Eze is a dramatic village perched 427 Meters (1,400 feet) above the Mediterranean sea. Like many ancient hill towns, it is car-free. We love car-free towns because they are more pedestrian and very peaceful.
Eze’s star attraction is the Jardin Exotique, a cactus and succulent filled garden planted around the ruins of a 14th century castle and filled with sculptures. They had nice plaques explaining the sights and history of the area. Very educational. I loved the idea of filling castle ruins in with plants to make a unique garden. It was really cool, but the real start of the show were the views. Amazing.
Eze is so beautiful that it has become a tourist town…literally. There are almost no full-time residents. Virtually all the buildings are shops, art galleries, hotels or restaurants. It has become a popular honeymoon destination.
The Romans inhabited Eze. Around 900, the Moors conquered the village, attacking from the door below. They held it William of Provence took it from them in 973. Like nearby Villefranche, its strategic position and proximity to nearby Nice meant that rulers built heavy fortifications. Eze functions as sort of “eagle’s nest” overlooking the sea and surrounding mountains. The Phoenicians, Turks and the Principality of Monaco also occupied the city at different points in time.
They weren’t the only ones who came to Eze. The philosopher Nietzsche spent time here. The trail you can hike down to the water (in the town of Eze-Sur-Mer) is called the Nietzsche Path in his honor. We had on hiking clothes, but it was raining so hard that a hike down a steep (and possibly muddy) path didn’t sound like a ton of fun. Walt Disney also spent time here. He doesn’t have a path.
- Picasso, Yachts And Ramparts In Antibes (schwingeninswitzerland.wordpress.com)