Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild: a gem in St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
Staying in Antibes or Juan-Les-Pins? Why not pay a visit to St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild!
This is what we have done earlier this year. And with 40 years between the two visits, I can tell you that it is definitely as amazing as it was before. The visit of the villa gives a glimpse of what it was like to be rich in the early 1900s and how fashionable it was already to holiday in the French Riviera. The gardens are magnificent too, and the views overlooking the Mediterranean simply to die for.
A bit of history from the villa visit:
“Béatrice de Rothschild, born in 1864, married a French banker named Maurice Ephrussi in 1883. Both were passionate about architecture, nature and art. The young woman collected works of art and sumptuous residences. In 1904 the couple separated and the following year, Beatrice discovered Cap Ferrat. She was immediately seduced by the natural beauty of the place and decided to settle there. At the time, the French Riviera was already a popular vacation spot, especially for high society. She acquired a 7-hectare rocky and barren piece of land on which she built a villa whose architecture was reminiscent of the great houses of the Italian Renaissance. Baroness Béatrice de Rothschild imposed pink, her favourite colour, throughout the villa.
It took 5 years of work to build the villa Île-de-France, named after an extraordinary journey on board the steamer of the same name. The shape given to the main garden, with its view of the ocean, reminds us of the deck of a ship. To perfect the illusion, the baroness required her gardeners to wear a navy beret so that she could imagine herself surrounded by a crew on a ship travelling the world. The exterior facades, painted pink, are typical of Renaissance architecture in Italy. Only the entrance porch is of flamboyant gothic inspiration. Inside the house, the furniture is refined, and the decoration is meticulous. Numerous collectors’ items and exceptional pieces have been used to furnish the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild.”
How to get there?
It takes 45mn to drive to the Villa from Antibes by taking the motorway. You can also travel by train (TER). It will take you 1h05 in total, including a 25mn walk from the Beaulieu-sur-Mer train station to the villa.