Villefranche sur mer - Saint Jean Cap Ferrat - Beaulieu sur Mer : Golden Triangle
The area formed by Villefranche, Beaulieu-sur-Mer and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, commonly known as the Golden Triangle, offers a natural setting as idyllic as its location between the international airport Nice Côte d'Azur and very select Principality of Monaco.
Villefranche sur mer
Villefranche-sur-Mer, prestigious city of the French Riviera, near Nice in the Alpes-Maritimes, located on one of the most beautiful harbors in the world, privileged place of mooring for the most prestigious cruise liners.
Villefranche-sur-Mer has preserved its historic character with its fishing port, colorful facades and stepped streets of its old town and it’s 16th century citadel.
This resort, known for its bay that stretches between the peninsula of Cap Ferrat and Mont Boron, has luxurious villas, big hotels and its harbor welcoming numerous yachts - making it one of the most famous bay’s on the Côte d'Azur. Overlooked by hills and prestigious residences, it is currently one of the most requested places on the Azur coast.
Many personalities from art and show business dwelled in Villefranche sur Mer:
Jean Cocteau, native son, completed the paintings of the Fishermen's Chapel which he described as the work of his life, and he spoke with great affection:
"We thought it was an old tramp sleeping under the dust. Rather, it is a beautiful Romane (...) there reigns such calm, such solitude, such ignorance of the news that I close myself off like as in a rocket, a spaceship able to traverse the ages."
Many other artists have succumb to the charm of these enchanting places.
The villa Nellcote, is one of the most extraordinary buildings of the peninsula becoming a monument of rock in the summer of 1971 where it was invaded by the Rolling Stones.
Other rock legends regularly posed their suitcases in the area: Sir Elton John, Bono - immortal leader of U2, as well as Tina Turner.
Villefranche-sur-mer has also become a preferred filming location, with more than 150 films and TV movies whose scenes were shot in part in Villefranche-sur-Mer; to name just a few: "Gambling Hell" (1939) with Eric Von Stroheim and Mireille Balin, "To Catch a Thief" by Alfred Hitchcock, Grace Kelly and Cary Grant (1955) "There was once a cop" (1972) that brought together Michel Constantin and Mireille Darc, or "Never Say Never Again" (1983), which saw the return of Sean Connery as James Bond.
Beaulieu sur Mer
Beaulieu-sur-Mer, ideally located 20 minutes from Nice and Monaco, and 10 km from the International Airport, is a privileged site of the French Riviera with its palm-lined beaches, superb luster, its mild temperatures and an environment that is dense and lush in vegetation.
In the summer time, this elegant winter resort with exotic accents is an invitation to dream, through the streets lined with palaces, and celebrities fond of this area of world prestige, amongst them the Belgian King Leopold II, German Emperor Wilhelm II, the queens of Italy and Portugal, Reinach (archaeologist and founder of the villa Kerylos), Empress Sissi, Tolstoy and even Gustave Eiffel.
True "Oasis of Dreams", Beaulieu-sur-Mer offers a rich real estate heritage with sumptuous houses and magnificent palaces with spectacular architecture:
La Rotonde, a true architectural masterpiece of the Belle Epoque, formerly the dining room of the old hotel Bristol. Covered with a dome roof flooding with light, the majestic circular building is now listed in the registered with the additional inventory of Historical Monuments and is proposed by the Lenôtre for private events.
The Bristol, a six-story palace built in 1898 by Danish architect Hans-Georg Tersling, which welcomes since its opening on the 1st January 1899 world leaders such as Prince Louis Napoleon and the Duchess of Aosta. It has been for a long time one of the largest and most luxurious palaces of the Riviera, now converted into condominiums.
The Greek Villa Kérylos, built by the architect Emmanuel Pontremoli between 1902 to 1908 on a rocky foreland overlooking the Mediterranean, a heritage unique in the world, sumptuous and faithful reproduction of a luxurious villa of ancient Greece that will delight you by the beauty of the decorationin each room: mosaics, marble, frescoes that will take you back centuries, to the time of the Athenians and a certain art of living.
The Palais des Anglais, built in 1885 under the name ‘Hotel des Anglais', one of the first hotels in the city to host the European aristocracy who were staying on the French Riviera during the winter season, today transformed into condominium.
Or even the music kiosk, the Casino...
Stunning views, a privileged and exceptional sunny landscape, a azur sea...
The beach des Fourmis and La petit Afrique, the pine forest, the fine sand…
A beautiful harbor lined with famous restaurants such as the African Queen...
Beaulieu sur Mer, ‘Eternity. It is the sea and sun As one.’ Arthur Rimbaud
Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, Pearl of the Mediterranean.
The peninsula, located in close proximity to Nice and Villefranche sur Mer, enjoys a perfect tranquillity and such a mild winter that the aristocracy and the large fortunes of the world have made it a ideal holiday resort.
Thus, some of the areas of Cap-Ferrat have hosted many celebrities, amongst which: King Leopold II of Belgium who owned numerous properties, Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild, Charlie Chaplin, Rainier III, Somerset Maugham, Jean Cocteau, Winston Churchill, Romy Schneider, the art dealer Pierre Matisse, son of the famous painter Henri Matisse, and many others.
Amongst the most famous mansions of the Cap, we note:
The Grand Hotel du Cap (1908), one of the most beautiful palaces in the world, which stands in the middle of a wonderful 7 hectare landscaped garden with over 700 Mediterranean species.
The villa Santo-Sospir, built in 1931 in a regional Mediterranean style, bought by the rich heiress Francine Weisweiller in the mid-twentieth century. In 1950, her friend, the poet and painter Jean Cocteau painted the walls, ceilings and doors with leaf graphics evoking the themes of the Mediterranean and Greek mythology. The property is listed as a historical monument since 2007.
Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild museum and botanical garden: Beatrice Baroness de Rothschild, wife of billionaire Maurice Ephrussi, built in 1905 a lavish and luxurious palace in the heart of seven hectares of land, and it brings together all the decorative elements from the fifteenth century to the nineteenth century, memories of his travels. The villa Île-de-France (or the villa Ephrussi de Rothschild), its gardens and art collections bequeathed to the Academy of Fine Arts of the Institut de France in 1934.
The Villa Nara Mondadori, designed and built in 1968 by the architect Oscar Niemeyer, moderniste home, complex and ultra luxurious hidden in the middle of prestigious Belle Epoque residences.
Niemeyer (1907 - 2012) was one of the most famous Brazilian architects, whose work is part of the movement of the international style, taking a major place in modern architecture. He is especially known for the civic buildings of Brasilia, in Brazil.
Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, discreet and hidden, because everything is peaceful, luxurious and sensual.