Villefranche-sur-Mer and Villa Ephrussi De Rothschild

Villefranche-sur-Mer and Villa Ephrussi De Rothschild

The French Riviera is a special place. It was my first experience living in the south of France, and I was delighted by the beauty we saw. From the pastel tones of Saint-Tropez to the blooming mimosa in Grasse, the vibrant life of Nice, and the colorful town of Villefranche-sur-Mer. On every corner, there is something of its own, something new, something unique. Incredibly relaxed people, delightful seafood, and simply incredible shopping! But my favorite part? The architecture. And one of the landmarks located in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, an incredible pink villa from the early 1900s. Long before we even planned where we would stay, this place was on my must-visit list. A giant pink palace surrounded by sea gardens!

It’s a very popular tourist destination. Fortunately, we went there in winter and didn’t experience what it’s like to navigate through crowds of visitors. So we didn’t plan our visit in advance and decided to simply come closer to the end of the day, during sunset.

Just after inheriting a substantial fortune from her father, Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild acquired the property in 1905 and obtained the right to build gardens, which took approximately 7 years to complete. Construction of the villa began in 1907, and by 1912, the main sections of the garden were landscaped. It was in that same year that she finally moved in, making it her winter residence. Before her death in 1934, Béatrice donated the villa, art collection, and land to the French Academy of Fine Arts. During World War II, the estate was abandoned, but after the war, the gardens were restored to their former glory, and the house was renovated. It was during this time that it was painted pink.

And what a magnificent view from the villa! In some places, it opens up areas where you can see the incredible houses in Cap-Ferrat, standing along the water, dotted with yachts and sailboats.

Like here! It’s an incredibly beautiful place.

The villa is surrounded by gardens, a total area of about 4 hectares. The gardens of the villa include: Spanish garden, Florentine garden with an avenue of cypresses, stone garden, Japanese garden – consisting of a pond with a cascade and swimming carps, as well as a “dry” garden and a tea house, exotic garden, Provençal garden, French garden – the largest garden of the villa, consisting of a central reservoir with fountain and side ponds, as well as the pavilion “Temple of Love”, a copy of that available in Versailles, the Svera garden and rosary.

Now I dream of visiting this place in the summer, when the roses are in bloom!

On the other side of the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat peninsula are some impressive private villas. We will definitely come back here for an evening promenade too!

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