© Molly & Claude
Kerylos Villa, Nice
At the edge of the sea, facing the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat peninsula, the villa is a magic place that takes you back in time. Discover this French Riviera seaside palazzo, a luxurious recreation of an Ancient Greek villa.
Théodore Reinach, an archaeologist and French statesman fascinated with Greek civilisation recreated a Greek villa on the rocky tip of the Baie des Fourmis. It was designed and built between 1902 and 1908 based on the model of noble houses on the Island of Delos from the 2nd century BC
Designed by architect Emmanuel Pontremoli, the villa is entirely furnished and decorated. A reinvention of ancient Greece, the house combines ancient luxury with the modern comfort of Belle Epoque villas using luxury materials such as stucco, Carrara marble and exotic wood, together with a sumptuous decoration incorporating mosaics and frescoes illustrating the stories of ancient gods and classic heroes. The villa is organised around a central courtyard surrounded by marble columns.
Reinach spent his holidays here with his family and, on his death in 1928, he bequeathed it to the Institut de France. In 1967 it became a national monument.
- "What an amazing place. Built to reproduce the layout of an ancient Greek villa, we get an insight into how such homes looked when in use, alongside understanding the man who built this and entertained here. An audioguide provides plenty of background, with key information and further detail items available. Allow a couple of hours at least." - Trip Advisor
- "Villa Kerylos resembles a lavish Greek Villa from about 200 BC. It is magnificent and I highly recommend the audio guide, which always proves to be the perfect accompaniment to viewing new places especially if you want to leave learning more about Greek history, foods, mythology, customs, etc than maybe even going to Greece.
Since it was a quiet time of year, it was a pleasure having very little people to compete with. No expense was spared with the mosaics, frescoes and furnishings, along with the lemon wood everywhere. It isn't a massive place, so your visit doesn't have to be long, but you'll want to linger and take in this beauty without rushing. I would recommend this to anyone, at any age. Even kids would get be interested in the reason for the 3 legged tables, or why there are wood lounges of different levels alongside the dining tables, and how amazingly advanced the Greeks were." - Trip Advisor
- "I am sure there is nothing quite like this villa anywhere in the world. The original owner built the property as a monument to Greek noble houses of the 2nd century BC. No attention to detail was spared. Every detail in the house is designed to replicate the noble Greek houses of 2400 years ago (with modern conveniences). The incredible tile work, the ceiling details, the tapestries, the wall paintings, the tableware and the design of the rooms were astonishing. Make sure you also visit the small museum in the basement to view the fantastic sculptures and get the feeling of the Mediterranean lapping against the foundations of the property." - Trip Advisor
When to come
Open every day:
- July and August: 10:00 to 19:00
- November to February: weekdays from 14:00 to 18:00 / weekends and holidays from 10:00 to 18:00
- The cultural gift shop is open during the Villa’s opening times.
How to get passes
Admission price is 11.50€. Free for children under 18 and students 18 to 25.
- Impasse Gustave Eiffel