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929km (577 miles) SE of Paris; 29km (18 miles) W of Nice; 6km (4 miles) W of Vence; 21km (13 miles) NE of Grasse

Often called the "City of Violets" because of the small purple flowers that abound beneath the olive trees, Tourrettes-sur-Loup sits atop a sheer cliff overlooking the Loup valley. Though violets are big business for the town (they're sent to the perfume factories in Grasse, made into candy, and celebrated during a festival held each March), you'll probably find the many shops lining the streets much more interesting. These small businesses are often owned by artisans who sell their own art -- most notably hand-woven fabrics and unique pottery. Even if you're not interested in buying, walking through the Old Town is worth the trip up the hill. The unusual city was built so that the walls of the outermost buildings form a rampart; three towers rising above the village give it its name.