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Villefranche is among the small beach cities juxtaposed between the charming regions of Nice and Monte Carlo. Since the train winds covers the two major resorts, each stop on the way appears like a stunning visual, straight out of a fairy tale setting. Villefranche and its neighbors, Beaulieu-sur-Mer and St. Jean Cap Ferrat, are members of what is known as the lower Corniches. The town is known for its exclusive appeal and its fair share in the celeb lit glamor world.
Villefranche's full title is Villefranche-sur-Mer, which accurately means around the ocean. This isn't to be mistaken with Villefranche-p-Rouergue, another French town further inland. There is no confusion in regards to what is Villefranche's primary attraction. Unquestionably, people flock for its beautiful beaches. Should you get to the summer time, you ought to stake your just right the rocks early, or you will don't have any room to put your beach pad!
The town's charm is based on its reclusive exclusivity. Over time, the little village has enchanted its share of celebs who wished to escape the limelight and discover virtual anonymity. Beautiful houses happen to be included in the coves looking over the med, which communities allow for wonderful places to walk following a long day taking in the sun's rays.
In all probability, you may never leave the shore. Restaurants and shops have popped up all across the shoreline to focus on every single whim, along with a day put in Villefranche should be thought about successful should you choose less than possible.
Docking & Local Transportation
Cruise ships pier in the Port of Nice/Villefranche, or pier in Villefranche's harbor area, where they're tendered to shoreline. The airport terminal is nearby, and you will find road and rail links towards the relaxation of Villefranche.
Trains transport you against Villefranche's quaint, rustic stop to nearby Cote d'Azur neighbors Beaulieu-sur-Mer, St. Jean Cap Ferrat, and Nice. Villefranche is extremely small, and you can easily circumvent by walking.
Local Interests
The tourist office (Rue de la Hôtel p Ville) is much more than accommodating, but they already know most site visitors to Villefranche aren't straying off farther than ten ft in the beach. Nonetheless, you will find another charming points of interest within this small Cote d'Azur town.
Some of Villefranche resembles a basic, seaside town, one strange street appears unnatural. The Rue Obscure, or dark street, appears like it goes on another region. Small houses fight with one another for space within canopy of arcades, with tiny courtyards permitting small corpuscular sun rays of sunshine to light up the curious thirteenth Century street. The road has a more modern history, as citizens huddled underneath the arcades to prevent German air strikes throughout The Second World War.
The Romanesque Chapelle St-Pierre (Quai p la Douane/Rue des Marinieres) was impressive enough because it was. The 14th Century chapel was among the only landmarks around. Which was before artist Jean Cocteau got your hands on it. He spent annually of his existence in 1956 painting the walls from the chapel. The resulting assortment of wall art represents moments he'd observed in town, together with Scriptural representations. Museum enthusiasts should benefit from the Museums from the Citadel. The gathering includes the Volti Museum, the Goetz-Boumeester Museum, and also the 24th Batallion of All downhill Light Infantry Museum, a war memorial. Some beautiful houses are situated in to the hillsides looking over the Mediterranean And Beyond here, as well as an evening stroll with these communities is really a romantic method to conclude your entire day.
Things to do
The Chapelle St-Pierre (Pl. Pollanais, Tuesday - Sunday from 10 a.m. - noon and 4 - 8:30 p.m.), a 14th-century Romanesque chapel, is decorated with images painted by artist Jean Cocteau. Wander along Quai Courbet, town's atmospheric fishing port. The Citadelle, also known as Fort Sainte Elme, was built in the 16th century. Today it houses city hall, public gardens and a couple of art museums. Particularly worth visiting is its Musee Volti (open Wednesday - Monday, 10 a.m. - noon and 3 - 5 p.m.; Sundays only from 10 a.m. - noon) which showcases the work of local-born sculptor Antoniucci Volti; he's known for voluptuous bronze sculptures of women.
This really is Villefranche-sur-Mer's primary attraction, and it is best opportunity to impress you. The very best beaches around are Plage Passable and Plage Paloma. Both beaches are encircled by small restaurants and food stands, together with small shops selling suntan product and newspapers. It's not necessary to leave the shore all day long, with no you will blame you if you do not.
