La Fleur Du Cap / Place David Niven in Cap Ferrat

    A magnificent piece of architecture in a vibrant shade of candy-pink, La Fleur Du Cap was built in 1880 as Villa Socoglio by the son of an arms dealer.

    La Fleur Du Cap / Place David Niven in Cap Ferrat - famous villas french riviera 2

    This villa has had many famous occupants. First of all, the Duchess of Marlborough, the cousin by marriage of Winston Churchill, who himself was to become a regular at the Hotel Royal Riviera. Then Leopold III, king of the Belgians, successor and nephew of Leopold II, who also had numerous residences in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat. Charlie Chaplin also stayed there for a week, as well as at the nearby Royal Riviera.

    It was then occupied by David Niven, the famous actor of the Pink Panther, and the villa was used in the filming of the 1982 movie, Trail of the Pink Panther. The American actress Grace Kelly, a friend of Niven’s, is said to have dined here on numerous occasions, with her husband, the Prince of Monaco.

    Since at least 1999, it has been home to Ana Tzarev and Robert Chandler, the parents of New Zealand-born billionaires Christopher Chandler and Richard Chandler, who bought the house for their mom, as a gift. Few people know the fairy-tale story of Ana Tzarev. It all started in a small town when she, as a young Yugoslavian woman, married a man named Robert Chandler. The entrepreneur couple succeeded in developing a chain of 10 stores. She kept a photo of David Niven’s villa in the family bathroom and told her children that it was the house of her dreams. After selling their chain of stores, the couple moved to Monaco. Of their three children, two became very wealthy financiers. They then decided to offer their mother the villa she had always dreamed of, as a gift. Here is a video of her being interviewed in the villa.

    Superbly restored and expanded over the years, the property is now much larger than its original size, and features elegant lower terraces leading directly into the sea.

    Want more? Here’s a list of famous villas, the celebrities who owned them, and the crazy things that happened there.

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