A short bus ride east of Nice sits the sleepy, picturesque Villefranche-sur-Mer. I imagine the resort town is bustling during the hot Mediterranean summer but in December, when many businesses are closed until spring, it's hard to imagine crowds filling the boardwalk and alleyways.
The old Citadel serves serves as another reminder of southern France's rich history (which, incidentally, is over three times as long as the United States' lifetime as a nation). From the outside it looks like a fortress from an Alexandre Dumas' novel; from inside the outer walls it more resembles a Napa Valley vineyard. We didn't go into the museum part, but took in views of the harbor and peninsula as well as got a closer look at the pack of middle-aged tandem bicycle riders that had passed us by earlier.
We had lunch at a restaurant in the historic center near the water, but pickings were slim due to aforementioned seasonal closures. As a non-boating specialist I would say there isn't much to do in town apart from basking in the sun (which is surprisingly strong even in winter; I was sweating in my cashmere sweater), but that is the point of a resort, is it not? To forget about the urban problems of everyday life and enjoy the beauty of the present.