Summertime and the Living is Éze.

On our final day in Cannes, we decided to visit a beautiful village that Laura and Paul had been to before and really enjoyed called, Éze. Situated inbetween Nice and Cannes, Éze is a medieval village, that sits upon a large hill-top overlooking the Mediterranean sea and yes, it really is as stunning as it sounds! Understandably, this historical location is very popular with Tourists, (myself included) and that was highly evident during our day visit there – so, if you’re looking for somewhere quite and isolated, I wouldn’t suggest visiting in peak time. 

Although the hill walk up to Éze itself isn’t exactly pleasant in the scorching heat, there are plenty of places to stop and have a wonder around. There are many gift shops within the town, which are perfect for finding unique presents and original art too. Plus, if shopping isn’t your thing then fear not, there are plenty of restaurants to visit and enjoy.

The two big tourist attractions within Éze are it’s Church, Notré-Dame de l’Assumption and it’s Gardens, Jardin botanique d’Éze. The Church was built between 1764-1778 and although still very beautiful, is sadly very run down and in need of refurbishment, so donations are much appreciated. However, it is definitely one of the prettiest sights to see in Éze and a hugely important historical building. The Gardens are situated right at the top of Éze and once you’re standing up there, you finally realize how truly high up you are! Everything below you looks so small in comparison to the gardens, which feature a variety of cactus especially.

My favourite thing to see within Jardin botanique d’Éze has to be the Earth Goddesses, which were created by Artists, Jean-Philippe Richard. They are placed around the gardens and each have a name and a small poem, I found them to be truly capturing and awe inspiring. Large information boards are situated around the gardens and it was so wonderful to learn the meanings and history behind the many places in Éze. 

If you’re a movie lover like myself, you may know, The French Riviera has been extremely popular with Film Directors over the years and after having the pleasure to experience the wonders of Cannes, it’s not hard to see why. Alfred Hitchcock chose to shoot the location scenes for To Catch A Thief on the very roads you look upon, whilst at the top of the Éze Gardens! 

As the final post in my Cannes Series comes to an end, all that’s left to say is I hope you enjoyed learning about the many beauties of the South of France as much as I did!

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Sunshine In Saint Tropez.

As someone who is a huge fan of Classic Cinema and Blonde Bombshells, one place that I simply had to visit during my stay in Cannes was the stunning, Saint Tropez. This beautiful place was made famous by French’s most famous Film Star, Brigitte Bardot and has also been her home for almost sixty years! 

Sadly, I may not have had the pleasure of seeing BB herself, but, it’s very clear how loved and respected she is by the people of Saint Tropez – her beautiful face is everywhere! One of my favourite French Films is probably Brigitte’s most famous and iconic one; And God Created Woman (1956) and as it was pretty much all shot in Saint Tropez, it was a pretty incredible experience to literally walk in the Sex Kitten’s iconic footsteps. I bet when Roger Vadim and Brigitte were making this movie over sixty years ago, they had no idea of the huge impact they were going to have on this small little fishing village!

One of the things I really wanted to see whilst in Brigitte’s chosen home was the Musée De La Gendarmerie Et Du Cinema, also known as The Gendarmerie and Cinema Museum. Currently showing there until January 2018 is the, Brigitte Bardot; Myth Of Saint Tropez, which is a whole photography exhibition dedicated to BB herself. This was an amazing experience for me to witness and it also featured a few of Brigitte’s actual film clothing, an original portrait and autographs! My only criticism was I wish it had been bigger – the more BB the better! Sadly, I realized after visiting that there was a second floor in the building which also featured a permanent Brigitte section with other French Actresses. Therefore, I may just have to return!

Walking around Saint Tropez in the beautiful sunshine was such a wonderful memory for me, it was truly like a treasure trove, with so many amazing spots to discover. Whilst exploring the streets of Saint Tropez, I stumbled across this incredible Artist, known as Cserg, with most of his work featuring Brigitte and autographed by the lady herself! Sadly, his shop was closed and I didn’t get to meet him, but you should definitely visit his website and appreciated his incredible work. 

However, even if you’re not a BB Fan like myself, Saint Tropez is so aesthetically pleasing and perfect for photographers or scenery lovers. Ultimately, I only wish I’d have been able to have spent more time there as I don’t feel I got to appreciate 100% of what Saint Tropez has to offer. Although, I did see so many amazing things in one afternoon – so, there is a silver lining! 

Overall, I was most definitely impressed with this beautiful village and it without doubt met all of my expectations. It’s truly so heartwarming to see how over half a century later, the citizens recognize how much Brigitte has done for their home and without doubt made it a household name. On Brigitte’s 83rd Birthday, Saint Tropez will be unveiling their sculpture of their Blonde Bombshell, which will reside outside The Gendarmerie and Cinema Museum – a beautiful tribute for a beautiful legend.

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The Pink Palace of Dreams; Villa et Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild.

There’s simply no other way of describing this incredible building, it really is a Pink Palace of Dreams. The Villa et Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild is situated in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat on the French Riviera and is truly like no other beautiful building I have had the pleasure to witness.

Owned by Baroness Beatrice de Rothschild, the Villa began construction in 1905 and finished seven years later in 1912. Furthermore, nine gardens surround this incredible historical beauty, which features a stunning fountain display and quite possibly the most beautiful roses I have ever smelt and seen. To say this home is a Paradise would simply be an understatement, therefore, a huge thank you must be given to the lady herself, Beatrice, for donating this unique beauty to Institut de France when she passed in 1934, making it open to the public.

It’s almost surreal when walking around this living dream to think that originally, the Villa was a home and the Baroness Beatrice lived, ate and slept here daily for many years! If I was fortunate enough to live in a place like this I don’t think I’d ever leave, it’s just too beautiful and awe inspiring to not be appreciated and explored on an everyday basis.

Dreams aside, we really picked the perfect day to visit, with it being in the height of Summer and the sun shining all day long. We spent the first half of the day walking through the many amazing gardens, each having a specific theme and style, until we arrived at the front of the Villa. Due to walking through the gardens first, I simply assumed I was continuing on through the beautiful scenery, as we arrived at this beautiful statue and long stream. There, right opposite the flowing water, was the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild!

After following the stream down towards the Villa and watching the fountain display, Laura and I went inside the Baroness Beatrice’s home. Amazingly, we were allowed to take photos through all of the rooms and I’m sure you will agree when I say the building is truly a work of art. It’s so wonderful to see how well preserved and looked after the Villa is, plus, I’m sure Beatrice would be very proud of how the Institut de France have kept the authenticity of her property.

I found it very special to have the privilege to learn about Beatrice and her life whilst walking around the surroundings in her home. She seemed like a woman most definitely ahead of her time and I loved hearing about her unique ways and quirky behaviour, she definitely left her mark on the world! Beatrice had amassed an amazing collection of porcelain dinnerware, so much so that whole rooms were dedicated to these beauties! Furthermore, within her home she even owned items that belonged to Marie Antoinette!

It’s clear to anyone witnessing the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild that Beatrice’s favourite colour was pink, not only is it the colour of her home but, it features prominently throughout the interiors, with lots of feminine decor. As pretty and pink is definitely my style, I did fall even more in love with the historical building. However, if this isn’t your thing, then fear not – with the Villa overlooking the Bay of Villefranche and the Bay of Beaulieu, plus it being situated 10 kilometers from Nice and Monaco – you definitely will see and have many wonderful experiences!

I can’t thank Laura and Paul enough for introducing me to this amazing place and arguably the most beautiful building I’ve ever seen. I truly hope I will be able to go back and visit again someday!

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