Where to find the French Riviera's most expensive real estate, including the must-see Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild.
Target off-the-shoulder dress (shop more LWDs here), Rebecca Minkoff Isobel crossbody, Raen sunglasses, Schutz heels (similar here). Shot by Isaac Lacey in Cap Ferrat, France.
Before my recent trip, when I thought of the French Riviera the first things that came to mind were images of the coast: the rocky beaches, the colorful towns and the unreal, deep blue shade of the ocean. I mean... it's called la Cote d'Azur for a reason. But after having spent ten days in the region using the quaint Villefranche-sur-Mer as my home base, I'm now more obsessed with the glamour and history of the region, which served as an escape for the rich and famous from as far back as the 19th century.
This history was palpable even just from our terrace in Villefranche. We were surrounded by stunning villas nestled into the coastline, many of which were strongly influenced by the Belle Epoque and all of which boasted some of the most decadent gardens and views I've ever seen. I was left in awe at the wealth that they alluded to, but that was nothing compared to the homes that sat across the port of Villefranche in the neighboring Cap Ferrat: a cape that's known for harboring some of the most expensive real estate in the area.
If you're looking for a taste of that good life, head over to Cap Ferrat and more specifically to the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, which is one of the only properties there that's open to the public. It was owned by the French socialite Beatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild from 1905 until her death in 1934, when she donated it to the Institut de France. Here you can spend hours roaming the grounds and taking picture-perfect photos of the gardens, luxe interiors, you name it. The estate truly reflects the quirky tastes of its owner (who I learned was known for being an avid gambler, and also for keeping a variety of exotic animals--cats, dogs, parakeets, and even a monkey--and giving them free run of the place). The villa itself is a rich, flamingo-shade of pink, with Venetian design influences that appear throughout the home in varying degrees. And the gardens, besides being massive, are organized according to 9 different themes, all of which are extremely well-kept and filled with beautiful and unique plant species.
I couldn't recommend stopping by this villa more; it's truly straight out of a dream.
Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild
Tél : 04 93 01 33 09
The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild overlooks the Bay of Villefranche and the Bay of Beaulieu. It is located 10 kilometres from Nice and Monaco and 800 metres from the Villa Kérylos.
Directions by road: The easiest way to get there by far. Take the main road in Cap Ferrat (there's only one) and follow signs for the villa. Free parking on site.
The Villa is open 365 day a year from 10 a.m to 6 p.m, except:
July and August: from 10AM-7PM
November to January: Monday-Friday: 2PM-6PM / weekends and holidays from 110AM-6PM
Last admission 30 minutes before closing.