The population of the Commune (1,440 people) is mainly engaged in the cultivation of olive trees and olive oil production, as well as the tourist business.
Peillon is a picturesque little town in the foothills of the Alps which is rightfully considered one of the most beautiful in Provence. It seems caught on the top of one of the rocks over a deep precipice among piny mountain group and looks unscalably and proudly over the Paillon de l'Escarene valley nestled at the bottom. The town belongs to the family of so-called «hanging villages» or «eagle (or stone) nests» which in ancient times were built on the rocks, deep in the mountains, in the form of fortified castles.
The first mention of Peillon is dated 1150. At that time the town was in possession of the Saint-Pons Abbey. In 1388, Peillon passed under the authority of the princes of Savoy, and during 1814-1860 it was part of the Kingdom of Sardinia. In 1792, the town was captured by the French revolutionaries, and subsequently joined France.
The first settlements in this area date back to before Christian Era. Initially it housed Celtic-Ligurian camp, and later - the Roman garrison. The town began to grow actively when the invasion of barbarian tribes, the Moors and Saracens, one by one, moved to the Cote d’Azur, and the population of the Mediterranean coastal area has been forced to seek refuge in the mountains. Usually these were hard-to-rich rocks not far from the water sources and cultivated lands without which the population of «eagle's nests» would not have survived.
In the Middle Ages such an arrangement of the town was intended to scare away the enemies, and today it like a magnet attracts tourists from all over the world. The town looks desperately beautiful from afar. Although, it is good from the inside also. Its winding medieval streets with gray stone houses, narrow passages framed by arches, steep stairs, colourful bougainvillea and cypresses stretching to the sun in tiny courtyards breathe the charm. Despite the small size, Peillon has many attributes of the medieval town. On the mountain where previously there was an ancient fortress tower, and later - the Roman church, stands the Church of the Transfiguration (16th century) decorated inside in the rural Baroque style.
In a small but very pretty church square opens a stunning view of the Azure coast, the mountains and foothills which you want to take pictures of and capture in the memory to the smallest detail. The opening panoramas are breathtaking and making dizzy.
Also in town the White Penitents Chapel (15-16th century) with frescoes by the artist from the galaxy of the so-called «primitivists of Nice», Giovanni Canavesio is preserved. The most striking is his work with the image of Judas of whom the devil is trying to take the soul. In the manner of gothic primitivism the sculpture of Grieving Mother mounted at the altar is done.
And also the town has several interesting fountains, the oldest one of which is 215 years old!
The town has almost no shops, transport ... You notice that the feeling that the time has stopped in this piece of land does not leave you. You want to understand how the resident of Peillon felt at that time, what bothered and inspired him. One thing is certain, that he, just like us, saw around the same eternal mountains, vast alpine expanses that pleased the eye, and from where, at the same time, a danger could lie wait.
The paths that linked Peillon with neighbouring cities and towns now are the hiking trails. They go through very beautiful places with pure Alpine air, scenic mountains and mountain passes, lush vegetation - slim cypresses, fragrant pine trees, thickets of mimosa.
The route especially popular among the tourists is Peille–Peillon–Sainte-Agnes. Positive impressions from travelling in these sites are provided. All three towns are very original and worth a visit. The Peille has an interesting architecture with the ruins of an ancient castle, cobbled streets, the two-tier fountain. Ethnographic festival of wheat, as well as Christmas balls are held interestingly here.
Sainte-Agnes located at an altitude of nearly 800 meters above sea level and 4 km away from it is one of the most beautiful towns in France with a magnificent panorama of the Cote d'Azur and the world-famous military facility - the Maginot fort.
Peillon presents an opportunity rare in our time to cloister, think about the meaning of life and the vicissitudes of history, enjoy the contemplation of pristine nature and, slowly, savour its pleasant moments. Also the travellers in Peillon will be pleased with decent hotels and delicious local cuisine which can be enjoyed in several cosy restaurants of the town.