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Downton Abbey: Is the French Villa a Real Place?

You Can Rent Out the French Villa in "Downton Abbey: A New Era"

DOWNTON ABBEY: A NEW ERA, (aka DOWNTON ABBEY 2), from left: Harry Hadden-Paton, Laura Carmichael, Tuppence Middleton, Allen Leech, 2022.  ph: Ben Blackall / Focus Features / Courtesy Everett Collection

Image Source: Everett Collection

We've seen some really beautiful architecture on "Downton Abbey" over the years, but the French villa in "Downton Abbey: A New Era" may take the cake. In the new film, we head to the south of France to the sprawling property inherited by the Dowager Countess of Grantham, Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith). It provides a new backdrop for the characters, and what a backdrop it is. You'll no doubt watch the movie and be awed by just how beautiful the villa is, so here's everything you need to know about it.

First of all, you can stay in the villa. Villa Rocabella can be found in Le Pradet, right on the water in the south of France. The place is totally kitted out, offering gorgeous rooms, marble everywhere, plenty of outdoor activities, and wellness treatments. Because of its location on the water, Villa Rocabella specializes in water activities that'll keep you busy if you're on the property.

The villa was built in 1899 after being conceptualized by Jules Patin and built by Hans-Georg Tersling. It has changed hands over the years and gone through renovations, but its beauty has remained intact for more than a century. It's also played backdrop to numerous French films, as well as the upcoming "The Origin of Evil."

If you want to plan your own stay at Rocabella, you can! It's going to cost you a pretty penny, though. Rocabella is mostly rented out as an entire estate rather than individual rooms like a hotel. You can book smaller areas of the property, though, like a cottage or even a wellness retreat. The prices vary and aren't well noted on the villa's website. The property is also almost completely booked up through the end of 2022 already. Estimations on the cost elsewhere on the internet vary from about $500 per person per day for a wellness stay to upward of $20,000 per day to rent the entire villa.

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