The city of perfumes. This is how Grasse is known all over France, and beyond. Since the 16th century makers of essential oils have been distilling here products which are used by the most famous brands of perfumes.
Located on the slopes of hills in the Back land, Grasse offers nice views on the Coast around cannes and Mougins. It gives the opportunity to stay far from the Coast and be easily reachable by public transportation (bus 500 to Nice, direct trains to Cannes and Nice). Clcik here to find accomodations in Grasse or at least get an idea of prices and availabilities.
The suffers from a poor reputation among Nice inhabitants. It is said to be more or less unsafe. This may be true for some districts, but not the whole town. The same thing could be said about Nice and almost all cities in France.
No exceptionnal monuments in Grasse. The center is fairly old. You will probably come here to visit either the Perfumery Museum, or the workshops of one of the distilleries who welcome visitors for free but do not forget, before they leave the place, to have them pass in the shop where they can buy essential oils, soaps, perfumes and other souvenirs... (Fragonard, Molinard...)
The Tourists' office of Grasse will give you information about the cultural agenda when you are there.
The Flight of the Eagle
Grasse is located on the Route Napoléon. That's here, when he came back from the Elbe Island that the Emperor discovered that the road which crosses the Alps from Grasse to Sisteron and which he had ordered to improve never was. He has to choose : go on through the mountains nevertheless using very rustic trails and passes, or divert through the Rhone valley, exposing himself to the hostility of some Provence inhabitants.
We know that he chose to go on through the Alps.
If you want to walk in Napoleon's footsteps, this is what he did in Grasse. Of course, places have much changed since.
This 2nd of March 1815 Napoléon spent the night in Cannes. the vanguard, leaded by Cambronne stays in Grasse on la Foux square, out of the city walls. Napoleon came using the Ste Lorette road and what is now the Sidi Brahim avenue. Then he walked around the walls using the "Ballon game", jeu de ballon where is now the boulevard with the same name to join the vanguard on the la Foux square. From there he went to the the Hotel du Dauphin, 27 Square of the Aires and met his staff to decide which way to use. When it was decided, he went uphill using the "Chemin des carrières" and the former "Cabris road" towards the Plateau of Roquevignon, named today "Plateau Napoléon". Here they waited for the last troops and ate a soup before attacking the mountain. They left around 2pm towards St Vallier de Thiey where is one of the last, if not "The" last part of the original Route Napoléon.