Èze Travel Guide
Èze is a small, medieval village on the French Riviera, perched on a hilltop with a spiral of ancient houses and an absolutely fabulous view of the Mediterranean which alone is worth the drive to the top. It is in fact one of 13 villages on the Route des Villages Perchés – "Route of Perched Villages" – and a huge draw for tourists and honeymooners from around the world. It has good restaurants and hotels and several interesting shops and galleries, but very few people actually live there, rendering it practically a "museum village." There are lovely, wooded paths meandering through the village – more than 30 of them, including one upon which German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once walked while conceiving the third section of his masterpiece, Thus Spake Zarathustra – as well as picturesque villas and gardens. The rock band U2 have a house here, and one could conceivably run into a band member at, say, La Cigale, a popular restaurant-cum-bar in town. Still, Èze's biggest draw remains its vantage point, some 1,500 feet (427 m) above the sea, higher than even the Moyenne Corniche.
Èze is an attraction in itself, but within its walls, the main interest lies in its ancient castle ruins at the very top, set amid the exotic Jardin Botanique D'Èze, and offering, singularly, the best all-round views – on a clear day, you can even see Corsica from here! Among others, the Chapelle de la Sainte Croix, built in 1306, around the time the village was established, remains the oldest building in town; while Fragonard, the perfume maker, offers a distraction of a different sort in its sales outlet in the village. Èze, by the way, is entered through a double-fortified, machicolated gate, which, too, is an attraction, at least for first-time visitors.
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