A couple of years ago we visited the Côte d’Azur. We did a lot of trips and today I will tell you about one of my favourite daytrips from that holiday: a visit to Cap Ferrat and Villa Ephrussi Rothschild.
The Côte d’Azur is such a beautiful region. It attracts many visitors each year. If you should happen to visit this region in the South of France soon, I advice you to read on as you might get inspired by this post. If the south of France isn’t on your agenda this year, please feel free to gawk at some stunning pics…
When we were at the Côte d’Azur we stayed in a holiday home near Cannes, which is a perfect base to explore the region. One day, we left quite early as we wanted to visit Cap Ferrat, do a bit of a walk on this peninsula and in the afternoon we wanted to visit Villa Ephrussi Rothschild.
So off we went. We parked our car at the carpark near Paloma Beach. As we are not the typical beach visitors, we skipped the beach, but headed towards a pathway, which took us around the right part of the peninsula. We didn’t do the entire tour of the peninsula, but just enough to give us some stunning views. Now I know where the Côte d’Azur gets its name from… the water of the mediterannean sea is so beautiful, so blue… so different from our dull and grey North Sea!
The peninsula is quite hilly and as it was very warm that day, we were really sweating, but the views definitely were worth it. We headed up towards Chapelle Sainte-Hospice. We went inside the church for a little while (to cool off to be honest!) and then visited the cemetery next to it, which is a Belgian military cemetery with victims from the first World War.
We walked further along, admiring the views here, looking for some shade there. Make sure to bring enough water when you do this walk!
Back at our car, we decided to have our picknick first and then walk up towards Villa Ephrussi Rothschild. The walk up towards this villa was quite a struggle as it was so hot. If we had known before, we would ‘ve taken our car!! But it’s dogged that does it… and we were ever so happy to finally reach the villa! The location really is breathtaking…
The villa was built by Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild. She was the daughter of a baron and banker and she married a Parisian banker of Russian origin. After their divorce, due to his gambling addiction, Béatrice started to collect art. She acquired many items to furnish her future villa.
After the death of her father, Madame Ephrussi inherited in immense fortune and she decided to construct her dream home on the peninsula of Cap Ferrat.
For the villa, she worked with architects Jacques-Marcel Auburtin and Aaron Messiah. She made the Villa her winter residence and it became a true haven for art collectors with porcelain, furniture and paintings by the Great Masters.
The gardens took many years to finish. There are several themed gardens : Spanish, Florentine, Japanese, Mexican and of course a French formal garden. It really is a delight to all senses walking around these gardens!
A year before her death, Madame Ephrussi bequeathed her Villa and the entirety of its collections to the Académie des Beaux-Arts. The Académie also received the 7 hectares of land and some 5,000 works of art.
Do you like visiting villas when on holiday?