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About Belvédère

French Riviera, France

Belvédère lies approximately 35kms due north of Monaco and 15km south of the Italian Border. Thissmall village, which comprises approximately 690 inhabitants, or Belvédèrois, is set within the Alpes-Maritimes at an altitude of 833 metres and high up in what is regionally known as the ‘pays nicois’. This is French countryside at its most beautiful and Belvédère is situated at the gateway to the Parc National du Mercantour and lying directly opposite the village of Roquebillière, some 2km away on the other side of the valley. Though very much located within the French Riviera, Belvédère is an area much more associated with trekking and hillwalking as opposed to lying on a sun-soaked beach.

A short history of Belvédère

The name Belvedere comes from the translation and derivation of two languages – Latin and ‘patois’, the Latin being Bellum Videre and which literally means ‘Beautiful View’. No records exist for the presence of Belvédère before the beginning of the first millennium and up until the time of Louis XII the area was governed more from Spain than France.  During the period of great French unsettlement between the 16th and 18th centuries, Belvédère found itself caught in the middle of many territorial as well as governmental disputes with the locals, or ‘Barbets’ as they became known, becoming renowned for their ability to defend their territory. In 2010 Belvédère celebrated its 150th anniversary of the annexation of Nice and surrounding territory, including Belvédère, to France while, during WWII, Belvédère and surrounds became occupied territory of the fascist Italian army and it was not until 1947, two years after the end of WWII, thatBelvédère was officially reinstated to France.

tourist attractions in Belvédère

Lying at the entrance to the Gordolasque Valley, Belvédère is a popular starting off point for hill walkers and hikers alike. Nine walks varying in time from two to four hours start at the ‘Pont du Countet, while those who feel less energetic can still explore the area by car with many clearly defined routes to take. Wildlife, of course, forms part of the local attraction and both the Gordolasque and Vésubie rivers are well known for excellent trout fishing. The area is well known for Chamois deer, though Ibex, mouflon and over fifty wolves inhabit the Parc National du Mercantour, the wolves having crossed over the border from Italy.Some may remember from their childhood a television series by the name of ‘Belle and Sebastian’, which was about a six year old boy and his Pyrenean Mountain dog called Belle and which was shot on location both in Belvédère and the surrounding Gordolasque valley. The series was originally produced in French, dubbed for UK television and subsequently turned into a Japanese cartoon series called Mieken Jolie.

festivals and events in Belvédère

There are four main festivals in Belvédère throughout the year. ‘La Polente’ curiously celebrates the dish polenta, while February is the month which sees the La Fête de la Saint Blaise. La fête de la Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul takes place in August, while Le Retour de les Bergers – the return of the shepherds, is probably the most popular and tourist-orientated event of the year, which celebrates the farming community and involves many stalls which sell some of the most delicious cheeses of the region.

GASTRONOMY in Belvédère

Being situated high in the mountains, agriculture is the principal source of income for many who live in and around Belvédère. Sheep and cattle are the predominant livestock and as a consequence, it should come as no surprise to learn that cheese and butter are the main produce. The region has long been known for three types of cheese – ‘tomes’, ‘le brousse’ and ‘la brousse’, the latter two being specialities of Belvédère. In fact cheese is such a popular staple of the region there is even a cheese museum in Belvédère.

recommended restaurants in Belvédère
L'Aromate 20 av. Mar. Foch F - 06000 Nice
Phone: +33-493629824
La Cashbah 3 r. Dr Balestre F - 06000 Nice
Phone: +33-493855881
Flaveur 25 r. Gubernatis F - 06000 Nice
Phone: +33-493625395
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villa rentals in the Belvédère area
The Frogs House

Looking for an unforgettable experience in a typical French village, 15km from Nice and the French Riviera ? Come to enjoy our 7 cosy bedrooms with views to the sea and over the surrounding hills.

  • Villa Belmonte "Villa Belmont" is a brand new luxury villa in the beautiful old village of Biot in the South of France.
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