Remarkable villa and gardens located between Nice and Monaco ~ overlooking the bays of Villefranche and Beaulieu- sur-Mer. Built by Beatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild during the Belle Epoque, both the Palais and Jardin are spectacular!
Nine gardens on 7 acres with magnificent views. Below is a view from the Temple of Love looking towards the splendid pink villa (inspired by flamingos). A stepped waterfall feeds into ponds with fountains that have recently been programed to music. This formal garden is symmetrically arranged and was the only one completed in 1912 when the villa became habitable. Baroness Ephrussi de Rothschild was greatly inspired by her travels and as this part 0f the garden was the view from the inside of the villa, and beyond was the ocean, she felt as though the garden was the deck of a ship and named the villa “Ile de France” after a ship she travelled on.
Baroness Ephrussi de Rothschild bought the property in 1905 and had it dynamited and brought in great quantities of earth to level the land for the villa and gardens you see. When she died in 1934, she left her entire estate to the Academie des Beaux-arts of the Institut de France. It was her wish for a museum to be created for the enjoyment of others.
After her death, the remaining gardens were planted with inspiration of Beatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild’s many travels. The Stone garden is filled with architectural pieces from civic and religious buildings. The Spanish garden has a shady grotto, the Florentine garden has a double staircase and water feature, the Exotic garden is all succulents and cacti, the Provencal is full of olive trees and lavender and of course a rose garden.
Watch for a future post on the Villa. For more information www.villa-ephrussi.com This property was not mentioned in my guidebook and I greatly enjoyed my visit.
All photos Sue Womersley.