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Overhanging the sea, the old village of Eze has retained all its natural charm over the years. With the ruins of its medieval château and its little, narrow alleys, the small town attracts craftspeople and artists. Nicely settled into the former dairy barns and sheepfolds on the ground floors of old buildings, they contribute to the pleasant atmosphere of the “perched village”. Renowned for its peace and quiet, Eze has had numerous famed inhabitants. Of particular note was Nietzsche. It was here that the philosopher wrote “Thus Spake Zarathustra”. This piece of history is perpetuated by the chemin de Nietzsche (the Nietzsche Pathway).
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The village of Eze was first occupied in prehistoric times. However, the first people known to settle here were the Celto-Ligurians. Then came the Phoenicians. The Saracens took over from the Romans. Finally, Eze became part of France, or at least for a certain period, as it did not definitively become part of French territory until 1860. Over the centuries, the village had large fortifications built to ward off invaders. Today, little remains of these installations. On the orders of Louis the XIV, the ramparts and castle were partially demolished. Only one fortified double gate from that era, la Poterne, serving as the entrance to the village, survives.
The little streets with evocative names of Cicadas and Provence reveal to you the sweetness of life by the sea. This seaside resort is located on the Basse Corniche, it has a well managed restful pine shaded beach with several ’60s’ style beach bars.
Eze-sur-Mer has a microclimate which encourages flower cultivation.
The St-Laurent chapel, built in the 17th Century is worth a visit.
Le Jardin d'Eze
The exotic garden of Eze is located in the ruins of the medieval fortress and provides a collection of succulent plants from various continents, including South America and Africa. There are Cactii, Aloes, Agaves and other amazing plants such as Aeonium Aboretum from the most arid places of the world.
From its spectacular vantage point 500 meters above sea level, you have direct views across the Mediterranean to Italy, down onto the bay of Villefranche-sur-Mer, the Baies des Anges in Nice , the landing strip of Nice airport and even across to St Tropez; on exceedingly clear, bright days it’s said that you can even see Corsica. A panoramic table made from enamelled lava and located in the remains of the fortress, will help you locate the principal places and sites along the coast.
Sheltered from winds by the Revère Mount, the site offers a truly remarkable micro-climate which ensures the growth of the garden’s fascinating plants. An admission fee of €5 per person is charged at the turnstyle entrance.
Open daily – Tel 04 93 41 10 30
The Fragonard Perfumery
The Perfumerie Fragonard, founded about 1926, took its name from a painter, Jean-Honore Fragonard. The Perfumerie has a boutique not only in Eze Village on the Cote d’Azur, but also its original establishment in Grasse and also in Paris. Visit the perfume “laboratory” in Eze for sure but also the shop where they showcase their signature perfumes as well as soaps, lotions, comestics, antique jewellery, and linens, glass and wicker for the home.
Free guided tours are offered at the laboratory where they explain the essentials of making perfumes and interesting facts. The person known as “the nose” is the person responsible for actually creating new perfumes and his/her job is well worth finding out about – it’s quite fascinating! Also learn how perfumes are made.
The laboratory is open every day, including holidays, from approximately 8:30 am to 6:30 (store hours in town 10 am to 7pm). Each of these places is closed for lunch from noon to 2pm from November through January.
Access to Eze Village is on the Moyen Corniche and there is a regular bus service from the Gare Routière in Nice.
Eze-sur-Mer is situated on the Basse Corniche and served by the bus service in Nice or the TER train service stopping in the village.
The Office Municipal du Tourisme is situated in the Place du Général de Gaulle behind the main car park.
Tel : 04 93 41 26 00