With amazing weather, stunning views and gorgeous beaches, it’s no wonder the South of France is such a popular holiday haven for celebrities. Despite some of the hottest Hollywood heavyweights making their way to Cannes every year, stars like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie just can’t get enough of the French Riviera and have made Chateau Miraval their home there and at least it is just a short hop home after the Cannes Film Festival.
Here, FR2DAY gives you a rundown of just a few of the famous residents of the Riviera.
This ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ hunk lives with his long-term partner Vanessa Paradis and the couple’s two children Lily-Rose and Jack in a $2 million villa in the village of Plan-de-la-Tour. Johnny (who fell in love with France while filming ‘The Ninth Gate’ there in 1998) and Vanessa, a singer who was born and raised in France, are said to be so keen on the area they are considering tying the knot there later this year.
The 46-year-old has previously spoken about his struggle to learn French in a bid to keep up with his bilingual children. “I still have the world’s worst French accent but I’m working on it,” he laughed. “At least I can understand the language well enough to understand my children. They don’t have to think their daddy is an idiot!”
Johnny is also reported to have bought a vineyard near the couple’s villa for Vanessa, to celebrate the release of her recent album ‘Divinidylle’. He has spoken about his love of living in France, adding: “I love having a pastis at the bar and talking about whether it will rain tomorrow, and not about the box office results on Monday morning”.
The U2 frontman owns a property on the beachfront in Eze-sur-mer. The location of the house means it is completely private, apart from the Nice-Monaco railway line which runs directly behind it. But the house isn’t quite isolated enough – as Bono discovered while playing tracks from U2’s hotly-anticipated album too loudly. A fan, who happened to be nearby, then recorded the music, and posted the tracks on the internet – much to the consternation of the other members of U2, including guitarist ‘The Edge’, who also owns a property in the area.
Before the scandal, a neighbour in the village had said, “They see Eze as a place where they can get away from it all, and play music as loud as they like.” Bono, real name Paul Hewson, also enjoys the coastlines of the Riviera, and is often photographed on his yacht with wife Alison Hewson, as well as close friends including Latina actress Penelope Cruz.
‘Rocket Man’ singer Elton and husband David Furnish own a stunning villa on the top of Mont Boron, which can be seen across the whole of Nice. The stunning gardens and interior of the house can be seen in the book ‘Elton John’s Flower Fantasies: An Intimate Tour of His Houses and Gardens’, which documents the furniture and decoration choices of the eccentric singer.
Mont Boron is one of the most expensive property locations on the Cote D’Azur. The wooded park above the mont boasts amazing walks and views, and on of the main reasons Elton chose this town for his villa is the amount of privacy,
The property is not the only area of the Riviera that Elton, real name Reginald Dwight, likes to frequent. He is often seen on a yacht with celebrity pals such as Liz Hurley, David and Victoria Beckham and Elizabeth Taylor.
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
Angelina and partner Brad Pitt leased the Chateau Miraval in Provence ahead of the birth of their twins Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline, but have the lease for a further two years. Amid reports of problems in their relationship, Angelina – whose late mother Marcheline Bertrand was of French-Canadian descent – is said to be spending the summer at the pre-Roman estate with some of the couple’s six children.
The estate includes a lake, a vineyard, outdoor and indoor swimming pools, 20 fountains and a terraces growing 13 different type of olives. Inside the property, there are two gyms with a sauna, jacuzzi and extensive banqueting room.
Despite the privacy of the $70 million estate, photographs of Angelina before she gave birth to her fifth and sixth children respectively emerged during the pair’s time at the house. However, this does not seem to have put the 33-year-old actress returning in the future.
Angelina recently spoke of her desire to star in a French film once she has conquered the French language. “It would really interest me – there are more and more great films coming out of Europe and other cultures,” she said. “When I can really speak the language, maybe I’ll try out for a French film in a few years.”
Brad and Angelina aren’t the only stars to have walked the halls at the Chateau Miraval. Thanks to the state of the art recording studio, named Studio Miraval, situated in the grounds of the property, bands including The Cure, Pink Floyd and AC/DC and musicians such as Sting, Shirley Bassey and Chris Rea have all recorded tracks in the studio.
In fact, Pink Floyd actually recorded some songs for their legendary 1979 ‘The Wall’ at Studio Miraval, while The Cure used the studio (and lived in the Chateau’s outbuildings) for their 1987 record ‘Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me’. Frontman Robert Smith explained: “”We recorded Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me in the Studio Miraval, during several weeks. It is in the middle of vineyards, in a pleasant place. We lived over there with our family, very relaxed, in three isolated and protected houses..”
Tina, whose real name is Anna Mae Bullock, owns a property, Villa Anna Fleur, inside the gated community of Mont Vinaigrier’s Le Castellet at Villefranche-sur-Mer.
The 69-year-old singer tries to visit her French hideaway at least one weekend a month, depending on her schedule, and spends a lot of time at her Buddist shrine, situated on the top floor of her house.
Tina also has an extensive collection of antique furniture in the property, and was determined to have it all in its rightful place by the time her interior decorators arrived. “They changed the odd mirror here and there,” she said, “but I was confident about what I had already done. They did try to split up my Louis Phillipe furniture and move some of it into the bedroom, but I insisted that it stay together as a set.”
However, Tina admits: “I am delighted with the way it has finally come together. I love the mountains and the greenery, and I love to sit up and have breakfast as I look out over Nice from the top of the mountain. Europe offers me security. It is a place where I have found more success, more appreciation and that makes me feel comfortable.”
Be sure to keep checking back as FR2DAY will be telling you about more star pads on the Riviera over the coming months