Can you imagine a bucolic picnic at the baroness of Rothschild’s, in the sumptuous gardens of her villa in St Jean-Cap-Ferrat? The baroness enjoyed very much organizing social events, and would be certainly delighted to have you as her guests, to share her impressive artistic legacy, in a unique setting.
The road between Nice and Cap Ferrat is worth a trip, even if you are planning a short stay in Nice. You should save a half day for this visit that I strongly recommend.
When I arrived I immediately remembered my mother saying “ We are not the Rothschild!”. I guess I knew that for a long time, but being there it made more sense than ever…. The art collections are impressive, and the pink villa in a Venetian style, is quite my taste.
The Baroness Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild had this Belle Epoque villa built and the beginning of last century, after she divorced from her husband in debt. There, she held receptions with the nobility from all over Europe, and, as a consequence, she participated in the development of the French Riviera as a touristic destination.
Inside the palace, you will discover some original furniture, masterpieces, a collection of porcelain, tapestry and Chinese art pieces…
But beware to save one hour to visit the gardens, as I say : plural. A French style garden overlooks the property, displaying a musical fountain show every 20 minutes, and 8 other gardens are presenting a great variety of plants, trees and flowers, some rare species, with an incredible view on the bay. Each of these gardens has a different seasonal peak.
The special event “Garden party at the Baroness’” consists in a packed lunch served on the Florentine garden, overlooking the bay of Villefranche, framed with glycine flower. Here, the sandwiches are chic: smoked salmon and foie gras, and lunch is served at your table so all the family can enjoy it. It includes half a bottle of rosé wine per person and fine pastry. This special event can be organized for 2 to 25 people, during opening times, and costs 75€ per person.
Usually in October, you can attend a theatrical visit “A day with the baroness”, recreating the daily life of Madame la Baronne, in a funny and didactic way: from the organization of an event for high society to talking topics, not to forget the basic rules of the art of entertaining… Thanks to this participative show I shall remember once and for all, that my bread is on my left hand side, so I don’t still it from my neighbor anymore!
Finally, to grab your attention about the strong and original personality of Beatrice de Rotschild, I advise you to read the last paragraph of the « Did you Know » section from the villa webpage. It deals with the celebration of her dog’s wedding…
Getting to the Villa is easy with bus N°81, departure from Promenade des Arts, next to place Garibaldi, heading to Port de St Jean, and stop at Passable/Rothschild.
Full rate entry costs 13€. The audioguide, 2nd children and wifi are free of charge!
You can enjoy having lunch or a coffee at the tea-room & restaurant for very reasonable prices, at the outdoor terrace or inside, with one of the best views on the Villefranche Bay.
Villa et jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild