Lying snugly at the heart of one of the most beautiful bays in the world, Villefranche-sur-Mer rises like a natural amphitheatre from the sea and its micro-climate encourages the growth of a variety of exotic flora. Villefrance bears witness to several centuries of different civilizations: the medieval Old Town, the mysterious ‘Rue Obscure’, the fortified harbour, The Citadel (1557) built by the Duke of Savoy, the Saint Peter Chapel decorated by Jean Cocteau, the outdoor theatre, the conference centre and five museums.
A haven of peace untouched by time, this city of art has succeeded in preserving the charm and gentle character of an old-fashioned fishing village in spite of its expansion.
From the Basse Corniche and Moyen Corniche, you can look down across the red tile roofs of the old town, with the distinctive church and bell tower in the centre. Like the medieval villages of the ‘back country’, the narrow cobblestone and bricked streets slope steeply down towards the sea. There’s quite a medieval feeling here with many little restaurants to remind you you’re in tourist country. There are also quiet little squares like the Place Félix Poullan beside the church and the Place de l’Eglise just below.