If the hanging gardens of Babylon existed in ancient times, the Villa et Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild will be the modern day parallel as the monumental landmark lies beautifully perched on the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, a peninsula stretching out into the Mediterranean.
Owned and built by the infamous Rothschild banking family's Baroness Béatrice de Rothschild, the rose-colored villa and its' highly notable garden was constructed and assembled with the most extravagant pillars and ceiling paintings. The epitome of wealth, the house that was for built for one Baroness to live in, is now managed by Culturespaces and is open to the public for visits. If you are in the French Riviera and are interested in taking instagrammable photos, have a bit of time on your hands, don't mind being surrounded by pink then drop by this magnificent of a house.
Driving up to the villa is tough, as the crooked roads and the never ending curves make you get car sick along the way, but once you reach the peak, you are greeted as the view of the Mediterranean unfolds.
Stepping into the villa refreshes my memory of Barbie walking into her cotton candy colored house with Ken in her arms. The Baroness was no timid character, to have a house this extravagant on one of the highest peaks of the Riviera attracts attention from miles away.
Entering the villa, the immediate reaction is an awe-inspiring mouth drop as the rare pink marble pillars are used as hold up supports of curved archways, as you walk into an immense open area enough to be a courtyard.
As you try to soak the place in, you realize the ceiling is painted in blue mimicking the sky, as if you were standing outdoors. The second storey balcony prompts you to call for "Juliet." The intricacies of the balcony railing and the archway is no subtle addition.
As an avid collector of art, the Baroness' collections of porcelains, antique furnitures, sculptures and paintings were no ordinary pieces, rather highly notable that you can easily mistake the villa as a museum. From Marie Antoinette's game table to a rug commissioned by Louis XIV, the Baroness' high taste can be enjoyed during the tour of the villa.
From furniture to the paintings hanging on the wall, every nook and cranny is embellished to the highest degree, Marie Antoinette the face of flamboyance herself would have been jealous.
Parts of her life are still existent around the villa as they make sure the history is alive and shared to the public. Having had the chance to visit the chateau de Versaille, some of the rooms are smaller in size, but the details of the wall murals and tapestry matches to that of the chateau.
The Gardens (to be continued in next post)
But the villa is just the beginning of the discovery of the beauty of the place. The garden outside is immense in size, in the variety and the villa is most known for its' Fête des Roses et des Plantes (Rose and Plant Festival) that showcases the Villa’s splendid gardens. Looking out through the windows from the villa makes you want to jump out to explore the grounds beyond these curtains.
Address : Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild
1 Avenue Ephrussi de Rothschild, 06230 Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France
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📷All photos without source mentioned are shot from my Samsung Galaxy S8