rest in exquisitely designed mausoleums. The remarkable garden surrounding the building is the former vegetable garden of the monks. It is now used as a garden of exceptional floral decoration.
What struck me about this awe-inspiring place is how so many disciplines - religion, art, history, literature and gardening - are brought together. The place is truly steeped in culture and inspires visitors deeply with unforgettable memories and emotion. I feel richer for having visited. The lesson here is to remember that our true wealth is not measured by the money in our bank accounts, but by the beauty and inspiration we experience in art, religion, history, literature and nature.
The lesson here is to remember that our true wealth is not measured by the money in our bank accounts, but by the beauty and inspiration we experience in art, religion, history, literature and nature.