Discover two of the treasures of the French Riviera during this scenic tour of the Rothschild Foundation and The Old Town of Nice.
Departing from the pier, drive to the Old Town of Nice. You will begin your walking tour of the Old Town on the Cours Saleya, home several mornings each week to the famous cut flower market. Later in the day, its sidewalk cafes are filled with locals and tourists alike, soaking up the sun and life. Wander through the maze of narrow streets full of little shops and bistros, Baroque churches and mansions. At the end of your walking tour, there will be some free time for shopping or lunch on your own.
From Nice, you will drive along the Corniche to the exclusive Cap Ferrat peninsula, where you will visit the Rothschild Foundation. The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild is a seaside palazzo constructed in 1912 by the Baroness Beatrice de Rothschild. A member of the Rothschild banking family and the wife of the wealthy Russian banker Baron de Ephrussi, Beatrice de Rothschild built her rose-colored villa on a promontory on the isthmus of Cap Ferrat. The baroness filled the mansion with antique furniture, old master paintings, sculptures and objects d'art, and assembled an extensive collection of rare porcelain. On her death in 1934, the Baroness gifted the property and its collections to the Academie des Beaux-Arts. Today, several of the main floor rooms and salons are open for you to admire. Here you will see furniture from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the 18th century, which was the baroness's favorite period. You will also be able to view pieces from her outstanding collection of French and German porcelain from Sevres, Vincennes, and Meissen.
The gardens are classified by the French Ministry of Culture as one of the Notable Gardens of France. There are nine gardens, each with a different theme: Florentine, Spanish, French, exotic, a stone garden, a Japanese garden, a rose garden, Provencal and a garden de Sevres, with porcelain decorations. The garden was conceived in the form of a ship, to be viewed from the loggia of the house, which was like the bridge of a vessel, with the sea visible on all sides. It was inspired by a voyage she made on the liner le de France, and the villa was given that name. The thirty gardeners who maintained the garden were dressed as sailors, with berets with red pom poms. You will have free time after the house tour to explore the gardens on your own. This will be followed by the return trip to the pier.