The French Riviera museums show how rich and interesting is our history. The Belle Epoque has left beautiful architectural remains, such as the Baroness Ephrussi de Rothschild’s Villa, which is today one of the most visited museums on the Riviera. Whether it is natural History, Antiquity or contemporary art, you will definitely find something to satisfy your curiosity.
Villa Ephrussi de RothschildOne of the gems of the French Riviera!
Listed historical monument (national heritage site) since 1996
In an Italian Renaissance style, this palace features a range of styles from various eras, with strong Lombard, Venetian and Spanish influences. The estate was built between 1905 and 1912. Baroness Béatrice de Rothschild fell in love with this magical setting, and her fanciful imagination led her to transform these 10 hectares of unspoilt land into a haven that would house her collection of artworks (18th century furniture, china from the Sèvres and Vincennes Royal Manufacturers, and many more). The Baroness was to bequeath the entire villa and all its treasures to the Académie des Beaux-Arts de l’Institut de France, which took ownership after her death in 1934. The villa is surrounded by nine themed gardens and overlooks the bays of Villefranche-sur-Mer and Beaulieu-sur-Mer.
Magical musical water displays take place in the French-style garden every 20 minutes, adding to the enchanting feel.
There are also treasure hunts for children between the ages of 7 and 12. Audio-guides available in 9 languages.
Full rate: €15
Senior rate: €14 € (+65 years old) - Reduced rate: €12 (students, Education Pass holders and unemployed) - Youth rate: €10 (7-25 years old) - Family rate: €44 (for 2 adults and 2 children aged 7-17 years old)
Combined tickets to Villa Ephrussi + Jardin exotique d'Eze : 18€ - Reduced : 13,50€ Free for children under the age of 5, ICOM Card-Holders and journalists (on presentation of written proof). A disability card grants free, priority access to the museum. Carers benefit from a reduced rate.
Opening hours and practical information:
The Villa is open 365 day a year from 10 a.m to 6 p.m, except:
July and August: from 10 a.m to 7 p.m
From November to January: from Monday to Friday from 2 p.m to 6 p.m. / weekends and holidays from 10 a.m to 6 p.m.
Last admission 30 minutes before closing.
The cultural gift shop is open during the Villa’s opening times. The tea room is open only on weekends from November to January.
Telephone: +33(0)4 93 01 45 90 - Site: www.villa-ephrussi.com
Bus: Lignes d'Azur line 81 - Passable/Rothschild bus stop
Villa Santo SospirThe tattooed villa of Santo Sospir
Listed historical monument (national heritage site) since 2007
The multi-talented Jean Cocteau was a loyal visitor to the French Riviera, leaving his mark on many of its towns. In 1950, when the poet had just finished filming “Les Enfants Terribles”, his friend Francine Weisweiller invited him to spend a few days at her villa in Cap Ferrat.
Seduced by its beauty and magic, Jean Cocteau was to stay at the villa for several months and soon became a regular visitor. During his first stay, he began to 'tattoo' the villa's bare white wallsHe once said, "A young woman lives in Santo Sospir. It wasn't a question of decorating the walls, but rather drawing on their skin: I created linear frescoes with the minimum of colour to bring out the tattoos. Santo Sospir is a tattooed villa."
Currently closed for restoration works. Scheduled reopening: Spring 2020.
Seashell MuseumUnique in Europe
Discover 7000 species of shells, including more than 400 world records. Inputs from the Natural History Museum of Nice and the Marine Zoological Station in Villefranche sur Mer. Currently the most important collection of the Mediterranean. The most important collection of Mauritius.
The visit starts with a 6 min educational video, and continues with the visit of 33 showcases (including micro shells and the smallest shell in the world) At the end of your visit you can stop by the souvenir shop. Each visitor can also sell, exchange and have their shells assessed.
Open every day, Monday to Friday, 10am to midday and 2pm to 4.30pm (5pm on friday). Closed weekends and bank holidays.
On the quayside at the old harbour - Tel: +33 (0)4 93 76 17 61
Full price: €2 - reduced price: €1
Eze : The exotic gardenThe exotic garden is a great way to discover plants in a beautiful setting.
Awards: Trip Advisor certificate of excellence 2014-2015. Flowering Regional Award from the Cities in flowers Committee. “Remarkable Garden” seal of approval.
Combined rate with the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild from May.
Beaulieu-sur-Mer : The Greek Villa KerylosThe « Greek Villa » Kérylos is the reconstitution of an antique abode. A project led by Theodore Reinach, an archeologist keen on Greek civilization, and his friend, the architect Emmanuel Pontremoli (member of the Academy of Arts).
Villefranche-sur-Mer : La CitadelleThe Citadel of Villefranche-sur-Mer is a fortress which was built in 1554 for Emmanuel-Philibert, the Duke of Savoy.
In the vicinity
Menton : The Cocteau MuseumLocated at the foot of the old town, by the sea, the Jean Cocteau museum (Séverin Wunderman collection) is the world’s most important public resource of the “Prince of Poets” work. Opened in 2011, it has a large exhibition area, an educational studio, a documentation room and a library.
Principality of Monaco : the oceanographic museumThe oceanographic museum of Monaco is a marine museum on top of the rock of Monaco. It was founded in 1889 by the Prince of Monaco, Albert Ier, and opened in 1910. It is one of the biggest buildings of the principality along with the Palace. It has today 90 ponds, more than 6000 specimens, including 350 species of fish.
Nice : the museumsThere are 14 museums and galleries to discover in Nice… The city offers its visitors quite a large range of cultural activities to choose from.
Cagnes-sur-Mer : The Renoir museumThe Renoir Museum is located in a magnificent property with olive trees and a breathtaking view up to the Cap D’Antibes.
Discover the artist’s creative world through his collections, his 14 original paintings, his sculptures, his furniture and his studio.
Antibes-Juans les Pins : Picasso MuseumBuilt over the old acropolis of Antipolis, the Grimaldi Castle was inhabited from 1385 by the Monegasque family who gave it its name. In the old days it was a Roman camp, and a residence for the bishops during the Middle Ages (442 to 1835).
Saint-Paul de Vence : Fondation MaeghtThe Marguerite et Aimé Maeght Foundation is a private organization located next to Saint-Paul de Vence; it was created and financed by the couple Aimé and Marguerite Maeght.
Open all year round, it receives 200 000 visitors each year in a unique architectural setting designed to present modern and contemporary art of all sorts.