Part of the pleasure – and there  are many – of travelling in France is a visit to the local outdoor markets.

This colourful market square sits at the edge of Nice’s vieille ville (old town) and definitely merits a visit during your visit to this lovely city on the French Riviera.

The market at the Cours Saleya runs every day but Monday, 6 am – 1:30 pm. The flower market runs for longer hours most days. On Mondays, the square is taken over by an antiques market.

Stop by to enjoy the lively atmosphere, admire the pretty architecture of the buildings alongside the square and to wander the stalls and soak in the atmosphere. The artist Paul Matisse once lived on Cours Saleya, in the large yellow building at the end of the square.

Visitors can find a wide array of fruits and vegetables, bread, cheeses meat, fish and spices.

There are also local specialties from the region, including bags of the provençale herbs (a mixture of dried rosemary, thyme, basil and fennel), olive oil, tapenades (olive spreads) and flavoured salts for cooking provençale specialties.

Other local items, such as lavender sachets and Marseille soaps are for sale in the market and make nice small gifts, easy to pack.

So on your next visit to Nice, be sure to stop by to explore the market on Cours Saleya and to leave some space in your suitcase in order to bring the tastes of southern France back home with you.

I’ve already written about another of my favorite French markets – in Annecy .