Villefranche-sur-mer, côte d’azur – part 1

In Never say never again Bond follows Largo’s yacht to the south of France. After being picked up at the airport in Nice, Nicole (agent 326), takes him and Leiter to a villa with a magnificent view over the Mediterranean. This villa is situated just above the bay in Villefranche-sur-mer, on the French Riviera.

Villefranche-sur-mer is a beautiful village conveniently located approx. 15-25 min. from Monaco and Nice in either direction. The bay over which Bond is looking is one of the deepest natural harbours of any ports in the Mediterranean sea. That is why some of the largest cruise ships that can be found in the Mediterranean choose to stop here.

“I found the villa for us, just where you wanted, it’s perfect. The Flying saucer has anchored in the bay below…”  -Nicole-

During the film Largo’s yacht is anchored in the bay in Villefranche and a lot of scenes were filmed in the village. These scenes will be covered later and it includes Domino arriving at the old harbour, the end of the motorbike chase and some of the scenes at Palmyra.

In one of the first scenes in Villefranche, Bond follows domino to “la centre de la Santé” where he later gives her a massage. This scene was filmed at avenue Sadi Carnot in the touristic center of the village, just above the old harbor. You can see the red harbor house in the background. Very close by is Promenade des Marinières. On this street along the quay you can find a great number of restaurants.

Villefranche-sur-mer is a wonderful village and well worth a visit when on the Riviera. Within walking distance from the center of the village is a beach overlooking the bay. The best time for a visit to the Riviera is definitely early summer (May) or late summer (September-October) since there are less tourists and the climate is as good as in the summer. Perhaps even better, since it is slightly cooler you can wear a blazer without sweating.

The exterior of Largo’s house Palmyra was filmed at two different castles, one being the famous Citadelle just behind the old port in Villefranche. The interior scenes was filmed at Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild across the bay. Both these locations will be covered later.

The village has also featured in both The Persuaders (The gold Napoleon) with Sir Roger and Tony Curtis, and the action film Ronin with Robert de Niro and Jean Reno.

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