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Every Sunday, Villefranche-sur-Mer hosts a lively flee market. Sellers of Antiques and other collectibles gather all day on place Amélie Pollonnais. If you are planning a day trip to Villefranche, then consider making it on a Sunday to enjoy a stroll through the flee market.
Written Jul 14, 2009
Address: place Amélie Pollonnais
Although it was built in the 14th century, l'Église Saint-Michel was given its Baroque makeover in 1757. It is the largest church in the village of Villefranche-sur-Mer and it towers above the surrounding buildings. The ochre, mustard and white tones of its façade are the common colours for churches and buildings along the French Riviera.
Updated Jul 14, 2009
Address: Place de l'Eglise
One of the most interesting chapels on the Côte d'Azur, la Chapelle Saint-Pierre dates from the 14th century. The colourful chapel is located by the port of Villefranche-sur-Mer, but although the exterior is stunning, what makes it interesting is the fact that the interior was decorated in 1957 by the famous artist Jean Cocteau. It is one of his most famous works and is quite intriguing.
Updated Jul 14, 2009
Address: Quai Courbet
The beach at Villefranche is the perfect antidote to Nice's stony beaches, and Cannes private beaches. A large sandy completely public bay , gritty sand is soft underfoot,with just perfect sheltered swimming waters, all 15 minutes by bus from the centre of Nice.
It can get a bit crowded with noisy families in peak season and at weekends, but there is plenty of room for all, and this is a good place for any "seaside" aspirations for your riviera visit.
Pay car parking is available at the far side of the beach always popular with drivers from over the Italian border, though the canny ones will park free along Avenue Louise Bordes (home among others to Nellcote - a villa rented by the Rolling Stones in the 1980's) a quiet back road that links Villefranche with Cap Ferrat at Pont St Jean
Occasionally one or two monster Mediterranean cruiseships dock in the deep waters and tenders ferry the passengers off to coaches bound for Monaco or Eze. They make little local impact except for interrupting the skyline that connects Cap Ferrat to the East and Cap de Nice to the West.
A reassuring sight during a visit to Villefranche is the long arm of the law - athletic young men on mountain bicycles modelling lycra shorts, shades and sporting a fine tan. The flying squad, not. The real security around here is the SPD private security and property surveillance company employed by every luxury villa.
Updated Jun 16, 2009
Address: Villefranche sur mer
Hidden away out of sight of the main village and the harbour is the tiny port, Villefranche Port Darse. I confess after two years of coming here I didn't know it existed until I read a rave restaurant review by Stephen Clarke, author of the recent "A Year in the Merde" (must read for thos who want to try to understand the French) of a little restaurant at the port called Le Cockpit , Having tracked it down, it was closed for the new year, however discovering the port was a real treat. Its lovely.
It can be reached by walking around the waterline of the Citadel. The length of the port is Oceanographic Institute of the Cote D'Azur, (Thinking back to my student days, I think I could have coped with three years of studying oceans on the Cote D'Azur. Its tough I know, but somebody has to do it) and a Marie Curie Research Foundation. There are also little spots to park a car, which is useful to know.
Another little gem is a hidden beach the other side of the Darse harbour wall - not visible from the town so only locals know it exists. And because of the Port regulations, there is a clean and well maintained free public toilet at Darse - a rarity in France and one which should win an award if such things existed.
Updated Jun 16, 2009
Very very simple. Follow the curve of the bay of Villefranche away from the town until you reach the final end car parking area - you will see a flight of steps to your left, next to the parking payment machine.These take you up to av Louise Bordes, which brings you past the gates of the famous villa Nellcote ( Rolling Stones history 1980's Exile on Main Street) and many other private villas until you reach Pont St Jean, the point of entry to the west-facing length of Cap Ferrat.
From here, a short walk will bring you to the magnificent Ephrussi de Rosthchild Villa, the front gate of Paul Allen's Maryland, and a short distance from the charming Cap Ferrat zoo. The beach this side of Cap Ferrat is the Plage Passable, a modest but popular sandy beach with views back towards Villefranche. Crossing over to the east-facing side of Cap Ferrat is the little yachting harbour of St Jean, with restaurants and cafes
Updated May 15, 2008
...and then have a lavish lunch in one of the bistrots by the sea, especially with fruits de mer or some wonderfully cooked pizzas........great scenery, all green hills with luxurious villas overviewing the grogeous sea...lovely beach!
Written Nov 22, 2007
Address: down from teh train station, just follow the paths
Halfway between Nice and Monaco, on the edge of the mountain cliff, is Eze Village. Eze was a medieval village and now houses a few true residents, many tourist shops, a lovely garden and castle remains. The village seems almost fake in its intense quaintness. We felt as though we were on a movie set, but it's real. The climb to the top is an adventure in picturesque cuteness. The reward, once you reach the top, is the gorgeous Jardin Exotique and a view of the Meditteranean coastline that will leave you breathless! From the top, on a clear day you can see pretty much the entire French Riviera at your feet.
A few notes: Grab a map at the foot of the village, but prepared to be lost anyway. There are numerous nooks and crannies on the little "roads". Also, to enter the garden you must pay a small fee. Wear comfortable shoes, the roads are mostly cobblestone.
We elected to drive up to the foot of the village on the bus from Nice and then walk down. The path from the village to Eze-sur-Mer was made famous as it is reputed to be a regular walking trail for Nietzsche. It took us about 90 minutes, which we hadn't expected. So, if you elect to walk the trail either way, factor in that time.
Written Apr 21, 2007
Villefranche is the perfect venue for lunch, and on Sundays an antiques market jostles with the diners tables, to form the perfect setting. Casual dining in the shadow of Hotel Welcome, or more expensive alfresco restaurants which line the bay.
Mediterranean colours are intense like the flavours. Pastel hues offset the richness of terracotta, verging towards dark red, contrasting with white blue or green shutters, resplendent with floral bouganvilea and geranium. Add azure blue skies streaked with white and you have a riot of colour.
The food shows strong italian influences, but so does the retinue of diners. Dark glasses essential, linger over chilled rose.
Paradise if it exists has no doubt a little corner like this. You can see why people come back again. And again and again.
Updated Aug 12, 2006
The Rue Obscure is a road that is located under the city. It is not built underground, but the buildings in this area were built over the road. All of the buildings, including houses, that are built here have access from this hidden road. The road was built this way to protect
the towns people and allow them to travel unharmed during attacks during the towns more violent past. Evidently, the town was overtaken by barbarians in the fifth century and the villagers fled to the hills.
The coolest thing in the whole town!!!
Updated May 11, 2006
6 Reviews and 229 Opinions Dominating the centre of town, this small 3-star hotel seems to be the place to stay in...
2 Reviews and 80 Opinions We had a wonderful stay at the unique Hotel Darse. We were only there for 1 night, but were...