Today author Lois Winston and I continue our tour of the Mediterranean with a stop in Eze, France. To get to Eze, you climb up what Stephen Liégeard, who coined the expression “Côte d’Azur,” called the “golden braid of its black bodice.” Luckily, we were warned ahead of time to wear suitable footwear.
Perched high above the French Mediterranean overlooking Villefranche and not far from Nice is the and the small medieval village of Eze, built into the cliffs and renowned for it’s charm.
Although the oldest building, the Chapelle de la Sainte Croix, dates back to 1306, the area was first populated around 2000 BC. Some believe the village’s name heralds back to its Egyptian roots and the temple to the goddess Isis erected by the Phoenicians. Over the years, the area was occupied by first the Romans, then the Moors.
Eze fell under the jurisdiction of the House of Savoy in 1388 before being taken over by the French and the Turks two hundred years later. It wasn’t until 1860 that the people of Eze unanimously decided to become part of France.
Today Eze is a museum village with few people actually living in the village. Instead, you’ll find shops, galleries, hotels, restaurants, and the cacti and succulent Jardin botanique d’Eze.