Plage de Villefranche-sur-Mer is located northwest of old town -- about a ten minute walk.
Take a boat trip: Advance reservations are highly recommended; one option is Vedette la Sirene - Affretement Maritime Villefranchois (ph: 04 93 76 65 65, fax: 04 93 76 97 87).
Go snorkeling: Contact Aqua Pro Dive International (ph: 04 93 01 71 04, fax: 04 93 01 72 90, e-mail: apdi-pantxoa@wanadoo.fr)
Take a city tour: Book your tour in advance with the Villefranche tourist office (ph: 04 93 01 73 68, e-mail: ot@villefranche-sur-mer.com), and a guide will be waiting for you at the cruise terminal. Two different walking tours are available: a two-hour trip through the old city, and an 1 1/2-hour stroll toward the Darse Royal Harbour along the ramparts of the Citadel on the seafront.
Visit the soap factory: At La Savonnerie de Villefranche, you can watch and learn (and smell!) as soap is made -- and, of course, stop in the gift shop to grab a few souvenirs. Admission is free.
Comfortable with renting a car and exploring some nearby towns (and countries) like Nice, Cannes and Monaco? A car rental service is available at the cruise terminal. Another option is Hertz in nearby Beaulieu-sur-mer (ph: 04 93 01 62 30); they'll also provide drop-off and pick-up service at the port terminal.
If you're not comfortable with driving, contract with taxi drivers and/or car services for tours of the surrounding area -- St. Jean Cap-Ferrat, Monaco, Nice, Cannes -- via local drivers. The GIE service (ph: 06 10 18 49 39) is a group of several local excursion companies at the cruise terminal. You can book in advance or once you arrive.
The Cote d'Azur has an excellent train system as well -- and the station is a five-minute walk from the port, providing convenient service to major and minor destinations. Info: www.ter-sncf.com/UK/paca/default.htm.
If exploring the villages beyond Villefranche-sur-mer, check out Saint Jean-Cap Ferrat, one of the region's most chi-chi villages. You can explore the diminutive village on foot, including the Plage de Passable on its western shore, the Lighthouse (you can climb its 154 steps for a gorgeous view of the Cote d'Azur) or hang out at the cafe-lined port on the eastern edge. Don't miss touring the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild (open daily, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; guided tours are available and begin at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.); the circa 1912 belle epoque style villa, built for Baroness Rothschild, evokes the Renaissance-era mansions of Tuscany. There's also a gorgeous garden.
Dining & Night life
You will find plenty of small restaurants and food stands across the beach in Villefranche. You might choose that they are sufficiently good to satiate during the day. However, if you wish to purchase something just a little better, try La Mère Germaine (Quai Courbet). The reception menu focuses on the ocean, including a great bouillabaisse. You might try Le Provençal (4 Avenue Marechal Joffre). La Trinquette (Port de la Darse) is a smaller amount costly, but your meals are still quite good.
Villefranche has no shortage of good restaurants though very few if you are on a tight budget. the ones on the waterfront are the best known and pricey but you can find more reasonable ones back into the town.
Le Cosmo Great atmosphere, friendly service and a good position. Good children's menu. A family of two adults and four children can eat well for about 100 Euros.
Café dell Arte A great little lunch place on the main street in the center of town. Salads, fantastic omelettes, and cheap prices. Between 5 and 10 Euro.
La Serre Probably the best value in town and very friendly. Slightly unglamorous position but bags of charm.
Villefranche doesn't have much to talk of when it comes to night life, therefore if you are searching for action, consider using the short train ride to Nice. This is a more excusive and quieter destination, where celebs head to when they want to elude the arc lights and flash bulbs.
Villefranche's shopping scene centers around beach essentials. You are best using the short train ride to Nice. However, should you absolutely must catch on your shopping in Villefranche, you will find a couple of tourist destinations. Antique predators are going to be delighted through the selection at Le Vertugadin (15 Rue p l'Eglise). Clothing for males and ladies are available at Cargo (1 Rue Gambetta).

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