Located on a peninsula in the Mediterranean sea between Nice and Monaco lies Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, a beloved holiday destination of the influential business elite, world-famous celebrities, and members of distinct international royalty. In 2012 Cap Ferrat was named the second most expensive and prestigious residential location in the world right after Monaco.
Its tranquillity, irresistible beauty, and mild climate have contributed to its worldwide success, attracting King Leopold II, various members of the Belgian aristocracy, and international wealthy families from the end of the 19th century. In 1904, Saint-Jean separated from Villefranche-sur-Mer and became an independent municipality. Originally named Saint-Jean-sur-Mer, the peninsula took the name of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat in 1907. Around this time the first great estates were built. In 1904, the hôtel Panorama Palace (today the Hotel Royal-Riviera) was built at the entrance of the peninsula. Its geographical location placed it at the centre of high society. In 1905, Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild chose Cap Ferrat to build a Tuscan-style palazzo, now known as Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild museum. Designed to welcome a wealthy cosmopolitan clientele, 1908 saw the construction of the Grand-Hôtel at the Cap-Ferrat headland.
In the fifties, tourism started to become more summer-based and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat became a fashionable seaside resort popular with celebrities from all over the world. Visitors included Edith Piaf, Charlie Chaplin, Somerset Maugham, Gregory Peck, Elizabeth Taylor, and Richard Burton. Also, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Roger Moore, Tony Curtis, David Niven, and Romy Schneider, who got married there in 1966. It was a haven for politicians such as Général de Gaulle, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, Raymond Barre, Winston Churchill, George Bush, Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin.
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat has a current population of approximately 1700 inhabitants across 248 hectares of land of about 2.9 kilometers in length and a variation of 500 to 1,100 meters in width.
Private swimming pools and spas:
Cap-Ferrat consists of several residential areas which all have their charm and advantages. Some prefer to live in a more private area with little insight and a more peaceful environment. Others might prefer staying inside the village center with a short walk to the bakery and restaurants. Cap-Ferrat offers a wide range of areas that suits different needs, which makes it a great place to live for many.
The first settlement consisted of only a few houses inhabited by the fishermen and farmers of the peninsula, all grouped around the church and the marina. The old port was built by convicts of the prison in Villefranche between 1840 and 1876. Today, this small, well-sheltered, and quiet marina accommodates 560 berths, including 400 private berths. There are numerous shops, a wide range of restaurants, art galleries, the Charlie Chaplin performance hall, and a Sea Shell Museum in the village of Saint-Jean. The recently renovated villa Namouna owned by the municipal home serves as a venue location for exhibitions, concerts, and other regular events.
Saint-Jean village is one of the very few places along the French Riviera that remains secluded and contains the charming village feel. Not surprisingly the village is very popular with both domestic and international buyers. The quality of life is high with all the residential services you need from schools, kindergartens, playgrounds, football stadiums, and other activity centers close by.
The area of Pont Saint-Jean, or “Saint-Jean Bridge” situated at the very entrance of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is known for its views over the bay of Villefranche facing west, or Beaulieu facing east and popular amongst those who want to have more privacy, but still within a walks reach from both Villefranche-sur-Mer, the village of Saint-Jean and Beaulieu-sur-Mer.
Here situate popular apartment residences, charming waterfront villas both detached and semi-detached, and bigger estates.
Saint-Hospice is the smaller peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, within a short walking distance from the marina. It is considered the most exclusive and luxurious part of the peninsula with a long list of world-renowned villas such as Villa Fiorentina, Villa La Tour, Villa Brasilia. Here you will find one of the most famous and Instagrammable French beaches, Paloma Beach with was named after Paloma Picasso, Pablo Picasso’s daughter. On top of the hill stands the chapel of Saint-Hospice, a national heritage site since 1929. It was built in the 11th century on the ruins of a sanctuary and owes its name to a monk, named Hospitious who lived there in the 6th century in total destitution. The Belgian military cemetery is nestled at the foot of the chapel where the victims of the First World War were buried. Saint-Hospice is located on the Eastern side of the peninsula with breathtaking views over the beautiful cliffs of Beaulieu, Monaco, and Italy at the far end of the horizon.