I went to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat with the intention of spending a day, before continuing my French Riviera Tour. But what happened instead, is something that has happened many times before—Cap Ferrat enamoures you with its grandeur, with its charm and I decided to stay there for the rest of my holidays. I fell in love with Cap Ferrat and I want to share with you a few reasons why.
Arriving from Nice directly on Saint-Jean port, you are welcomed by the many fishing boats docked alongside yachts and a few chic cafés and restaurants à côté de the port.
My favourite way to explore the cape is on foot, hiking the coastal path, beside the sea with its waves crashing onto the rocks. Along the way, there are villas with their gardens and swimming pools, pine forests, and cypresses.
On my hike, I past the beautiful Villa Santo Sospir which is currently undergoing renovations. It is known nowadays as the tattooed-villa of Jean Cocteau who painted murals all over the walls. The villa has been owned for the past seventy years by the Weisweiller family of Paris. “Bought as a prize for surviving the Holocaust, the haute-bohemian villa on the Côte d’Azur was where socialite Francine Weisweiller entertained everyone from Jean Cocteau and Picasso to the Agnellis and Yves Saint Laurent.” (Town & Country)
The Grand-Hôtel du Cap Ferrat is also a magnificent place if you go to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. With its 17 acres of meticulously arranged gardens and an endless view over the sea, it was a beloved place for people like Winston Churchill, Pablo Picasso, Frank Sinatra, and Elizabeth Taylor.
And then my favorite place of all: Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild.
Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild bought the property in 1905, and built the villa in the style of an Italian palazzo. Béatrice filled the villa with her magnificent art collection, and used it as residence and place to host parties until the 1930’s, before bequeathing it to the Institute de France for use as a fine art museum: “Béatrice collected well over 5,000 pieces ranging from fine furniture to paintings, statues, and porcelain dinnerware. Many items were rescued from palaces destroyed in Paris by the city planning excesses of Haussmann during the late-nineteenth century.” (European Traveler)