The French Riviera is renowned for its prestige and rich architectural heritage. From Saint Tropez to Menton, there are emblematic villas of international renown. All are captivating for their architectural audacity or for the renowned personalities and architects who have helped forge their reputations.Discover the captivating stories behind the iconic properties in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Villefranche-sur-Mer, Beaulieu-sur-Mer and Cap d'Ail. Immerse yourself in the world of these villas that have left an indelible mark along the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
The French Riviera is renowned for its prestige and rich architectural heritage. From Saint Tropez to Menton, there are emblematic villas of international renown. All are captivating for their architectural audacity or for the renowned personalities and architects who have helped forge their reputations.
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is a prime location for prestigious villas. This peninsula, dominated by Cap Ferrat, is remarkably close to the Mediterranean Sea. With a surface of 2.5 km², the area has been home for decades to celebrities and wealthy homeowners in search of authenticity and calm.
Between blue skies and azure waters, discover the history of the prestigious villas in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.
The history of the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild dates back to the early 20th century, when Béatrice Ephrussi, a member of the famous Rothschild family, decided to create her summer residence in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. Work began in 1905 under the direction of architect Aaron Messiah.
The Villa Ephrussi's architectural style is inspired by Italian Renaissance palaces, and is built around a series of salons, galleries, study rooms and bedrooms, the dominant color of which is ochre.
Its special feature is its pink façade.
In addition to its architecture, the Villa Ephrussi is also famous for its sumptuous gardens. Béatrice personally designed 9 themed gardens, each with a different atmosphere. (French, Japanese, dedicated to roses, Florentine, Spanish, ...). All these gardens were awarded the "jardin remarquable" label by the French Ministry of Culture in 2005.
In 1991, the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild came under the management of the Institut de France and was opened to the public. Since 2023, it has been managed by the Académie des Beaux-Arts.
Nestled on the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat peninsula in the 1st line, the Villa Santo Sospir is an unusual villa that owes its fame to an exciting collaboration between an artist and a patron of the arts.
The history of this prestigious villa in Saint-Jean-Cap-ferrat dates back to the 1930s, when the famous writer Jean Cocteau was invited by Francine Weisweiler, the villa's owner. Seduced by the charm of the place, Jean Cocteau had a bold idea: to transform the villa into a living artistic masterpiece. Francine Weisweller, open to the idea of giving free rein to the artist's creativity, gave him carte blanche to express his art on the villa's walls.
The architectural style of Villa Santo Sospir harmoniously blends traditional Mediterranean elements with a modern aesthetic. Cocteau's murals are the real jewels of Villa Santo Sospir. Inspired by the theme of Greek mythology, they stretch across the walls and ceilings. Each room tells a different story.
Over the years, the villa has played host to many personalities. In addition to Jean Cocteau himself, Pablo Picassso, Marlène Dietrich and Sacha Guitry have stayed in this exceptional villa.
The villa was listed as a historic monument in 2007.
Set on a hilltop on the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat peninsula, Villa Les Cèdres is a property that embodies the elegance, luxury and charm of the French Riviera.
The history of Les Cèdres dates back to the early 19th century, when the first plantations of Himalayan cedars were planted on the villa's grounds.
In 1850, Swedish architect Hans-Georg Tersling designed a majestic villa on the property. The villa was later acquired by King Leopold II of Belgium, who undertook to enlarge and embellish the residence.
The architectural style of Les Cèdres combines elements of Italian architecture with touches of the French Belle Époque. The villa offers breathtaking views over the bay of Villefranche-sur-Mer.
Over the decades, Les Cèdres has played host to many celebrities, including King Leopold II himself and other members of European royalty.
In 1924, the famous Marnier-Lapostolle family, renowned for their Grand Marnier liqueur, acquired the property, which has since been sold.
The personalities who have stayed there and its private garden (one of the largest private gardens in Europe, with a park covering almost 14 hectares) have contributed to its value.
Nestled on the seafront of the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat peninsula, Villa Socoglio, also known as La Fleur du Cap, is an emblematic Cap property.
The history of Villa Socoglio dates back to the early 19th century, when it was built by the son of an arms merchant.
