Located in the beautiful French Riviera, Grasse is a town for which time seems to not have passed. With orange buildings contrasting the green of the hills they are built on top of, cobblestoned streets, and small local shops, the town has that quintessential small French village charm. The town is known as the perfume capital of the world, for the trade that put its name on the map. Today, tourism is its second industry, as people from all over the world visit it in order to get away from the fast pace of modern life. Grasse is especially beautiful in the summer, when the lavenders are blooming, and their purple color overruns the fields surrounding it. Learn about the history of the town, stand in awe of its beautiful landscapes, and visit its wonderful villas. Better yet, stay in one of its villas and experience how its nobel locals used to live. To make sure you don’t miss out on anything, here are the top 5 things to see and do in Grasse.
GET TO KNOW THE HISTORY OF PERFUME IN THE VILLAGE
Perfume is the single most important resource in the town. Its history has been intrinsically tied to that of fragrances, so it makes sense that Grasse’s top attractions are dedicated to perfume. To learn about the history of perfume in the town, visit the Musee International de la Parfumerie. Additionally, you can visit three perfume factories to learn about the process: The Parfumerie Fragonard, the Parfumerie Galimard, and the Parfumerie Molinard.
SPEND SOME TIME AT THE CATHEDRALE NOTRE DAME DU PUY
As the central point in Grasse, this cathedral is wildly popular with locals and tourists alike. Its terraces provide some incredible views, but the church itself is a beautiful work of art. Like many cathedrals in Europe, it acts as much more than a place of worship, and is almost an art and history museum. In fact, you can appreciate three original paintings by Rubens, hanging there for the pleasure of the public.
VISIT THE MUSÉE D’ART ET D’HISTORIRE DE PROVENCE
If you’re interested in seeing how life in Provence has changed throughout time, this is the place to go. The museum explains the history of the region, with installations exhibiting its different eras and the events that have made it what it is today. It also showcases art by some of the region’s notorious local artists.
TAKE A TRIP TO GORGES DU LOUP
One of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the Alpes-Maritimes department, the Gorges du Loup are a sight not to be missed. Take a daytrip to this breathtaking site and hike along its paths. Bring a picnic with you and enjoy it on the grass right after you take a swim on the clear river.
CELEBRATE THE FETE DU JASMIN
A festival is one of the best ways to immerse in a culture, and this is Grasse’s biggest celebration. Held at the beginning of August, the festival showers the town with jasmine water, as floats parade around town. Besides the parade, you will enjoy music, street performers, and fireworks.