What Makes Villefranche Special?
^ The Bay of Villefranche, reputed as one of the five most beautiful bays in the world, is embraced by the Cap of Nice on the right and Cap Ferrat on the left. The charming Old Town of Villefranche cascades down the hillside to the sea, and the sandy kilometer-long beach offers great recreation throughout the year.
A fantastic living environment on the French Riviera.
Villefranche-sur-Mer is one of the most charming — if not the most charming — authentic French and Niçoise fishing village on the French Riviera, in the heart of the Cote d’Azur. With Monaco on one side and Nice on the other, it is hard to believe that it can retain its charm and authenticity of a little village where people still know each other.
Our neighbors (a couple in their late 80s) live in an apartment that has been in their family since 1830. Their children and grandchildren all live and work in the village. Another neighbor is one of the local fishermen and sell their catch in the local market. Another set of neighbors, just a few doors away, of Italian origin (as are many Villefranchois families), have been in Villefranche since 1900 and are the proprietors of our world-renowned soap boutique and have two twin boys at the local school. I love to watch and hear the neighbors hang out their windows and greet each other, have a little chat or watch the day pass by. There is family after family like this in Villefranche — all with lovely character and charm. It is a delightful way of life unique to Old Town living.
Although it’s such an authentic village, Villefranche is also surrounded by an fascinating, international scene. It attracts a very interesting cosmopolitan group of visitors and residents, including students who attend the renowned French language school, Institut de Français.
^ Villefranche-sur-Mer lies on the coast between Nice and Monaco, centered on the Cote d’Azur.
From the map you can see how close and well positioned Villefranche is to everything along the Riviera: the beautiful Port and Old Town of Nice is just a few kilometers away (and a lovely walk if you would like), while Monaco and the Italian border aren’t much farther (easy by bus or train). Going just a little farther brings you to historic Antibes, chic Juan les Pins, and glamorous Cannes (all easy train rides from Villefranche), while the famous art village of St. Paul de Vence and the perfumiers of Grasse are just beyond (and both reachable by bus). You won’t need a car to enjoy all these places as our bus and train public transport is excellent and inexpensive — and often faster and easier than driving.
What’s there to do here?
There is so much to do here it is hard to know where to start. Maybe you want to just relax, enjoy the beach, sit in a café or bar and take in the beautiful scenery and fun scene. Or maybe you want to enjoy the French lifestyle, cuisine, delicious produce and wine, shop in the local markets, live the village lifestyle — and get healthier and trimmer while eating and drinking to your hearts content. Or maybe you want to do some sightseeing and take in some of the magnificent walks and sites the area has to offer. Or maybe you want to visit Italy for the day and do a bit of shopping and have a real Italian experience — just 30 minutes away. You won’t tire of all the opportunities there are to enjoy yourself and get away from it all.
^ Imagine living in this charming seaside village between Nice and Monaco. Our two waterfront apartments, Waterfront Penthouse and Le Petit Bijou Waterfront Apartment, are the top two floors of the circled building right on the quay.
^ Villefranche’s authentic Old Town (here looking down the Rue du Poilu), with most buildings dating from the 12th and 13th centuries, is filled with wonderful provençal colors, flowers, and balconies — all cascading down the hillside to the sea and the waterfront quay.
^ Every February, Villefranche’s fishermen celebrate Carnival with a Bataille des Fleurs (Battle of Flowers). They decorate their traditional fishing boats, parade around, and throw flowers at each other and all the spectators. There is also a wonderful parade (on land) and music and costumes everywhere.
^ The Citadel, where the Mayor’s office is, various town services, a lovely garden and outdoor summer theater, and the wonderful Volti museum. A great place to visit and explore. Take the water’s edge path at the base of the citadel and walk from the Old Town to Port de la Darse where many beautiful boats are moored. Or, drive through the moat of the citadel and marvel at the nearly 100-foot-high walls.
^ The beautiful pointus – the local fishing boats – a design that has been used all over the Mediterranean for centuries.
Though you can view some photos of this wonderful area here on our website, we truly hope you will be able to visit us to see it all for yourself.
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