A peninsula of secluded beaches, coves and elegant houses on the Côte d'Azur.
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is located on a peninsula between Monaco and Nice and extends out to Cap Ferrat. It is home to some of the most beautiful and expensive homes on the Riviera and a coastal path that runs around nearly its entirety. The walk includes some of the wilder parts of the peninsula that remain and takes in many secluded beaches and coves.
On the top of the peninsula is Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, a large pink mansion built by Béatrice de Rothschild in the early 1900s. Béatrice lived in Paris and Monaco and married the Russian Maurice Ephrussi, a notorious gambler from whom she contracted syphilis. His gambling caused the Rothschild family enough concern that she divorced him. She went on to build the villa (pink was her favourite colour) after purchasing the land on Cap Ferrat and filling it with her extensive art collection. Later in life, Béatrice contracted tuberculosis, moving to Davos in Switzerland, where she died aged 69. The villa was bequeathed to the Académie des Beaux-Arts who now open the villa and grounds to the public 365 days a year.
Further on from the villa is the Sémaphore de Ferrat, a lighthouse built in 1732 that was destroyed during the war and later rebuilt. Built on the orders of Napoleon III in 1862 it is now used by the French Navy and used for managing maritime traffic - it is currently closed to the public.
The 11th-century Saint Hospice chapel sits on the eastern headland and lies on the ruins of a Benedictine sanctuary where a monk called Hospitius lived in one of its towers. A peaceful spot indeed.
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