If you are enjoying a stroll around Château Hill at noon, don’t be alarmed if you hear a loud explosion!
An explosive device is discharged from the top of Castle Hill at lunchtime every day. This is a rather odd tradition which the Niçois follow daily and apparently one the authorities like to keep going.
Back in 1860 a certain Sir Thomas Coventry, a colonel in the British Army, became very annoyed with Lady Coventry. Apparently she didn’t allways manage to prepare his lunch in readiness for his return home just after noon each day.
The colonel came up with the neat solution of having one of his men fire a cannon every day on the stroke of noon so that the errant Lady Coventry could jump to it and get lunch on the table in time for her husband’s return!
The tradition has been maintained but nowadays there is no actual cannon, just an explosive device. However, if you do hear what sounds like a cannon being fired at noon then you should make straight for one of the many local restaurants and have a nice lunch in memory of this rather pompous colonel or, more to the point, his long-suffering wife!
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