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A Week in Nice, Provence and the Occitanie to Make You Jealous! PART I

Cocktails after the conference at the Hôtel Splendid at sunset
Cocktails after the conference at the Hôtel Splendid at sunset

I hope to make you very jealous that you didn’t join us last week in Nice, Provence and the Occitanie!

It’s been quite a week, so sit back and relax. You’re about to get a “glimpse” of what it was like to host and participate in three days of the Living and Investing in France Conference in Nice as well as a five-day tour to Provence and the Occitanie.

Whew! Just the sound of it seems exhausting. Sometimes it was, but mostly it was exhilarating!

Today’s Nouvellettre® is PART I of the recounting of the tale because it’s just too much to digest all at once. Tomorrow will be a special edition of PART II…so you can take it in easier.

PART I

Event organizers, Barb Sedita and her daughter, Jamie Perriello (Opportunity Travel), arrived in Nice on Friday afternoon (September 24th) from Delray Beach, Florida. I was determined they would see and experience as much of Nice as was possible during the weekend…so we didn’t miss too much.

Barb Sedita with her daughter, Jamie Perriello

Barb Sedita with her daughter, Jamie Perriello

Their first night, we had the fortune of hearing John Garland Jones sing at a little bar near the Libération market just north of the train station, Le Boréal. A lot of the people there were our clients, friends of John’s and now friends of each other. He has quite a loyal following and you can count on him to generate a whole lot of good spirit wherever he’s singing…as he did that night.

The crowd at Le Boréal as John Garland Jones sings

Expats at Le Boréal enjoying hearing John Garland Jones sing

Over the weekend, we lunched at one of the on-the-beach clubs, bought a huge bouquet of flowers on the Cours Saleya for the conference, walked along the Promenade des Anglais, visited the Old Port, took the tramways, and did loads of typical Niçois things as one might do. Then, we buckled down to get the final details in place for the conference.

Conference speakers at dinner the evening before

Conference speakers at dinner the evening before

LIVING AND INVESTING IN FRANCE CONFERENCE DAYS

We had almost 50 attendees from all over the U.S. and Canada. They were lined up early to enter the conference room at the Hôtel Splendid and take front-row seats. It always fascinates me to see who prefers the front to the back of the room and why. As they filed in, we handed them a lot of materials along with a special key ring for their next property in France.

Attendees for the Adian Leeds Group Living & Investing in France conference in Nice

Attendees for the Living & Investing in France conference

Day one of the conference was from 9 to 6 p.m. with a line-up of speakers and presentations, starting with my opening remarks followed by author of Nice in Nice and one of our search consultants, Ella Dyer, extolling the virtues of living in Nice. Brian Dunhill, of Dunhill Financial, opened up the conversation about money, explaining why and how North American expats will pay less tax living in France than in the U.S. or Canada, followed by Benjamin Pik, of Pik Consulting, not live and in person, but on Zoom from Jerusalem, explaining how the tax treaty works and why you won’t pay tax twice on the same income.

Adrian Leeds speaking at the Living & Investing in France conference in Nice

Ella Dyer, author of Nice in Nice, keynote speaker

Ella Dyer, author of Nice in Nice, keynote speaker

Benjamin Pik, Pik Consulting, on Zoom making his presentation

Benjamin Pik, Pik Consulting, on Zoom making his presentation

We continued to talk about money all morning with Iva Slavtcheva, of Moneycorp Exchange Experts, who flew all the way from Florida to be with us, after which Kim Bingham, of Private-Rate, took the stage to explain how to finance French property.

We were served a copious lunch on the rooftop dining room of the hotel to get us refueled for the afternoon of more and important topics. It was clear friendships were already in the making even though only a morning had passed. The room was buzzing. The views from the glass-walled dining room were fabulous enough to get everyone falling in love with Nice.

After lunch, Ella Dyer, Jennifer Parrette and I outlined from soup to nuts how to find and buy property in France with a special report on Nice. There was too much to say so we went into overtime. It was a perfect entree, however, into Notaire Carole Vangioni’s very precise and clear talk on the purchase process—what a buyer can expect from start to finish.

 

Tuula Rampont, of International Living, gave us the low down on the immigration process in France; Laura Poirier, of LP Interior Designs, offered up her knowledge of renovation and decoration; then Frédéric Latty and Serge Colbert, of the Institute de Français, stole the show with their role playing of teacher and student learning French. We laughed at their antics, then opened the floor up to a Q and A with all the speakers.

Institut de Français in Villefranche-sur-Mer

Institut de Français in Villefranche-sur-Mer

By then everyone’s heads must have been spinning from the massive amount of information they’d absorbed in just one day. It was a long day, but a profitable one for all who participated. Not to end on a flat note, we went back up to the rooftop for drinks and schmoozing with our new-found friends.

And that was just day number one. The entire day of speakers was recorded so that our attendees can review it all, but also it’s possible to purchase the recording for all of you wishing to take part and learn a thing or two about living and investing in France. It includes the Special Bonus of International Living’s Escape to France Owner’s Manual, a $50 Discount off a Consultation with me and a $50 Discount toward any future event hosted by Opportunity Travel!

The offer closes at midnight, October 11th, sent to you via a convenient, easy-to-use online link. Secure your access for just $329—a mere fraction of what attendees paid to join us in person. They will receive a free downloading of the recording as part of their benefits.

Here’s how to get your copy of the recording plus all the bonuses.

