Alpes-Maritimes (06410) Population: 5,575 Altitude: 65 m
Biot is a very picturesque and very popular medieval village that's actually about 2500 years old. It sits on a hilltop only 4 km from the Mediterranean beaches between Antibes and Nice. Although the village gets crowded with tourists during the summer, it retains much of its natural charm and its feeling of antiquity, and is very active year-round.
Walk down the long street into the center of the village to find the Place des Arcades with the quiet feeling of the 16th century.
Pottery and Glass
Biot has been a source of pottery since antiquity. The region is rich in fine clays, sand, manganese and even volcanic tufa for making the kilns. Amphorae made in Biot were exported worldwide, from Antibes and Marseilles, until the 18th century.
Biot is currently renowned for its glass works, typically a clear or colored transparent glass with little bubbles. There are several glassworks down the hill around the outskirts of the village, and you can watch the glass-blowing process as the pieces are made.
Several local glass works are listed below, under Pottery
The center of an ancient volcano is located about 2 km northwest of the village. Clearly visible on geographic maps, there isn't much to see now, except some of the typical rock forms. The tufa stone from Biot has been extracted for millennium for building ovens. One local (and very good) restaurant is named "La Pierre à Four" (the oven stone).
You can visit the location by walking (or driving) out of the village towards Valbonne. A few hundred meters up the road, a small road branches off to the right just before the little Notre-Dame chapel. Follow this road 1 km through a residential area to a small intersection with a cement power pylon. Turn left and follow this little road another km. When the road climbs a steep hill, you'll be ascending the side of the volcano.