With its crystal clear waters in mottled blues and a history that dates back to Roman times, it is no wonder that the charming Villefranche-sur-Mer is one of the most sought-after areas to reside in. This pretty town is distinctive for its apricot-coloured houses, built on terraces on steep inclines, which look down in to the sparkling waters below.
Set in the Alpes-Maritimes department and considered part of the metropolitan area of Nice, it is perfectly positioned for both business and pleasure – and offers around 300 days of sunshine each year. It is also well-located for travel, being just a stone’s throw from Nice’s international airport and train station, where the TGV, the fastest train in Europe, offers speedy connections to London and Paris.
The sea front area around the harbour offers a vibrant and bustling atmosphere, and it is here that lunchtimes and café culture spill out onto terraces. The square of Place Amelie Pollonais is also a popular destination for dining – but for near gastronomic perfection, head to neighbouring Beaulieu-sur-Mer to Michelin-starred Restaurant des Rois.
As well as meandering through the ancient, cobble-stoned streets, there are several monuments in the town that are interesting to visit, such as the 18th century Church of Saint-Michel – especially if it is possible to listen to the beautiful Grinda Brothers organ. Originally made in 1790, it was restored in the 1990s and is now classified as a historical monument of France.
The 14th century Chapelle Saint Pierre is considered by some to be the most beautiful chapel on the Côte d’Azur, having been exquisitely decorated by French artist, poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau in 1957.
Villefranche has regularly appeared in films over the years as the old town and bay make an attractive location for shooting. Productions such as Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Jewel of the Nile and Ronin, which starred Robert De Niro, all shot some of their scenes in this fishing village.
Famous faces have often been seen in and around Villefranche over the years – and it still remains an exclusive prime area for celebrities to own and rent property. Keith Richards was known to have rented the magnificent waterfront Villa Nellcôte back in the seventies, and Tina Turner lives here today in a grand mansion, which she calls “heaven” – which does not seem far-fetched after witnessing the panoramic Mediterranean views from her swimming pool.
Home Hunts offers many striking properties with a sea view in the Villefranche-sur-Mer area, such as this stunning stone property (HH-5779512). With views over the Bay of Villefranche and Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, it has a heated swimming pool as well as independent guest studios.
This design masterpiece (HH-6440572), both inside and out, is the type of property that will not remain on the market for long. With sharp, clean lines that provide a bright and airy interior and extraordinary, white exterior, it features a spectacular swimming pool and panoramic views. It also includes six en-suite bedrooms, a deluxe Boffi kitchen and a home cinema.
To find out the prices of these two incredible properties contact Home Hunts’ France office directly on +33 (0)970 44 66 43, and to discover more homes that are up for sale in Villefranche, go to the Home Hunts website: www.home-hunts.com