In the heart of Opio village is the town hall (Mairie), the 12th/15th century church, and a few residential villas. And that's all.
Opio is most widely known for its 15th-century olive-oil mill, the golf course and the nearby Club Med.
All commerce is outside the village. A commercial-center with supermarkt is below the village by the round-about (traffic circle). Up the hill to the east, past the commercial center, is a collection of shops at the area called Opio San-Peyre.
Arriving in the area from the south you see a medieval village perched on a hilltop. Well, that's probably Chateauneuf-Grasse; Opio is on a lower closer hill: a group of what looks like 3 or 4 large houses and a church with a narrow clock tower.
History of Opio
First record, 1084. Opia and 1172 de Opio. The name is derived from "oppidum", a fortified site.
Prehistoric: Remains were found here from the Tène Iron Age culture up to he Roman era, including ceramics, tiles, and bone and bronze objects.
Celto-Ligurian: Opio's namesake oppidum was the fortified camp of the Décéates, an importand Celto-Ligurian tribe. Named successively Opia, Oppius, Oppie and Upio.
Gallo-Roman: Roman artifacts from Pouudeirac, just southeast of Opio village, included the head of a woman in marble, now in the museum of Grasse. The Romans defeated the Décéatesin 165. In their turn, the Romans were surplanted by Visigoths, they by the Ostrogoths, and they by the Saracens.
Medieval: The Saracens were thrown out around the year 973 by Guillaume the First (locally "William the Liberator"), Count of Provence, with the help of a Captain Rodoard who distinguished himself fighting the Sarrcens. Rodoard was rewarded for his help with the Diocese of Antibes and the title Count of Antibes.
Rodoard and his descendents restaured the castle and reinforced the ramparts. Rodoard's son, Guillaume (nicknamed "Gruette" because of his long neck), married Adhoïs which made him Lord of Opio. Rodoard retired to the Lérins Abbey in 993.
IN 1016 Opio was attached to the House of Antibes. In 1034 Guillaume left to become a monk at the Lérins Abbey, and on his death he bequeathed part of the fief of Opio to the Abbey.
In 1110 the bishops of Antibes and the Abbey of Lérins were struggling for control of the property of the area lords, and bit by bit the lords of Opio lost their land to the Antibes episcopae.
Around 1140 the bishops of Antibes built a new castle on the higher hill just above Opio, called Chateauneuf (new castle), at the site of the current Chateauneuf-Grasse.
In 1242 Romée of Villeneuve seised the local castles, and the Bishop of Grasse became Lord of Opio. The Bishop of Grasse ruled until the French Revolution in 1789.
• GPS: 43.668642, 6.982121
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