Vue de Tourrettes-sur-LoupVillage médiéval de Tourrettes-sur-Loup
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WHAT IS THERE TO DO IN TOURRETTES SUR LOUP?

In the Alpes-Maritimes, the village of Tourrettes-sur-Loup is one of the authentic destinations not to be missed. Its picturesque nature, typical of medieval villages, is revealed through vaulted passages, giving the “city of violets” a peaceful atmosphere.

THE MOST AUTHENTIC VILLAGE IN THE NICE HINTERLAND

Perched between sea and mountain, less than 20 minutes from the coast, this charming medieval village in the Côte d’Azur is one of the most authentic in the region.

The old stone houses situated on the ramparts and centred around the fortified city since the 19th century are simply delightful.

Tourrettes-sur-Loup is discovered by strolling along its small narrow streets, its vaulted passageways and its stairways bordered with flowers. The village is a location boasting an incredible historical and architectural wealth and is also a preferential meeting place for the artists and craftspeople who bring this small town to life.

And when Tourrettes-sur-Loup is fragranced by the violets, all our senses come alive.

DISCOVER THE VIOLET CULTIVATION

This Côte d’Azur village is the only place in France where violets are grown as the horticulturists’ main crop. Here, the flower is grown organically and in a reasoned manner in order to offer an excellent product. It’s not for nothing that Tourrettes-sur-Loup is nicknamed the “City of Violets”!

The winter flower with a delicate fragrance, commonly known as “Victoria”, is the only variety still grown, and this all year long.

In the spring, the flower is picked and destined for confectionary.

In summer, the leaves are harvested for distilling in the various perfume factories in Grasse.

In autumn and winter, the flowers are picked to create pretty bouquets. The traditional Violet Festival which heralds the spring highlights the heart of the village with majestic flower-decked floats.

En automne et en hiver, les fleurs sont cueillies pour former de jolis bouquets. La traditionnelle Fête de la Violette qui annonce le printemps met en scène au cœur du village de majestueux chars fleuris.

SET A DATE FOR THE VIOLET FESTIVAL

Cultivated for almost a century under the sunshine in the Alpine foothills of the Côte d’Azur, the Violet Festival celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2022! It was created in 1952 by Victor Linton, an artist and goldsmith of Scottish origin residing in Tourrettes-sur-Loup.

On the first weekend in March, the streets of the village will be animated as of the early morning with musical dawn serenades and local dances. A flowery procession begins at the start of the afternoon.

The day ends with the Flower Battle, during which young and old may take part, and the traditional hunters’ Brissaudo.

Leaving with a beautiful bouquet of violets as a souvenir is the grand finale to a successful day.

Over time, the violet festival has become a veritable institution, attracting both people from the Alpes-Maritimes and tourists from all four corners of the globe!

FLAVOURED SWEET TREATS TO TRY WITHOUT MODERATION

Flowers are also a treasure for confectionary. And the know-how of the last three violet producers is a wealth that is passed down from generation to generation.

In the heart of the countryside, alongside the Loup river, Confiserie Florian showcases the people that create these sweet treats with love.

Picked in the early morning, the fresh violets are mixed with gum arabic.

They are then coated in icing sugar and placed individually on a grill. Once they have gone through the drying process in an oven, the dehydrated violets are plunged into a sugar syrup and then left to drip for several hours. It is contact with the air that makes the flower crystallize.

Crunch on a mouthful of crystallized violet flowers to feel the flavour spread generously over your palette…

Crystallized, as boiled sweets, in nougat, chocolate or tea, it’s hard to resist the violet flower!

OUTING IDEA: THE BASTIDE AUX VIOLETTES AND THE CHURCH OF SAINT-GRÉGOIRE

The Bastide aux Violettes [Violet farmhouse] is a museum and a farm dedicated to the cultivation of violets. Young and old can discover the history of Tourrettes-sur-Loup and its land, but also visit the flower-filled greenhouses and discover the methods for growing this flower.

Don’t leave the village without passing by the 15th century Château de Villeneuve and its superb small square.

The church of Saint-Grégoire [Saint Gregory], built in the 12th century, nestles in the heart of Tourrettes-sur-Loup, on the village’s main square, surrounded by remains from the medieval period.

It houses remarkable furnishings, comprising paintings and  sculptures, including a small pagan altar integrated into the church that is worth the detour!

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