If you’re keen to experience a little Hollywood glitz and glamour on your next holiday, why not take in a celebrity homes tour, and get a glimpse into the lives of the rich and famous. Here are the world’s top celebrity towns and tours.
St Tropez, France
St Tropez is a long-time playground of the rich and famous, with celebrities flocking to the pretty town on the banks of the French Riviera during the summer months. It’s said that film legend Brigitte Bardot started the Tropez trend after filming a movie in the area, and so many famous faces have followed, that the town has been dubbed ‘Hollywood by the sea.’
The glamour of St Tropez attracts the fashion pack in particular, with Kate Moss, Giorgio Armani, Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford gracing the sandy shores on a regular basis. The best place for celebrity spotting in St Tropez is around the marina, with stars such as Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, David and Victoria Beckham, Elton John, Beyonce and Jay-Z taking up residence on the lavish yachts. Celebrity tours of the area are available, where you’ll cruise around in a luxury yacht, lunch at the hottest celebrity haunt in town, and then indulge in a spot of designer label shopping.
Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris – France
The Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris is the resting place of arguably the biggest gathering of well-known world figures anywhere in the world. As a result, it’s also said to be the world’s most-visited graveyard, with world-famous composers, artists, politicians, actresses, rockstars and writers all buried here. There are however, two headstones which continue to attract hundreds of visitors paying their respects every day.
The first is iconic playwright Oscar Wilde, who died in Paris in 1900. Wilde’s memorial features a nude angel sculpture, and admirers are kept back by a plate glass wall. Previously, Wilde’s fervent female admirers would kiss his tombstone as a mark of their devotion, resulting in a decoration of thousands of lipstick kisses. However, descendants of the writer decided in 2011 made the controversial decision to clean off all the lipstick stains, and built the fence, thus ending the tradition
Pere Lachaise is also the eternal home of idolised rock star Jim Morrison of The Doors. Unlike the elaborate memorial to Oscar Wilde, Morrison’s burial site is unexpectedly basic and somewhat unremarkable. Despite this, the grave has been a pilgrimage site for fans of The Doors and tourists in general, since the singer was buried here following his death in Paris in 1971. Morrison’s tomb reads the Greek message ‘according to his own daimon’, and many visitors write poems and leave gifts such as alcohol and flowers. Composers Chopin and Bizet, Italian painter Modigliani, French singer Edith Piaf, and famous mime Marcel Marceau are just some of the other well-known names buried at Pere Lachaise.
Hollywood, United States
Hollywood, California, remains the undisputed centre of the celebrity world, and if you spend even just a few days here, you’re almost guaranteed to spot a famous face or few. As the global movie capital, almost everyone in showbiz has some kind of home base in the greater Los Angeles area, with a number of comprehensive celebrity house tours available, taking in around 50 residences. You’ll see the homes of Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Cuba Gooding Jr, Mick Jagger, Ben Affleck, Jim Carrey and many more. For those who prefer a little old-world glamour, take in the former residences of Elvis Presley, Lucille Ball and Frank Sinatra.
Elsewhere in La-La Land, there are many other celebrity-related activities to enjoy. There’s the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located in the streets around Hollywood Boulevard. More than 2,000 stars honour those in the film, television and music industries, with new stars being added on a regular basis. Universal Studios combines the fun of a theme park with a real functioning studio, where iconic movies as diverse as ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, ‘Home Alone 2’, ‘Back to the Future’ and ‘When Harry Met Sally’ were filmed. Finally, Graumann’s Chinese Theatre, which dates back to the 1920s, features many famous hand and footprints, immortalised in the concrete. The Theatre still hosts many red carpet premieres and special events.
Lake Como, Italy
Lake Como in Italy is a very popular holiday destination amongst the A-list crowd. One of the area’s most frequent visitors is George Clooney, who owns a villa by the lake, in the small town of Laglio, and spends most of his summers here. This is the place to go for some top-notch celebrity sightings, as George often invites his famous mates around for a stay at the lake house. In 2004, the entire cast of ‘Ocean’s Twelve’ visited Clooney’s home, including Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Matt Damon, with most returning at George’s invitation several times since. Other recent guests include ‘Magic Mike’ star Channing Tatum, and Jennifer Aniston.
Lake Como is also the occasional home of Sting, Richard Branson and Sylvester Stallone, who all own property in the area. Film buffs may also recognise Lake Como, as it has featured in several movies, including James Bond ‘Casino Royale’, ‘Ocean’s 12’, and ‘Star Wars: Attack of the Clones’.
The Bahamas are one of the prime celebrity-spotting destinations in the world, with many big name stars owning homes on the pretty islands. Oprah Winfrey, Tiger Woods, John Travolta, Johnny Depp, Michael Jordan and Lenny Kravitz are just a few famous Bahamian property owners. Mariah Carey also owns a private island near Eleuthera in the Bahamas, where she held her wedding in 2008. Nicholas Cage also owns two private islands.
Most celebrity houses in the Bahamas are in the vicinity of the nation’s capital, Nassau, with Eddie Murphy’s private island of Long Cay, within spotting distance of several luxury resorts. The pristine white sands of Paradise Island are just a 30 minute ferry ride away from Nassau, and home to many sprawling mansions and estates belonging to the glitter set.
Find out more from your local, personal travel manager. Visit http://www.travelmanagers.com.au/ptm-search/