For a taste of the opulent, and to see how the wealthy socialites of yesteryear (and today) lived, look no further than exploring the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, located on the absolutely stunning Cap Ferrat. Located pretty much central between Nice and Monaco, the beautiful cape is home to some of the regions most exclusive homes. There are many belle epoque homes in this area, and one that can be visited is the villa that Beatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild had built.
I had heard of this villa while researching our trip, and I loved how it looked, so I managed to con my husband and daughter to come along. I really did not think they would be keen, and beforehand I made them both promise to just shut their mouths and let me enjoy it. I even offered to go on my own and they could go down the beach, but they came along and they were blown away. My husband absolutely loved it, and was eagerly listening to the audioguide about the life of Beatrice and her villa. I was quite shocked really! Maybe he has a cultural bone in his body after all!! Even Miss A enjoyed it – the gardens are absolutely breath taking as they are, but every 20 minutes the fountains put on a show and “dance” to a classical music piece. This had Miss A mesmerised every 20 minutes. lol.
Our first part of the ‘tour’ (which you follow by the map given) was of the exterior and the gardens. As you follow the marked out path you pass through 9 themed gardens – the sevres garden, the spanish garden, the french, the florentine, the stone garden, the japanese, the provencal, the exotic (more cactuses lol) and the rose garden. Each is unique and transports you to like you are actually there in that location. The views as well are amazing… oh my the views! Cap Ferrat is really lush and green, and obviously being a cape, surrounded by the beautiful sea.
We absolutely loved the exterior gardens, and spent quite a while walking through. We were the first to enter at 10am, so we had the gardens all to ourselves! From the gardens we then went inside and took a tour of the villa, but that is for another post…..
- entry is a relatively steep 14 euro per adult. children under 7 are free. pricy, but I think worth it.
- in winter it is only opened from 2pm to 6pm. summer it opens earlier at 10am. check their website at http://www.villa-ephrussi.com for more info.
- from Monaco we caught bus 100 to Pont St Jean. From there you can walk but we took another bus, number 81 which drops you off right at the door of the villa.