Villa Ephrussi—Am I in France or Italy?


Located on the gorgeous Cap Ferrat peninsula, overlooking the bay of Villefranche-sur-Mer and Beaulieu-sur-Mer, is an Italian-style villa built during France’s Belle Époque by Baroness Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild. The mansion, with its nine exquisite gardens, was bequeathed in 1934 to the Académie des Beaux-Arts of the Institut de France. With its priceless works of art, the villa is a site dedicated to art and gardens. While walking the grounds, one can’t help but stop and wonder if they have somehow crossed the border into Italy.


Being that we only had an hour before continuing on to explore the peninsula, we spent our time wandering the gorgeous gardens and gazing through vistas that beautifully framed the blue water of the Côte d’Azur.


The Cap Ferrat peninsula and the stunning Villa Ephrussi are well worth a trip when exploring the French Riviera.

À bientôt!

Tourrettes-sur-Loup: The City of Violets


The thrill of discovering new villages with the expectation that the next one will surely be more charming than the last is why my early trips to France entailed a five-page list of villages in alphabetical order to see. The sight of this list would often make my husband’s face turn pale from exhaustion at the thought of it.


So while he was heading to the nearest bench or rock to relax, I was rushing around in the pursuit of more villages yet to be discovered. All that has changed. I still have my list but have learned to appreciate the value of slow travel and to enjoy the moment. For that reason, it it hard to venture outside of the Vaucluse department of Provence, an area that just forces you to slow down and take two-hour lunches and leisurely strolls as the sound of the cicadas lulls you into a trancelike state of relaxation in the afternoon sun.


Yet, the Côte d’Azur was calling. On our way over, we stopped off at the village of Tourrettes-sur-Loup. And what a dream this medieval village filled with old-world charm, ancient walkways, cobblestone steps, and colorful flowers dotting a landscape of mountain and sea was!


Situated high up some 27 kilometers from Nice, this perched village is considered to be less touristy than the stunning Saint-Paul-de-Vence and Èze, which we are saving for another time. I don’t know what the summer months bring, but Tourrettes-sur-Loup was a quiet place in the month of September.


Known as the City of Violets, Tourrettes holds an annual Fête des Violettes in March. The whole village is filled with flowers. The cultivation of violets is used for the perfume industry in Grasse as well as for making local products such as crystallized flowers, candied fruit, and ice cream. The village is also home to many artisans, whose workshops are filled with pottery, jewelry, paintings, and sculptures.


We found ourselves at the most adorable café called L’Epicerie that just called to us. Now, I know we were in France, but let me just say, it was some of the best Italian food I have ever had! So simple and so good.


The gorgeous village of Tourrettes-sur-Loup is well worth a visit, especially outside of July and August when you can enjoy wandering the ancient streets and narrow passageways while the sight of the Mediterranean off in the distance just beckons you to come explore.

Looking for  a special little place to stay? Look no further. Histoires de Bastide is the perfect place to spend a night or two.

À bientôt!

Histoires de Bastide—A B&B With a View


On our recent two-day French Riviera adventure, we stayed at the amazing Histoires de Bastide in the most charming of villages, Tourrettes-sur-Loup. After much online searching and scrutinizing of every bed and breakfast in the Côte d’Azur, we settled on this one, and boy was it a find! I selfishly don’t want to share but want to keep this all to myself because it was that good.

Histoires de Bastide is a guest house on the side of a cliff with a stunning view of the village and of the sea off in the distance. It is made up of four guest rooms, two on the second floor and two on the first, all with the same amazing view that will make you think you have crossed the border and gone over into Italy.

The gracious owner, Sandrine, who lives just a short distance away, comes over in the morning to prepare a delicious breakfast with fresh croissants, breads, homemade jams, and fresh-squeezed orange juice all served on the outside terrace with a view that makes it hard to leave. Yet, the sea beckoning in the distance awaits.


Histoires de Bastide was a perfect base away from the hustle and bustle to further explore the French Riviera. And the village of Tourrettes-sur-Loup? A medieval dream we’ll talk more about next time.

À bientôt!