Warde Property
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Nice, France

Villefranche sur mer

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Villefranche-sur-mer is home to some of the most scenic vistas on the French Riviera. Properties in this area are sought-after for the open views of Cap Ferrat, Villefranche Bay, Mont Boron and Villefranche's historic Old Town. The sale here of the most expensive villa in the world illustrates the attractiveness of the area that has seduced people for centuries.

Villas in Villefranche vary in style, from Belle Epoque to contemporary architecture. King Leopold noted the beauty of the area and constructed several villas for himself and extended family, most of which are privately owned. The Domaine du Castellet is one such domain built by Leopold and now boasts many luxury villas perched high on the hills of Villefranche and enjoying superb views. The upper Villefranche area between the Moyenne Corniche (the main Nice to Monaco road) and the Grande Corniche (high in the hills) is home to properties with the postcard views Villefranche is known for. The different shades of blue between Villefranche Bay and the Mediterannean Sea in the distance is the epitome of the light and colour that Matisse stated was inspirational for his works.

The Basse Corniche is the coastroad which runs straight through Villefranche village. Property in this area benefits from proximity to the centre of town and the beach. The historic Old Town in Villefranche has narrow, winding streets that descend to a picturesque Port area and long beach. Its Medieval era streets and church squares are brimming with Provencal restaurants offering savoury local dishes, while the Port front is known for its sea food restaurants. The Old Citadel in Villefranche offers a scenic walking path, while if one desires, a path runs from Villefranche to Cap Ferrat and around to Beaulieu.

The history of Villefranche dates back pre-Roman times when it was settles with farming communities and used as a stop over by the Romans. The Count of Proevence christened the name Villefranche in 1295, proclaiming it a tax incentive area. After centuries of battles and changeovers, Villefranche was brought into the French Republic in 1860.

Due to its naturally dep harbour, Villefranche's port was frequented first by the Russian navy at the turn of the 20th century, then by the US Navy after World War 2. Nowadays, Villefranche is an important port of call for cruiseships in the Mediteranean.

Villefranche has hosted many famous residents including King Leopold, Tina Turner, the Rolling Stones and Jean Cocteau. It is also the setting of numerous movies such as Hitchcock and James Bond movies.

Apartments in Villefranche are generally in modern residences with swimming pools and terraces to enjoy the sun and sea views. Prices start at around 600,000 for a 2 bedroom apartment with sea views. Prices are lower in the historic Old Town, due to the lack of elevators in the buildings. A villa for sale in Villefranche can be priced anywhere between 2,000,000 Euro for a small 3 bedroom villa with sea views to around 5,000,000 Euro for a renovated four bedroom villa with swimming pool, garden and sea views. Of course, waterfront villas and villas with large grounds can fetch much higher prices.