If you enjoy visiting medieval villages, then you will find the undeniable charm of Tourrettes-sur-Loup very much to your liking. Located 20 kms from Nice at an altitude of 1,300 ft, Tourrettes-sur-Loup sits on a rocky plateau with vertical sides which plunge into the valley below. Once a major weaving centre, it is now known throughout the world as “La Cité des Violettes” for its cultivation of violets and annual “Fête des Violettes”.
Backed by a range of hills from the Puy de Tourrette to the hills around the Col de Vence, the west of the village has great expanses of sheer rock with incredible views stretching across to the Mediterranean Sea.
The surrounding hills are terraced and were onced used to cultivate vines, wheat and beans. Nowadays it is the turn of Bigaradier orange trees (a small bitter orange used in the making of Curaçao liqueur, jams and Orange Flower Water), fragrant Rose de Mai and violets that are sent to Grasse and used in the making of perfumes.
In times long past, the streets of Tourrettes normally quiet during the daytime, would come alive in the evening to the sound of donkey hooves and happy voices. So it was that after a long day’s work in the fields picking Rose de Mai petals, the local inhabitants would return home with their little donkeys laden with jute sacks full of these sweet smelling rose petals.