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Villefranche-sur-Mer is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region on the French Riviera, and has been home to notable celebrities such as Tina Turner and Keith Richards.
Villefranche-sur-Mer is located about 6 km (4 miles) east of the city of Nice, separated by Mont Boron, Mont Alban and Mont Vinaigrier, and 10 km (6 miles) south west of Monaco. The bay of Villefranche is one of the deepest natural harbours of any port in the Mediterranean Sea and provides safe anchorage for large ships, reaching depths of 95 m (320 ft) between the Cape of Nice and Cap Ferrat; it extends to the south to form a 500 m (1700 ft) abyss known as the undersea Canyon of Villefranche at about one nautical mile off the coastline. The city limits extend to the hills surrounding the bay climbing from sea level to an altitude of 520 m (1750 ft) at Mont-Leuze, reflecting on land the features found offshore. The three "Corniches" or main roads linking Nice to Italy pass through Villefranche and offer spectacular vistas of the coast and surrounding hills.
In the past, Villefranche-sur-Mer was home to personalities Katherine Mansfield, Jean Cocteau, Charlotte Salomon, Aldous Huxley and pop star Tina Turner. The Rolling Stones recorded their 1972 album Exile on Main St. at Villa Nellcôte, then the home of Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg. The old town and the bay have offered a natural set for movie makers. Among many productions to name just a few: - Raoul Walsh’s Captain Horatio Hornblower - Adventures of Captain Fabian with Errol Flynn - Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief - The Count of Monte Cristo with Louis Jourdan - Leo McCarey's An Affair to Remember - The Madwoman of Chaillot with Katharine Hepburn - Never Say Never Again with Sean Connery - The Jewel of the Nile with Michael Douglas - The Bourne Identity with Richard Chamberlain - Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with Steve Martin, as well as numerous video clips and commercials. Villefranche-sur-Mer is also a harbour for visiting naval forces and particularly US Navy ships.
Villefranche-sur-Mer has a couple of public beaches. Plage des Marinières is the main beach and is located at the north end of the bay. It stretches for 1km under the track of the railway line linking Nice to Italy. Plage de la Darse is a smaller pebble beach and is located behind the main jetty of the harbour of La Darse.
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