There is a woman behind everything – including Villa Ephrussi
Baroness Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild is the woman behind one of the most beautiful and complete places on the French Riviera – Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild.
In the early 1900s, in the Belle Époque period, she spent 7 years of her life building the 9 beautiful gardens that surround the palace and a unique collection of contemporary porcelain, paintings, tapestries and furniture.
Villa Ephrussi’s 9 gardens
The garden is simply impressive. In addition to the master garden, the French garden and the fountain that adorns the front of the villa, there are as many as 8 specialty gardens with exotic plants from most of the world.
Take your time for immersion
Villa Ephrussi’s incomparable historical collection is composed of many different artistic elements for a whole that invites today’s guests to self-deprecation and thoughtfulness.
In other words, the place is not an obvious visit for the family, who wants speed and pace, but is more targeted for an adult audience, who seeks peace and the opportunity to combine the historical experiences with gourmet meals in the salon of the house.
However, the building is also visited in educational contexts by school classes outside the high season.
An artistic gem on the Riviera
Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild was born in 1864 and was the daughter of the banker and art collector, Baron Alphonse de Rothschild.
At 19, she married a Russian banker, Maurice Ephrussi, who lived in Paris. He was a family friend and 15 years older than Béatrice. Marriage was never a success. Maurice gambled away his fortune, and in 1904 the marriage was dissolved.
The following year, her father died and she inherited a huge fortune that allowed her to build Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. The villa became her winter residence for decades to come, and in 1933, a year before her death, Béatrice bequeathed her villa and all her collections to the French Academy of Fine Arts, the Académie des Beaux-Arts.
From various points in the garden there are beautiful views towards Villefranche-sur-Mer Bay and along the coast towards Monaco. This helps to give the visit an extra experience.
Villa Ephrussi also offers gourmet food and entertainment
The villa is a favorite brunch place, and during the winter months, as well as in July and August, smaller concerts and intimate, romantic candlelit dinners are organized. The restaurant offers gourmet baskets that can be enjoyed on the lawns on a beautiful summer evening under the orange and olive trees.
Every year in May, there is a flower festival celebrating the arrival of spring. See more about special events on the villa’s website https://www.villa-ephrussi.com/fr/home.
How to experience Villa Ephrussi
The villa is open to the public and can be visited during normal opening hours – see this at the end of the article.
You can also visit Villa Ephrussi on a 5-star day trip including private tour with GetYourGuide. On the tour you can also experience Villa Kérylos, Villefranche, Monaco & Èze.
Read more about this wonderful day trip here: Day trip Côte d’Azur extraordinary villas
Varies from 11 to 16 euros per person, up to 45 euros for a family ticket, includes a guided tour of 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Various gourmet offers can be purchased including brunch, coffee break or lunch.
It is possible to combine entrance ticket with access to the nearby Exotic Garden of Eze, for a total of 14.50 euros.
By Mikael Mortensen – 2022