Originally built for a member of Nice's Old Russian community, the Princess Kotschoubey, this Italianate mansion is a Belle Époque wedding cake, replete with one of the grandest staircases on the coast. After the richissime American James Thompson took over and the last glittering ball was held here, the villa was bought by the municipality as a museum in the 1920s. Unfortunately, much of the period decor was sold; but in its place are paintings by Degas, Boudin,
Monet, Sisley, Dufy, and Jules Chéret, whose posters of winking damselles distill all the joie of the Belle Époque. From the Negresco Hotel area the museum is about a 15-minute walk up a gentle hill.