St. Cezaire de Siagne olive oil and orange flowers

St. Cezaire de Siagne roughly translates to the Attics of Ceasar, giving it Roman origin from sometime around 154 BC and is most likely a reference to the areas importance of being a source of olive oil and wheat during Roman times. Mules would have trekked these two products down to the port in Frejus.

During times of trouble the town was protected by three gates that helped guard the village. They were uses to stop invaders and proved quite efficient when the Plague hit and decimated many other villages. Houses that are still standing are usually tall since the tradition was to store things on top of them like supplies and food.

Located high in Provence, northwest of Fayence and northeast of Grasse, St Cezaire de Siagne is a very remote place. The location is extraordinary with the river Siagne rushing over rocks and waterfalls providing a cacophony of magical proportion.

The area around the banks of the river and the river itself is a haven for wildlife and excellent to catch trout provided of course you are not beaten to the punch by the owls, peregrines and other birds. Activities very popular in the area include walking and hiking with stunning vistas of the sea at Frejus, Cannes and more visible in the distance.

Species are found here that cannot be found in other parts of the region due to its altitude. Like beech and elm trees and on the slopes below fig and olive trees which are common in Provence. In 1906 the first hydroelectric plant was constructed here. Only a short drive away is Grasse known as the Perfume capital and the town still produces perfumes today. There are tours you can take to learn about the production and processing of perfumes.

The main ingredient is the oil that comes from the flowers of a type of orange with over 1000 kilos of blossom to have one kilo of oil. You can see orange blossom all over the hillside along the coast. They also use other flowers for the process so the area is always full of wonderful colours and aromas.