GARDENS of COTE D'AZUR and TUSCANY
September 16 – 26th, 2006
 

September 20th, I knew everyone was going to just love this day…again gardens I had seen earlier and both also on the 2007 tour. Our first visit was to Les Cedres, one of the highlights of the tour in Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat. Villa Les Cèdres, housing one of the largest collections of tropical plants in Europe is a private botanical garden and is famous for its rare collections of tropical and sub-tropical plants. Our private tour of the gardens and greenhouses was incredible. You can not take pictures of the home as it is private but my gosh there was so much else to take pictures of! On 2.5 acres there are over 14,000 species of plants. Peto designed the waterway in this exceptional garden. Trees are draped with ephphytes, there is a palm grove, a collection of bamboos and a corner of equatorial forest. It’s all there, plus more – like the greenhouses full to the brim. This is a another plantsmans garden.

We then headed to the beautiful Villa Ephrussi where we enjoyed lunch in the Tea Room which overlooks both the garden and the water before visiting the gardens. One of the most enchanting of the ‘dream residences in the south of France’, this is the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. Similar to the art collection that brings together works from throughout the ages and the world, the gardens surrounding the villa evoke both European and exotic landscapes recapturing the characteristics of Italian and Spanish gardens that were so dear to the Baroness. In front of the villa, the French garden spreads out gloriously, but is in sharp contrast with both the neo-Renaissance architecture of the pink-stucco residence and the splendor of the Mediterranean greenery. It was on this peninsula that the Baroness was able to bring together and sing the praises of ‘the loveliness of Creation, that of the gods and that of Man’. The Villa is set among seven magnificent themed gardens. Here, strolling visitors will be surprised and enchanted by the exact symmetry of the formal French garden, the lush vegetation of the Spanish and Florentine gardens, the fragrant profusion of the rose garden, the rare trees in the exotic garden, or the archaeological remains in the Stone garden. Cap Ferrat was the summer resort of Europe and North America's most elegant and wealthy denizens, and it was in 1905 that Baroness Ephrussi de Rothschild chose this spot to build her personal "folly" inspired by the great Renaissance palaces of Venice and Florence. An historic monument filled with priceless works of art built on the narrowest part of the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat promontory, this sumptuous palazzo, one of the finest listed buildings on the French Riviera, has views over the Bay of Villefranche on one side and the Bay of Beaulieu on the other.
 

 

 

 

 


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