advertisement

To explore the village, begin at the much-photographed place des Arcades, where you can see the 16th-century gates and the remains of the town's former ramparts. The Eglise de Biot, place des Arcades (tel. 04-93-65-00-85), dates from the 15th century, when it was built by Italian immigrants who arrived to resettle the town after its population was decimated by the Black Death. The church is known for two stunning 15th-century retables: the red-and-gold Vierge au Rosaire by Louis Bréa, and the restored Ecce Homo by Guillaume Canavesio. The church is open daily from 8am to 7:30pm year-round. The church holds regular concerts, Les Heures Musicales, wherein the ceiling vaults resonate with the sounds of classical music.

Finally, fit in a free visit to a working glass-blowing factory, where the sight of guys in shorts and sandals blowing on molten glass down the end of long metal pipes is entertainment for all ages. The artists at Verrerie de Biot, chemin de Combes (tel. 04-93-65-03-00; www.verreriebiot.com) turn red-hot molten blobs into glassware of surprising beauty and complexity. Have a look at the one-of-a-kind collector pieces in the adjoining Galerie International du Verre, where the beautifully displayed glass is for sale. You may even find a souvenir worth taking home.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.