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The hamlet of Plascassier is located between Valbonne (2.8 km) and Grasse (7 km) and only 31 km away from Nice airport. Although bordered by several communes; Valbonne, Opio, Mouans-Sartoux and Châteauneuf-de-Grasse, it falls under the jurisdictic umbrella of Grasse.

Water from the planes of Plascassier and Opio feed the river Brague and there was a time when the local inhabitants were called “les pascadous” (fishermen) as the river Brague was once an excellent source of crayfish. The soil here is rich in clay and chalk and creates ideal growing conditions for rose and jasmine plants.

In this area alone there are six jasmine producers selling their produce to the renowned perfume industry in Grasse. It is still possible to visit one of the producers “Domain de Manon”. Plascassier is a slightly “perched” (300m) village with several village houses, a small post office, village school, restaurant, library, and Church of Saint-Pancrace and Saint-Donat dating back to the beginning of the 17th century. The church is well worthwhile visiting as it has the most beautiful paintings. Just next to the church is a pretty fountain known as “des Dauphins” and built circa 1891. The main shopping area is located at the foot of the village on the D4 along Route de Plascassier and Route de Valbonne. It sits partly in Plascassier and partly actually in the commune of Mouans-Sartoux which is confusing.

There you’ll find a small but well stocked supermarket (SuperU), alongside a good selection of typical village shops, several estate agents (l’Oustaou, Immo Plascassier and Spot Immobilier), Les Pains de Provence bakery selling the crustiest banettes in town, flower shop, butcher's and a good green grocer called Le Panier Provencal. There’s no bank but SuperU has an ATM inside its entrance.

Another bakery, Au Pain de Baptiste, has recently opened selling a wide selection of tasty loaves (walnuts, olives, multi-cereal, etc). Those of you with a sweet tooth will enjoy their Tarte au Citron. Next door is a new green grocer L'Ilot Vert - that opens at 6am - with a lovely selection of fresh fruit, vegetables and local produce. Just across from them is a BP garage - that actually stocks some rather excellent rosés and red wines at very heart-warming prices (the rosés are suitably chilled).

There are several walks you can do around and through Plascassier. The walk from Plascassier up to Castellaras, although a little tiring, is enjoyable. Head towards the sign Castellaras or Les 3 Mas de Plascassier but do take time to look across the open land to view some spectacular hills.

Once there you’ll discover some amazing properties with the most wonderfully manicured gardens. Strictliy speaking this is Mouans-Sartoux - an indication perhaps as to how “patch-work” communes are around here.

Another interesting walk is towards Le Roure de la Gâche. If you turn off at Chemin du Cinsau and continue down Chemin du Rore de la Gâche you’ll come to an enormous oak tree on your right Just a few yards later you’ll be presented with a wonderful view right across to the Bay of Napoule

Unfortunately the day we chose for our walk the weather was just a little too overcast so the view of the Bay of Napoule was disappointing. However, we’ve promised ourselves a return visit. The walk does take you past a number of jasmine and rose cultivations, as well as several olive groves too. If you backtrack your steps and take Chemin de la Croix you’ll come up to the village from another angle.

Amazingly Plascassier, this quiet and unimposing hamlet, is where Edith Piaf, “the little sparrow” chose to spend the last months of her life. Although she died during the night of 10th October 1963, she was officially declared dead on October 11th, the same day as her dear friend Jean Cocteau. Her funeral was held in Paris on the 14th October.

Like so many of the little villages around here, Plascassier is full of very pleasant surprises. Who would think that you'd find truly fantastic wine at the garage or that the best roast chickens are being sold out of the smallest broom cupboard you've ever seen, or that the local post office attendant has the time and the inclination to want to chat to you?

Last Updated ( Thursday, 14 August 2008 19:08 )  

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