Over the years, the SocogLio villa has welcomed several stately occupants, including the Duchess of Marlborough, Consuelo Vanderbilt, considered one of the richest women in the world at the time, and Charlie Chaplin, the famous actor and screenwriter, who found refuge here from the 1950s onwards. Years later, he sold the house to actor David Niven.
Today, Villa La Fleur du Cap is still privately owned. It has been restored and extended over the years.
The history of Villa Mauresque dates back to the early 20th century, when Félix Chamettant, a former missionary and chaplain to the King of the Belgians, bought the plot and had it built by an unknown architect.
The villa was built in an architectural style inspired by Andalusian Arab architecture.
In 1927, it was purchased by writer Somerset Maugham, who commissioned American architect Barry Dierks to classicize the entire facade, eliminating its neo-oriental style.
The Villa is located in the area known as Le Sémaphore, offering panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea.
Throughout its history, the Villa Mauresque has played host to many renowned personalities. Influential politicians, famous artists and members of royal families. Among them: Winston Churchill, the Duke of Windsor and Virginia Woolf.
Today, the Villa Mauresque is a private property that can be admired from the outside, and has been a cultural heritage site since November 20, 2008.
Nestled in the cliffs of the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat peninsula, Villa La voile is one of the most extraordinary properties to be found in the region.
This exceptional residence was designed by one of the world's greatest contemporary architects, Sir Norman Foster, whose creative genius has resulted in a one-of-a-kind structure.
The story of Villa La Voile goes back to 2002, when Sir Norman Foster was approached by a passionate art collector. The collector had just acquired a seafront plot in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and wanted his villa to be built on the site.
The challenge was clear: to design a residence that would stand out from the crowd and blend harmoniously into the surrounding landscape. Foster took the time to study the site, immersing himself in the Mediterranean atmosphere and coastal landscapes.
The result was a visionary design combining organic elements and clean lines evocative of a majestic sail billowing in the wind.
La Voile is an architectural feat that seems to float above the sea.
Now a symbol of luxury, it attracts the attention of celebrities from all over the world and has become an architectural icon on the billionaires' peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.
Villa Fiorentina is an architectural gem that embodies the essence of luxury and elegance. Built in the early 20th century, Villa La Fiorentina was designed by Belgian architect Aaron Messiah for Thérèse Vitali, Countess of Beauchamps.
The inspiration behind the villa's architectural style comes from the Italian Renaissance. The building skilfully blends neoclassical elements with details of Tuscan architecture.
Perched on the heights of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, it offers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea.
Throughout its existence, Villa La Fiorentina has been the residence of eminent personalities and celebrities from all over the world, including King Leopold II of Belgium and writer Somerset Maugham.
Thanks to its prestigious history and famous residents, the villa has acquired inestimable value. The property has become a centerpiece of the luxury real estate market in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, and is also listed in the general inventory of cultural heritage.
Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, a true gem nestled on the Côte d'Azur, enchants visitors with its exceptional setting, its emblematic villas and its breathtaking view of Cap Martin. In this setting, many of the town's villas bear witness to a unique historical and architectural heritage. Discover Roquebrune-Cap-Martin's iconic villas through fascinating stories of glamour and luxury.
Villa E-1027, a true architectural feat, is an icon of modern design. This iconic Roquebrune-Cap-Martin villa, built between 1926 and 1929, carries the legacy of its illustrious architect, Eileen Gray.
From the outset, Villa E-1027 was conceived as a total work of art. Eileen Gray, the visionary Irish architect and designer, brought to this creation an innovative approach combining modernism and functionalism.
Villa E-1027's location along the "sentier des douaniers" (customs path) gives it an unobstructed view of the coastline, enhancing its appeal to celebrities in search of peace and quiet. Its owner, Jean Badovici, lived here until his death.
Among his famous guests was Gray's friend Le Corbusier, who was greatly inspired by the villa.
Following a donation to a doctor by the name of Peter Kaegi, the villa was then abandoned, suffering from the ravages of time.