DAY TWO: A TOUR OF THE FRENCH RIVIERA

Day two was a full day bus tour of the Riviera, from Nice to Menton. If you’ve never done this, be sure to put it on your bucket list. One drive along any one of the Corniches and you will be seduced forever by the French Riviera.

Our itinerary was thwarted by a serious accident involving the death of a Monaco policeman on the Moyenne Corniche between Villefranche-sur-Mer and Eze just that morning before we were approaching the area. Not to be deterred, we rerouted and changed our plans, and still managed to miss nothing. The tour took us first to Villefranche-sur-Mer where we had an opportunity to tour the Institut de Français with Frédéric and Serge where the group was wowed by the beautiful facility and stunning views of Villefranche and Cap Ferrat—what I call the “Million Dollar View.”

Views from the Moyenne Corniche

Views from the Moyenne Corniche

View of Villefranche-sur-Mer

View of Villefranche-sur-Mer

We had enough time for me to take a group of the attendees to where “La Belle Terrasse” is—one of our new Fractional Ownership properties. Very soon it will have its own website page and be available for purchase. The group agreed that the location was perfect and a few put their names down on our special list of possible shareholders. The reason the location is so perfect is because there are virtually no steps to get to the train station (a four minute walk on a flat path) and to the parking lot in the other direction. Meanwhile, it’s on a front row seat of the sea with that Million Dollar View. Pure heaven.

I just received some of the “simulations”—images of what we believe the decor will look like that we’ll post as soon as we can to put the property officially on the market. If you’re seriously interested in a share, I suggest you email us now to be on the list as the shares will be sold very quickly. Email us to indicate your interest.

Instead of lunch on the port in Villefranche-sur-Mer, we headed to Menton via Monaco and found respite there in the town near the Italian border before heading back in the other direction to Eze. Some took lunch right on the edge of the sea while others of us took in the activity in the Old Town. Menton is a beautiful town, calm and lazy, with great access to its neighbor, Italy.

View of Menton

View of Menton

It was in Eze where we visited the Fragonard Perfume Factory with a guided tour. Some of the group ventured up, up, up into Eze Village along a path that Barb Sedita called a “goat path”—seems they were led down the wrong path by mistake and never got to actually visit the ancient village. It became a comedy of errors when one person was thought to be missing, except she was just on the other bus (we had two buses filled with our attendees), unbeknownst to the group leaders, causing quite a panic for no good reason. Fortunately, we can laugh about it now and no one seemed at all bothered by it.

DAY THREE: ROUND TABLE DISCUSSIONS AND OPEN HOUSE TOUR

The third day of the conference consisted of a round-table discussion in the morning at five tables: Patty led the group for the logistics of living in France, Ella led the group wanting to learn more about living in Nice, Jennifer was in charge of La France Profonde and all places outside of Paris or Nice, Iva talked about exchanging money and I led a table about Paris and Fractional Ownership. This was a very useful exercise for all concerned—a chance to get into the nitty gritty and answer a whole lot of important questions that couldn’t be addressed at other times.

Round table discussions at the conference

Round table discussions at the conference

That afternoon, there were 11 properties for our attendees to visit as part of an Open House Tour—in the Carré d’Or, Quartier des Musiciens, Quartiers des Fleurs, Nice Centre and Nice Port. I manned a two bedroom apartment on the Promenade des Anglais with a drop-dead fabulous view, move-in ready. Everyone loved it, in spite of the noise from the traffic along the Prom. That’s a lesson to be learned, but most who visited the apartment agreed the noise was worth the view.

An apartment on the Promenade des Anglais for sale

An apartment on the Promenade des Anglais for sale

View from an apartment located on the Promenade des Anglais

View from an apartment located on the Promenade des Anglais

While I was there, thinking I’d have a relaxing afternoon while the attendees came in and out of the apartment, one of our attendees fell on the stairs leading to the apartment and couldn’t move off the floor with one shoulder in extreme pain. I dialed “15” and within minutes the medics arrived, got her onto a gurney and took her to the Hôpital Pasteur. Her friend traveling with her climbed in an Uber and headed to the hospital, only to be turned away…no one was allowed to be with her due to the Covid-19 restrictions. Ultimately she was well taken care of, came back to the hotel that evening with a fractured shoulder, put back together and in a sling, and never got a bill! They took note of her insurance and that was the end of it. This is just a small example of the great health care we enjoy in France.

After everyone had their fill of properties in Nice, we headed back to the hotel for another cocktail party at which we invited several clients and friends in Nice to meet our new friends from the conference. That was a perfect way of becoming a part of the Niçois American community and our residents loved meeting our attendees as much as the attendees loved meeting them.

From the positive comments we got on the evaluation sheets and all the thank-you’s bestowed on us, we know the conference was a big success. About half of the attendees then prepared themselves for our trek, starting the next day by motor coach, to Provence and the Occitanie for five fun-filled and very busy days visiting the best these two regions have to offer.

Here’s where Part I stops…so be sure to read tomorrow’s special edition of Part II to learn all about our amazing trip to Provence and the Occitanie…

A la prochaine…

Standing banner with a photo of Adrian for the entrance to the room for the Living and Investing in France conference in NiceAdrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group®

Pairs street scene that goes with Liz Alderman's recent article about Paris in the New York TimesP.S. Be sure to read Liz Alderman’s recent article about Paris’ anarchy in the streets: “As Bikers Throng the Streets, ‘It’s Like Paris Is in Anarchy.’”

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