Cap d'Ail - Eze
'The world could have been as simple as the sky and the sea‘ André Malraux
Cap d'Ail, utopia on the French Riviera, near Monte Carlo, 20 minutes from Nice and Italy, with a superb panorama of Italy to the Var coast.
Cap d'Ail mixes rocky headlands and lush greenery, pine trees with Mediterranean scents and beaches (Marquet, Mala or Pissarelles).
It is a territory known and renowned for its luxurious "Belle Epoque" villas which welcomed from the beginning of the xxth century many personalities, such as the Lumière brothers, Sacha Guitry, Winston Churchill, Guillaume Apollinaire, André Malraux, Max Aitken aka Lord Beaverbrook, or even the Queen Victoria.
Among them, we note:
The château des Terrasses, built around 1890 for the British banker William Mendel, lived it’s moment of glory when in 1895 the Grand Duke George Alexandrovich, brother of Tsar Nicolas II, rented the villa.
The Château de l’Ermitage or Chateau Malet, completed in 1896 by Hans-Georg Tersling at the request of Sir Edwards Malet, former British Ambassador in Berlin, where the Queen Victoria, Princess Beatrice, the Dowager Empress of Russia the kings Edward VII and Leopold of Belgium and Empress Eugenie all stayed.
The villa "Le Roc Fleuri", Italian style villa typical of the 1900’s surrounded by an exceptional botanical park with lush vegetation.
The villa 'Mirasol', built in 1908 for the feminist writer Gabrielle Reval, co-founder of the Prix Femina, which hosted amongst others Ms. Rouzeaud de la Chocolaterie, the Marquise de Sevigne, and Josephine Baker.
The Eden Residence, former Hotel Eden, built in 1892 on a 5-hectare park for Charles Alfred Leon Nicolle, owner in 1881 of Le Petit Niçois.
The Villa "Lumière", built around 1902 for Auguste Lumière
All these villas contribute to inscribe the Cap d'Ail at the forefront of the architectural heritage of the French Riviera.
EZE and its 3 cornices, a meeting between the mountains and the Mediterranean
'Isia Moriendo Renascor' - proverb of Eze (In dying, I am reborn).
Situated just after Nice, heading towards Menton, Eze stretches throughout the oceanfront Cap Roux at the foreground of Cabuel.
Between land and sea, Eze nestles in the heart of lush vegetation, banana trees, date palms, carob, orange and lemon trees, towards a beach shaded by pine trees down to the sea.
Going up the Moyenne Corniche, we discover the picturesque village of Eze, generously flowery, where you can admire a breathtaking panorama. Typically Provencal, the village is full of narrow streets, vaulted passageways, charming stately stone houses decorated with wrought iron or fragranted with jasmin and shaded squares with old fountains.
At the top of the village, we reach the famous Exotic Garden of Eze with rare species.
Eze sur Mer became international by hosting Russian aristocrats in 1917 and is still today a witness of that time, such as the Cap Estel, romantic dwelling of a Russian Prince. Then there was the president Poincaré, the painter Sakarof, Princess Antoinette, the sister of Prince Rainier of Monaco, and even Bono from U2.
Amongst these known figures, no one will forget Nietzsche, who sojourned in one of the most ancient houses and found inspiration here to write "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" during a walk to the village.
‘This magnificent fullness of light on me, very tortured mortal (and often eager to die) almost miraculous action’.
It is there, amidst olive trees, pistachio mastic trees, euphorbia and oaks in the heart of the wilderness where marine odors and scents of Mediterranean trees mingle, is where he would write, would regenerate and find inspiration.
Today, when walking in the footsteps of Nietzsche on the road that now bears his name, we understand the emotion that gripped him when he wrote "It's the sun that I learned that, when it goes down, the sun too rich: it then spreads in the sea, or the inexhaustible wealth."
Eze Village dominates the entire Riviera while below, protected by a mountainous screen, Eze seafront has kept the timeless charm of the beaches of the Cote d'Azur of the Belle Epoque.