For several years, the villa underwent extensive restoration work, first by the architect Renaud Barrès, hired by the commune in 1999, then in 2013 by the Conservatoire du Littoral, who proposed Michael Likierman to pilot a new restoration project.
Since 2021, the entire management of the site has been entrusted to the Centre des Musées Nationaux.
L'Aiglon, one of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin's prestige villas is steeped in a rich and fascinating history. Built in the early 20th century, this magnificent residence embodies the Belle Époque architectural style. Its history dates back to 1891, when the famous architect Henri Schmidt was commissioned by the Schmidt family (the famous family who founded the Bains de Mer company in Monaco) to design the property.
Schmidt captured the essence of this significant architectural style, and the property features elegant lines and large bay windows that harmonize perfectly with the magnificent Mediterranean landscape.
A true testament to this era, Villa L'Aiglon has been recognized by Bâtiments de France for its significant architectural style.
Perched on the steep cliffs of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the Villa Torre Clementina is an iconic residence on the "sentier des douaniers".
The history of the Villa Torre Clementina dates back to the early 20th century, when in 1904, novelist Ernesta Stern, wife of banker Louis Stern, commissioned architect Lucien Hesse to build the residence.
The architect opted for an eclectic mix of Gothic and Venetian-Byzantine styles. The villa is surrounded by a magnificent Mediterranean garden.
Since 1991, this emblematic villa and its gardens have been listed as a historic monument.
Villa Cyrnos has a captivating history dating back to the late 19th century. This sumptuous property, built in 1902, was designed by renowned interior architect and decorator Hans-Jorg Tesling for the former Empress Eugenie.
Blending Art Nouveau and Belle Epoque influences, the building stands proudly on the cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
The villa La Pausa perfectly embodies the elegance and refinement of the Belle Époque era. Built in 1927, this iconic residence was the result of collaboration between architect Barry Dierks and writer Somerset Maugham. Over the years, La Pausa has hosted a diverse array of distinguished personalities, including the famous fashion icon Coco Chanel and even Winston Churchill.
In 1953, following Chanel's death, the villa was sold to the American businessman Emery Reves.
The villa Cypris is a true architectural gem and an iconic landmark in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. Built in the early 20th century for Madame Robert Douine by the architect Édouard Arnaud, this Byzantine-style property, distinguished by its elegant domes, stands out with its intricately decorated facade and lush gardens.
In 1992, it was designated as a historical monument, adding to its significance.
The privileged location of Villefranche-sur-Mer, overlooking its bay with turquoise waters, has elevated it to one of the most sought-after cities on the French Riviera. Nestled between lush hills and the azure sea, the exceptional villas of the city offer a serene and timeless setting.
These residences carry within them a wealth of fascinating stories and the quintessence of luxury, captivating the curious with their timeless charm and unique architecture. Explore the outstanding villas that have contributed to the international renown of Villefranche-sur-Mer.
Nestled on the hills overlooking the magnificent bay of Villefranche-sur-Mer, Villa Léopolda embodies the history of the French Riviera. Its origins trace back to the early 20th century when King Léopold II of Belgium decided to have this residence built for his mistress, Caroline Lacroix.
Following the death of King Léopold II's mistress, Villa Léopolda changed hands, passing through different owners such as the Countess de Beauchamp, architect Ogden Codman, who carried out numerous restoration works on the villa, Gianni Agnelli, and later the Safra family.
This prestigious villa in Villefranche-sur-mer has hosted several filmings including To Catch a Thief by Alfred Hitchcock with Grace Kelly.
The Nell Cote villa enjoys a privileged location with its breathtaking views of the magnificent Rade de Villefranche. This legendary property, built in 1889 for Eugène Thomas, acquired its name, Nell Cote, in 1918 under its fourth owner, Samuel Lévi Goldenberg, who renamed it in reference to his wife Nella.
During World War II, the villa was requisitioned by German forces and later served as the headquarters for an American military hospital. The Nell Cote villa boasts a remarkable architectural style, representing the Belle Époque architecture that was popular in the late 19th century, featuring neoclassical elements and Mediterranean influences.
In the late 1970s, the Nell Cote villa gained worldwide fame thanks to Keith Richards, a member of the Rolling Stones, who rented the property to record their new album "Exile on Main St".
