Some of the prettiest spots in town are around Place de la Paix, Rue du Poilu, and Place du Conseil, which looks over the water.
The harbor, in the cavity of a volcano, was once preferred by Onassis and Niarchos and the royals on their yachts. The character of the place was subtly shaped by the artists and authors who roosted at the Hôtel Welcome – Diaghilev and Stravinsky, taking a breaks from the Ballet Russe in Monaco, Somerset Maugham and Evelyn Waugh, and, above all, Jean Cocteau, who came here to recover from the excesses of Paris life.
Nowadays, its population consists mainly of wealthy retired people, though families do head here to enjoy its gravelly-sandy beach. The only wickedness of Villefranche is its popularity, between the endless stream of cruise ships sending their passengers ashore, the towns’ physical beauty has become more challenging to appreciate on a grand scale or peacefully.
However, fascinating promenades and the luscious panoramas of the town and its surroundings remind why everyone headed here in the first place.