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Heaped above an idyllic harbour, this picturesque village with imposing citadel overlooks the Cap Ferrat peninsula and, thanks to its deep harbour, is a prime port of call for cruise ships. The 14th-century old town, with its tiny, evocatively named streets broken by twisting staircases and glimpses of the sea, is a delight to amble (preferably broken with a long lazy lunch on the water's edge or bijou old-town square). Especially outside of summer season, Villefranche offers a vision of small-town Mediterranean life that's totally unexpected so close to Nice.

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