Historic hilltowns

City of art

Vence

The sunlit charms of Vence inspired some of the greatest 20th century painters. Matisse created his masterpiece, the Chapelle du Rosaire, and the collection at Fondation Émile Hugues contemporary art museum is superb. On market days the streets are a profusion of flowers, spices, honey and patisserie.

City of ramparts

Saint-Paul de Vence

Medieval walls encircle the narrow streets of this charming town, with a special allure for creative spirits, Sartre, Signoret and Chagall all enjoyed life here. Play boule in the square, visit the the Maeght Foundation where an outstanding collection includes works by Bonnard, Kadinsky and Miró.

City of gastronomy

Mougins

A host of fine restaurants and annual food festival make this medieval town a destination for all gastropods, since the winemaking Monks of Saint-Honorat ruled in 11th century. Mougins Museum of Classical Art exhibits Picasso, Warhol and Damien Hurst, reflecting on the influence of neoclassical art on contemporary.

City of views

Eze

Extremely high at 420 metres, and especially quaint, with narrow streets, low archways and charming stone houses draped in jasmine and colourful creepers. The Jardin Exotique makes a distinctive juxtaposition to the ancient rooftops, with striking palms and giant cacti framing the spectacular Riviera vista.

City of glass

Biot

This hilltop beauty is historically renowned for craftsmanship, not only for the traditional jar makers, which you can visit at La Poterie Provencale, but also a special glass which encapsulates bubbles, an accident of science when a young engineer introduced sodium carbonate to the melting process. You can visit a glass blowing house and try the skill

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