When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch
Terror in Europe

Not Just Another Bastille Day, What I Saw In Nice

Screen shot of police showdown with the driver of the truck
Screen shot of police showdown with the driver of the truck
Damien Allemand*

NICE — It was a cool atmosphere, the fireworks were impressive, kids tossing pebbles in the water — and the Promenade des Anglais was packed full. Just like every other Bastille Day.

I had chosen to spend the evening on the beach around the High-Club, where the Promenade becomes pedestrian. As soon as the show was over, we all stood up at the same time. Heading for the stairs, all squished like sardines. I was zigzagging between people to reach my scooter, parked nearby.

In the distance, a noise. Screams. My first thought: some smartass wanted to make his own fireworks and lost control.. But no. A fraction of a second later, a huge white truck raced by at a crazy speed, steering hard in order to hit as many people as possible. This truck of death passed just a few feet away from me, and I did not even realize it.

Where is my son?

I saw bodies fly like bowling pins as it passed. I heard screams that I will never forget. Petrified, I did not move. Panic was all around. People were running, screaming, crying. Then, I realized that I should run with them, and started heading toward the Cocodile, where everyone was running to for refuge. I only stayed for a few minutes even if it felt to me like an eternity. "Run for cover". "Don't stay here". "Where is my son ? Where is my son ?" — These are just some of the words I heard around me.

Quickly, it was time for me to find out what had happened. I went outside, but the Promenade looked deserted. No noise. No sirens. Not a single car. I then crossed the median to return to where the truck had passed. I ran into Raymond, in his fifties, in tears, who told me: "There are dead people everywhere".

He was right. Right behind him, every 15 feet there were lifeless bodies, body parts... Blood. Whimpering. The beach attendants were first on the scene. They brought water for the injured and towels which they laid where there was no more hope. In that moment, I lost my courage. I wanted to help, offer assistance... in short, do something. But I couldn't.

Soon, a second wave of panic sent me running back to the Cocodile. "He's coming back! He's coming back!" It was a lie. The truck murderer's end came nearby, covered in bullets. I didn't hear any gunshots. Just screams. An now crying. Only crying.

I ran again, straight ahead. I got my scooter to quickly try to get far away from this hell. I went back up the Promenade and I grasped the full extent of the tragedy. Bodies and injured people covered the sidewalk all the way to Lenval. The first ambulances were beginning to arrive...

*Damien Allemand is the digital director of Nice Matin. This piece also appeared on Medium.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

food / travel

When Racism Poisons Italy's Culinary Scene

This is the case of chef Mareme Cisse, a black woman, who was called a slur after a couple found out that she was the one who would be preparing their meal.

Photo of Mareme Cisse cooking

Mareme Cisse in the kitchen of Ginger People&Food

Caterina Suffici


TURIN — Guess who's not coming to dinner. It seems like a scene from the American Deep South during the decades of segregation. But this happened in Italy, in this summer of 2023.

Two Italians, in their sixties, got up from the restaurant table and left (without saying goodbye, as the owner points out), when they declared that they didn't want to eat in a restaurant where the chef was what they called: an 'n-word.'

Racists, poor things. And ignorant, in the sense of not knowing basic facts. They don't realize that we are all made of mixtures, come from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. And that food, of course, are blends of different ingredients and recipes.

The restaurant is called Ginger People&Food, and these visitors from out of town probably didn't understand that either.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest