Grasse, France Hotels, Resorts & Hotel Accommodations

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GRASSE
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Grasse is a town and episcopal see in southeastern France. It is a commune of the Alpes-Maritimes département (of which it is a sub-prefecture), on the French Riviera. read full wikipedia reference about Grasse, France

GRASSE , 16km inland from Cannes and with some stunning views over the Côte, is the world capital of parfumiers and has been for almost 300 years. These days it likes to flaunt itself, promoting its perfumed image as a chic eighteenth-century village with a medieval heart surrounded by hectares of scented flowers. Making perfumes is presented as a mysterious process, an alchemy, turning the soul of the flower into a liquid of luxury and desire, and the industry is at pains to keep quiet about modern innovations and techniques.

Grasse is the official starting point of the Route Napoléon but is equally easy to visit as a day-trip from the coast.

Vieux Grasse , despite its touristy shops and full range of restaurants, is surprisingly humble, a working-class enclave where lines of washing festoon the high, narrow streets - rates of pay for the pickers of raw ingredients for perfume essences are notoriously low. Inhabitants say it's like a village where everyone knows each other, and out of season that's certainly the atmosphere that prevails.

Place aux Aires , at the top of the old town, is the main meeting point for all and sundry and the venue for the daily flower and vegetable market . It is ringed by arcades of different heights and the elegant wrought-iron balcony of the Hôtel Isnard at no. 33, and at one time was the exclusive preserve of the tanning industry. At the opposite end of Vieux Grasse lie the cathedral - containing various paintings, including three by Rubens and a wondrous triptych by the sixteenth-century Niçois painter Louis Bréa - and the bishop's palace , now the Hôtel de Ville, both built in the twelfth century.

A museum you might like to take a quick flit through is the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire de Provence , 2 rue Mirabeau (Jan-Oct & Dec daily except Tues 10am-12.30pm & 2-5.30pm), housed in a luxurious town house commissioned by Mirabeau's sister for her social entertainment duties. As well as all the gorgeous fittings and the original eighteenth-century kitchen, the historical collection adds a nice eclectic touch. It includes wonderful eighteenth- to nineteenth-century faïence from Apt and Le Castellet, Mirabeau's death mask, a tin bidet and six prehistoric bronze leg bracelets. The fascinating Musée International de la Parfumerie , 8 place du Cours (Jan-Oct & Dec daily except Tues 10am-12.30pm & 2-5.30pm), displays perfume bottles from the ancient Greeks to the present via Marie-Antoinette and has a reconstruction of a perfume factory with a little test you can do on identifying fragrances. The guided tours are highly recommended.

  

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