Between the port and the mainland, the floridly beautiful Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild bears witness to the wealth and worldly flair of the baroness who had it built. Constructed in 1905 in neo-Venetian style (its flamingo-pink facade was thought not to be in the best of taste by the local gentry), the house was baptized "Ile-de-France" in homage to the Baroness Bétrice de Rothschild's favorite ocean liner. In keeping with that theme, her staff used to wear sailing costumes
and her ship travel kit is on view in her bedroom. Precious artworks, tapestries, and furniture adorn the salons—in typical Rothschildian fashion, each is given over to a different 18th-century "époque." Upstairs are the private apartments of Madame la Baronne, which can only be seen on a guided tour offered around noon. The grounds are landscaped with no fewer than seven gardens and topped off with a Temple of Diana. Be sure to allow yourself time to wander here, as this is one of the few places on the coast where you'll be allowed to experience the lavish pleasures characteristic of the Belle Époque Côte d'Azur. Tea and light lunches, served in a glassed-in porch overlooking the grounds and spectacular coastline, encourage you to linger. A combination ticket allows you to also visit Villa Kerylos in nearby Beaulieu in the same week.
Av. Ephrussi, St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, 06230, France
Nov 8, 2011
It really was amazing. The gardens are incredible -- even in early November. The villa was an amazing display of what a collector of all sorts of things can do -- especially when you have lots of money! The china collection is evident in several rooms on 2 floors.We were there on a very very blustery day -- huge wind gusts. This made the views over the sea very dramatic. Yet at points in the garden, despite the gales blowing, it was quite and calm.
I was glad to be there when it wasn't swarming with other tourists. A wonderful experience recommended regardless of the time of year.
Mar 29, 2011
One of the prettiest places on The Riviera. We thoroughly enjoyed the extensive garden and fully furnished villa.