Favorite thing: In summer you can rent motor boats with or without driving licence to cruise across this “ sparkling bay ” (contact .: DARK PELICAN ). If you prefer to be guided, the "Affrètement Maritime Villefranchois" (website in French only) offers small cruises. You can meet dolphins in the Mediterranean on half day cruises. If you prefer an original personalised cruise along the coast, a Turkish wooden caïque with 6 double cabins offers a day or week cruise (ELGIN).
Villefranche-sur-mer is a picturesque fishing village. The town is constructed in the heart of a beautiful bay and sits on the steps of a natural amphitheatre, the terrace hills of the Riviera, gazing out over the sea.
Fondest memory: Walk around the quays
Beaches always get popular, and this is no exception, but if you find a place to dump your stuff then just get into the sea. It is deep enough to swim comfortably, and so blue that temptation will overcome you! There are small beachside bars and cafes to entertain you, and though there were lots of young people, there were also many families, mostly French or Italian.
The sand itself is not really sand but very small stones - be careful not to fall over in the water as it can feel a bit like quicksand!
Favorite thing: Rue Obscure, or Carriera Scura as they say in Provencal, is a strange oddity of a passageway that leads you beneath the old town itself. It feels like a walk back into Jack the Ripper's Whitechapel, lit by cobwebbed lamps and interseded with steeped ruelles and unexpected glimpses into buildings.
Favorite thing: The pretty harbour is one of the most beautiful around (until you reach the next one...). There are not too many huge boats ruining the views, and the walk around to Cap Ferrat is rewarding to say the least. All along the waterfront you will find restaurants and hotels - this is a resort as well - but you cannot get away from the relaxingly azure sea. This is what you came to the South of France for.
Favorite thing: L’église St Michel, is one of the most interesting Baroque style monument of the Riviera, with graceful proportions, the wealth of its altar and its marble communion table. Also its magnificent 16th century lying wooden Christ, touching work carved by an unknown galley slave.
A military monument neglected for decades, the citadel was restored in the early 1980s to become the new town hall and host many cultural activities.
A series of museums make it a key artistic centre housing the sculptures of Fondation Volti, the paintings and prints of Christine Boumeester and Henri Goetz, ceramic figurines from the Roux collection with their picturesque evocation of daily life in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Temporary exhibitions, retrospectives of great late artists and shows for young contemporary creators add to the assets of this heritage.
A Theatre in the Green, an auditorium and the vast Place d’Armes (the old military parade ground) complete this cultural treasure to make the Citadel a centre for hosting conventions, trade fairs, colloquia, seminars, prestige events and gala evenings.
Sites & monuments
The 16th century Citadel; Volti Museum ( sculpture) ;
Goetz-Boumeester Museum; 24 BCA Museum ( military );
Hall of the 16th century wreck; Roux collection.
Museum opening hours:
October to May : 10 AM to 12 PM - 2 to 5 PM
June and September : 9 AM to 12 PM - 3 to 6 PM
July and August : 10 AM to 12 PM - 3 to 7 PM
Closed on Sunday mornings, on Tuesdays and in November.
Located in the corner of a lovely little park called Jardin François- Binon, beside the main N7 road.
Fondest memory: How come I haven't bumped into Bono from U2 yet????
Favorite thing: Here you see Irwin standing on a very narrow street in Villefranche. Because of the steepness of the hill, this street has steps.