Édith Piaf's South of FranceMust SeeTop 10 Florida Condos For Sale
Born to an Italian cafe singer and a street acrobat father, France’s most famous singer, "The Little Sparrow," Édith Piaf, was a tiny, frail, waif of a woman standing at only 4’8", but who could belt out a song so powerful and passionate, that the entire world listened. It was a tragic short life for Édith, from birth until her untimely death from liver cancer at age 47 in 1963. As a small child she sang on the streets of Paris with her father but was later abandoned by her parents and was forced to live with her grandmother inside the brothel she owned.
She became a full-time Paris street singer as a young teen and at 17 became pregnant with a daughter, who, following in her own mother’s footsteps, Piaf abandoned. The child died of meningitis and neglect two years later. In 1935, Piaf was discovered by the owner of a night club, Le Gerny, just off the Champs-Élysées. From that exposure she gained enough popularity to record two record albums. When the club owner was murdered, Édith found herself on her own again, but instead of giving up, she took charge of her budding career. By 1940, she was a symbol of French passion and became known worldwide for her signature song, La Vie en Rose.
After World War II, Édith toured Europe, South America and the United States. American audiences, still quite reserved when it came to displays of gut level passion, had a hard time opening up to Piaf. But her excellent critical reviews garnered her invitations to make two appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show. Piaf was also known for her high-profile romances with many of the biggest celebrities in France such as Yves Montand and was married twice, but never to the true love of her life, married boxer Marcel Cerdan, who was killed in a plane crash on his way to meet her. Cerdan was well-known in his own right and there was much publicity about their relationship. Fourteen years later, after a number of relationships of less gravity, Piaf died at this, her beautiful retreat in the South of France, Les Pirettes, just outside of Valbonne.
Located on the Braque River near Nice, France in an area that was the site of several religious abbeys in the Middle Ages, Piaf enjoyed the tranquility of Les Pirettes after a lifetime in the spotlight. Despite the beautifully proportioned living spaces and bedrooms, she spent much of her time in the smallest of the bedrooms. Retaining much from the heritage of Piaf, there is a stone table shaded by oak trees where she liked to sit and listen to her records. The current owners have preserved all of the grandeur yet peace and tranquillity so important to Piaf. The seven bedroom, six bath restored and renovated home has Provencal-style interiors that are cool in the summer months and cozy in the autumn and winter. Currently being used as a venue for weddings and other large gatherings, there is plenty of space for family and friends with its large rooms, large swimming pool with terraces and expansive gardens. Only a 25 minute drive to the Nice International Airport, and even less to Nice’s flower market and open food markets in the Old Town or for a stroll down La Promenade des Anglais. For more information.
The former home of France’s "The Little Sparrow," Édith Piaf, in the South of France is quietly on the market, unadvertised. Contact Maria McLean for price and details.