This area enjoys a privileged location that bestows upon it an unparalleled charm. The exceptional villas of Beaulieu-sur-Mer offer breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea. In an extraordinary coastal environment, The Baie of the Fourmis and the Petite Afrique stand out for their proximity to the sea and their unique beauty.
As true witnesses of the past, the iconic properties of the city embody unique stories as well as the prestige and exclusive lifestyle of the French Riviera. Immerse yourself in the history of these exceptional villas, bearing witness to the passage of time and the evolution of French architecture.
Villa Kérylos is an emblematic architectural pearl of The Bay of the Fourmis . Built at the beginning of the 20th century, this unique property in Beaulieu-sur-mer is a subtle blend of Mediterranean charm and Greek refinement.
The history of Villa Kérylos dates back to the Belle Époque when Théodore Reinach decided to create a residence that would pay homage to Greek architecture. In 1902, with the assistance of architect Emmanuel Pontremoli, he constructed Villa Kérylos by the seaside.
The uniqueness of this exceptional property lies in its aesthetic, faithful to ancient Greek villas. After being associated with numerous famous occupants, including Théodore Reinach himself, the villa was acquired by the Institut de France in 1967 to preserve its cultural and artistic heritage.
Today, managed by the Centre des Monuments Nationaux, Villa Kérylos continues to captivate visitors from around the world, transporting them on a journey through time to the golden age of Ancient Greece. It remains a living testament to the passion for art and culture that inspired its creation.
The Hôtel Bristol embodies timeless elegance. It was founded in 1897 by Baptistin Serraire et Cie, for a London furniture manufacturer. The hotel, with 300 rooms on 5 floors, was a landmark of the Belle Époque. Its architectural style was imbued with the opulence of the era. In 1911, the luxury hotel was hit by a fire that destroyed the top two floors of the building. Renovation work was undertaken to restore the hotel to its former beauty.
During the 1st World War, the hotel was converted into a military hospital.
In 1954, the hotel was bought by developer Saglia, who, to meet the changing needs of Beaulieu's residents, transformed the building into a high-end condominium.
To this day, the rotunda is the architectural feature that reveals the beauty of the building.
A silent witness to the region's history and beauty, the town of Cap d'Ail stands out for its timeless elegance and proximity to the Mediterranean Sea. This dreamy enclave offers a privileged setting where luxury, history and untamed nature come together. A true hidden treasure, the Pointe des douaniers is home to some of the region's most iconic villas.
Cap d'Ail's iconic villas are much more than mere luxury residences, they embody the prestige and captivating history of the French Riviera.
Discover the unique and timeless properties that captivate the eye with their unique architectural style and captivating history.
Villa The Rock stands proudly on the Pointe des douaniers path. Its history dates back to 1910, when the famous Mr. Pisani had this magnificent property built.
In 1939, a well-known theatrical producer by the name of George Schlee was seduced by the beauty of this villa and bought it. The house witnessed the producer's infidelity with Greta Garbo, where he came in the company of his lover and wife Valentina. When George died, Valentina returned to the villa after having it exorcised by a priest.
This exceptional villa in Cap d'Ail blends perfectly into the coastal landscape, with its lush gardens and terraces offering breathtaking views of the Cap.
In 1996, The Rock was listed as a French cultural heritage site.
Today, The Rock remains a private residence, protected by its owners, who are keen to preserve the heritage of this exceptional home.
Villa Les Funambules is an emblematic residence steeped in history and elegance. Built at the beginning of the 20th century, in 1904, its historic name was the villa "Gioia Mia".
In 1926, it was purchased by the famous author and actor Sacha Guitry, who renamed it "Les Funambules". This renowned property gained notoriety thanks to the many plays he wrote there.
In 1961, after his death, his wife Lana Marconi sold it. The villa was then divided into two prestigious apartments.
Today, the apartments are used as private residences.
Steeped in a rich history, the Villa Lumière is one of Cap d'Ail's architectural gems.
Built in 1902 by Antoine Lumière, father of Louis and Auguste Lumière, this emblematic villa was part of a complex of three villas including the Villa Helios. The property is a perfect example of Belle Époque architecture, characterized by refinement, elegant lines and arched windows.
