French Riviera Secrets


Grasse Grasse!

YEAH Grasse is where we first settled down upon arrival in France.
It's a city with at least as much character as Cannes, but without the prestige and pretensions of its neighbour.
A lot of people working in the Sophia Antipolis technology park nearby live in this area, although not in the town centre itself but rather in the surrounding villages of St. Antoine, St. Jacques, Plascassier and others.
Grasse is best known for its perfume industry;  its perfume factories are open for the public and are a major tourist attraction. These perfume factories produce the base materials (essences) for the big perfume brands in Paris.

Grasse The city of Grasse
The Garden of the Princess Pauline, Grasse The Garden of the Princess Pauline, Grasse

From various vantage points you can capture beautiful views of the French Riviera, all the way down to Cannes and the Mediterranean Sea. For example, Le Jardin de la Princesse Pauline, offers not just a quiet and beautiful picnic spot, set amongst the olive trees, but also a panoramic view on Grasse and the Côte d'Azur beyond.

Grasse centre Grasse centre

The centre has undergone a major transformation in recent years, and the main "Boulevard  du Jeu de Ballon" is a pleasant, palm tree lined Promenade. Park your car for example in Parking Honoré Cresp (coming out of Boulevard Fragonard, turn left on the round-about; click here to locate in Google Maps),  and explore the town centre on foot.
Visit the museum of the 18th century painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard, who was born here, the perfume museum and shop Parfumerie Fragonard, the Casino and the cafés and restaurants lining the main Boulevard du Jeu de Ballon, or those on the charming square Place aux Aires.
When wandering into any of the several narrow side streets and alleys, you will discover that Grasse is not all about wealth and luxury, as many of the old town houses are in disrepair, having been abandoned by people that now live in the surrounding villages.

Fète de la Rose
Every year in May (10-13 May 2018) Grasse transforms itself into a garden filled with thousands of roses, of all varietes.
The Queen of Flowers parades through the city in a stunning procession of beautifully decorared floats.

Grasse decorated in roses Grasse decorated in roses
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