The nine gardens of the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild on the Côte d’Azur

The nine gardens of the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild on the Côte d’Azur

Culturespaces / C. Recoura

A summer holiday resort combining everything Europe and North America considered most elegant and most refined, Cap Ferrat was chosen in 1905 by Baroness Ephrussi de Rothschild to build one of the "follies" inspired by the great Renaissance residences of Venice and Florence: the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild.  The Villa is surrounded by nine magnificent themed gardens for the visitor to stroll around and explore:- The formal French garden, which overlooks all the others, is arranged in perfect symmetry around the large ornamental pond, in sharp contrast with its exotic palm trees and clumps of agaves. - The rose garden surrounds an exquisite little hexagonal temple. Béatrice Ephrussi grew almost 100 varieties or rose here, one of which is named after her. - The Spanish garden with its grotto with rose marble columns, its ornamental pond, dolphin fountain and pergola, is reminiscent of the world-famous gardens of Aranjuez.  - The Florentine garden faces the Bay of Villefranche. At its centre is a large horseshoe-shaped stairway framing a grotto planted with philodendron, water hyacinth and giant papyrus. - The stone garden has a wealth of arches, fountains, sculpted capitals, gargoyles and other Medieval and Renaissance grotesques among the camphor trees and Judas trees.- The Japanese garden offers a mixture of small green and yellow ceramic temples and pagodas, bamboo thickets and ornamental ponds surrounded by large acanthus plants. - The exotic garden will astonish visitors with its extraordinary array of agaves and giant cacti.-Also not to be missed: the Provençal garden and the Sèvres garden…www.villa-ephrussi.com

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