In 1950, the building was renamed Villa Lumière and converted into a hotel. The hotel became increasingly famous as a regular venue for the French soccer team.
In 1975, the Ministry of the Interior bought the property and converted it into a vacation resort.
This magnificent Cap d'Ail residence was built in 1926 for Captain Edward Molyneux on the site of the former Tir aux Pigeons in Cap d'Ail. Architect Roger Seassal drew inspiration from the neo-Provençal style to design this emblematic property.
After the Second World War, it was sold to Lord Beaverbrook, former Minister for Armaments and a close friend of Winston Churchill. Churchill visited the Lord on several occasions, with his easel, paint tubes and notebook, which he used to write his memoirs.
A true symbol of history, Villa La Capponcina continues to captivate visitors from all over the world, perpetuating the legacy of a man and an era.
This sumptuous residence combining luxury and a unique architectural style embodies the timeless charm of the Côte d’Azur.
The villa Les Camélias was built at the beginning of the 20th century, the prosperous period of the Belle Époque.
This exceptional villa enjoys an elevated position, offering breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea.
Today, Les Camélias houses a museum that showcases the unique history of the commune as well as the works of the Basque painter Ramiro Arrue.
The unique location of Eze, perched above the Mediterranean Sea, provides an enchanting backdrop and breathtaking views of the coastline. This area is home to iconic villas that embody the timeless refinement and opulence of the region. Living testimonials to a rich history and unique architectural art, these residences are true legacies of the local culture.
Discover the iconic properties that make the town of Eze a place that combines luxury, authenticity, and timeless elegance.
Perched on the heights of the town of Eze, Villa Les Roses embodies a unique architectural style. Built in 1910, this exceptional villa had several prestigious owners before catching the attention of U2's lead singer, Bono, in 1993. Les Roses is a perfect example of traditional Mediterranean architecture with a blend of art deco. The residence is characterized by its waterfront location, lush garden surrounding the property, and its rose-colored façade.
The mansion gained worldwide fame following Bono's acquisition, allowing this exceptional villa in Eze to host many celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Robert De Niro, and even Bill Gates.
The Villa Château Balsan, also known as Château Lou Seuil, embodies an enchanting fusion of cinematic history and architectural refinement. This iconic residence, once owned by the legendary filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock, reveals a rich past.
Built in 1920 by the architect Achille Duchêne for Colonel Jacques Balsan, Château Balsan captures architectural charm by skillfully blending classical and Mediterranean elements. Until 1990, it was the residence of Marie Gabrielle de Savoie, the daughter of King Humbert II of Italy.
Its 70-hectare park, Roman garden, the "Le Casino" holiday home, as well as outbuildings, fountain, and tomb, were listed in the General Inventory of Cultural Heritage in 1999. This iconic villa appeared in certain scenes of To Catch a Thief of the filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock.
The Villa Maeterlinck, located in Cap de Nice, is a contemporary villa in the Mont Boron area, designed by the renowned architect Jean Nouvel, who received the Pritzker Prize in 2008. Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea between Cap-Ferrat and the Bay of Angels, this prestigious residence offers breathtaking views.
Its ultra-modern glass structure, a true contemporary architectural gem, and its elongated design allow it to enjoy exceptional brightness. The Mediterranean garden, spanning 8600 sqm, is designed by landscape architects Gilles Clément and François Navarro.
Nestled in the heart of the prestigious Cap de Nice, Villa Roc Fleuri embodies both the timeless elegance of the Belle Époque era and the sumptuous setting of this sought-after Nice neighborhood.
In 1956, this prestigious villa in Nice, known as the "Smith villa" at the time, was inspired by Indian monuments, in a neo-Monghol architectural style. It was built following the acquisition of 22,000m2 of land by the British architect Robert Smith.
Characterized by its pink color and Belle Époque style, the villa boasts an architectural style that has won over many celebrities.
Its breathtaking view over the Baie des Anges and the port of Nice, for example, attracted the interest of actor Sean Connery, who lived there for several years with his wife.