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Villa Leopolda, the most expensive villa in the world, is on the French Riviera

côte d'azur | …news & info

14 September
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The most expensive villa in the world is on the French Riviera. More precisely, in Villefranche sur Mer, near Nice! The Villa Léopolda has been sold to the Russian billionaire, Mikhail Prokhorov, for the sum of cca 650 million euros, in 2008. It is considered to be the most expensive villa in the world, after Buckingham Palace on the first place and a house built in India in 2010, on the second place.

The Villa Léopolda has known wealth, jet set parties and celebrities

The name of The Villa Léopolda takes after the King Leopold II who was an avid buyer of estates on the French Riviera. Making an incredible fortune from brutal exploitation of Congo, he invested a lot in the region. He owned almost all the land in St Jean Cap Ferrat bought for only 1 franc, back in 1902.

In 1919 the villa was bought by Thérèse Vitali, Countess de Beauchamp who brought a lot of modifications under the work of the architect Ogden Codman Jr. After this, the villa knew many owners. In the 1959, she sold the villa to Gianni Agnelli, the president of Fiat who turned it into a more festive place for high society parties in the 60s. Fred Astaire was a guest there, royalties, Christina Onassis and so on. Alfed Hitchcock’s movie “La Main au Collet” was filmed there with Grace Kelly and Cary Grant.

Then the villa was sold to the Canadian philanthropist Dorothy J. Killam in 1963 and to the banker, Edmond Safra and his wife, Lily, in 1987.

Villa, luxuriant gardens overseeing St Jean Cap Ferrat

The villa has 2700 m2 with 10 bedrooms more than 8ha of land and gardens with more than 1200 trees like olive trees, cypress trees, citrus trees.

It is known from legal sources that 60 of the villas in St Jean Cap Ferrat are owned by Russians. A piece of land that marks French Riviera as one of the most expensive regions in the world along with Monaco.

By Andra Oprea

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