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One way to enjoy the area’s beautiful backdrop is to stroll the public pathway that loops around Cap-Ferrat from Beaulieu all the way to Villefranche. The most scenic section runs from chic plage de Paloma, near Cap-Ferrat’s southernmost tip, to pointe St-Hospice, where a panoramic view of the Riviera landscape unfolds. Allow around 3 hours to hike from St-Jean to family-friendly plage Passable, on the northwestern “neck” of the peninsula.

Cap-Ferrat’s Homes of the Rich & Famous

 

The global aristocratic, business, and cultural elite have long favored Cap-Ferrat. As you wander around, keep your eyes out for these four key villas. Lo Scoglietto is a rococo pink edifice looking out towards Monaco from the promenade Maurice Rouvier coastal path. Once owned by Charlie Chaplin, it later passed to fellow British actor David Niven. More famous still is Villa Mauresque at the Cap's southern tip. In 1928 it was acquired by British author Somerset Maugham. The writer took up residence again after World War II to find that the liberating Allies had bombed his ornamental garden and the occupying Italians had raided his wine cellar. More modernist is Villa La Voile. This yacht-shaped mansion has 'sails' that draw across the property each day to diffuse the Riviera sun. To lend an idea of Cap-Ferrat's worth, that particular project was overseen by Lord Norman Foster, the architect responsible for the world's biggest airport (in Beijing). Peek over the fence between Villefranche and Cap-Ferrat at the Villa Nelcotte. Once owned by Count Ernst de Brulatour, a secretary of the American embassy in France, then by Samuel Goldenberg, a wealthy American survivor of the Titanic, it was rented in 1971 by reprobate rocker Keith Richards. That summer the Rolling Stones recorded the album Exile on Main Street in the villa’s sweaty basement. John Lennon and Eric Clapton dropped by, as did half the personalities of the Riviera underworld.

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