»ze is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France, 7 miles from the city of Nice.  The commune is located on the French Riviera, extending from the Mediterranean Sea (»ze-sur-Mer) to the hilltop with a medieval village (»ze-Village). Saint-Laurent-d'Eze connects these villages.  The area surrounding »ze was first populated around 2000 BC as a commune situated near Mount Bastide. The earliest occurrence of the name "»ze" can be found in the maritime books of Antonin as a bay called the St. Laurent of »ze. A hoard of ancient Greek silver phialae dating from the 3rd Century BC was found in »ze in the late nineteenth century and is now part of the British Museum's collection. The area was subsequently occupied by not only the Romans but also the Moors who held the area for approximately 80 years until they were driven out by William of Provence in 973.  By 1388 »ze fell under the jurisdiction of the House of Savoy, who built up the town as a fortified stronghold because of its proximity to Nice. The history of »ze became turbulent several times in the next few centuries as French and Turkish troops seized the village under orders from Hayreddin Barbarossa in 1543, and Louis XIV destroyed the walls surrounding the city in 1706 in the war of the Spanish succession. Finally in April 1860, Eze was designated as part of France by unanimous decision by the people of Eze.

»ze has been described as an ďeagle's nestĒ because of its location overlooking a high cliff 1,401 ft above sea level on the French Mediterranean. It is so high that the light ocher church within (Notre Dame de líAssomption built in 1764) can be seen from afar. An Egyptian cross inside the church suggests the village's ancient roots, when the Phoenicians erected a temple there to honor the goddess Isis.


»ze is a renowned tourist site on the French Riviera, and is famous worldwide for the gorgeous view of the Mediterranean Sea from its hill top. Its Jardin botanique d'»ze (a botanical garden) is known for its collection of cacti and succulents, as well as its panoramic views. Its beautiful cobblestone streets and hot-pink bougainvillea are a far cry from the glamour of Cannes or St-Tropezóand for travelers who could care less about celebrities and mega yachts, thatís quite appealing.  Walt Disney spent a significant amount of time in »ze.  The oldest building in the village is the Chapelle de la Sainte Croix and dates back to 1306. Members of the lay order of the White Penitents of »ze, in charge of giving assistance to plague victims, would hold their meetings there. The shape of the bell-turret is an indication that the village once belonged to the Republic of Genoa.  The small medieval village is famous for its beauty and charm. Its many shops, art galleries, hotels and restaurants attract a large number of tourists and honeymooners. As a result, »ze has become dubbed by some a village-musťe, a "museum village", as few residents of local origin live here. 

The motto of the village is the phrase Isis Moriendo Renascor (meaning "In death I am Reborn") and its emblem is a phoenix perched on a bone.  The local dialect (nearly extinct) is similar to the Monťgasque language of the nearby Principality of Monaco, and is related to Ligurian but with some influences from the Occitan language.

»ze is one of sixteen villages grouped together by the Mťtropole Nice CŰte d'Azur tourist department as the Route des Villages Perchťs (Route of Perched Villages). The others are: Aspremont, Carros, Castagniers, Coaraze, Colomars, Duranus, Falicon, La Gaude, Lantosque, Levens, La Roquette-sur-Var, Saint-Blaise, Saint-Jeannet, Tourrette-Levens and Utelle.