The travelogue lives on – for at least another post or two!
On a morning’s whim, we drove from our hotel to the neighboring village of Beaulieu-sur-Mer just to see what we could see, and happened upon one of our favorite trip experiences. Like St. Jean Cap Ferrat and nearby Villefranche, Beaulieu-sur-Mer was a Greek fishing village in ancient times. We felt like we had stepped centuries into the past when we walked down a lane and came upon an exquisite Greek villa built to replicate a luxury home from the second century A.D.
Villa Kerylos was the dream child of Theodore Reinach, a true Renaissance man whose passion for all things Greek led him to build this architectural masterpiece on one of the choicest pieces of real estate on the Cote d’Azur.
Completed in 1908, the villa’s siting and exterior are breathtaking (it happens to be located next door to the former residence of Gustave Eiffel – yes, that Eiffel!) The interior is a feast of mosaics and frescoes. Each room is an absolute treasure. And the CE, who loves antiquities like I love chickens, was over the moon.
I will never forget the views from out the villa windows:
The villa web site has a beautiful photo gallery and more information: http://villa-kerylos.fr/en/home. And for those who like to double their villa fun, there is also the nearby Villa Ephrussi-de-Rothschild: http://www.francemostbeautifulgarden.com/gardens-villa-ephrussi-rothschild.php
After our tour, it was, of course, time to eat, so we walked up the street a few blocks to La Pignatelle, a local cafe. Just inside the door of the restaurant, we saw what seemed like a very familiar face:
The food at La Pignatelle was simple but hearty. Since our trip was drawing close to its end, I ordered one last steak frites:
And we were lucky enough to meet a local. When we stopped to admire this little guy on the street, his owner professed to LOVE Americans (clearly the exception who proves the rule…) and invited us to stay with him at his country home in Burgundy. Looks like we’ll have to make another trip to France!