Dirk Dominick has spent the last 16 years exploring every nook and cranny along the sun-drenched Cote D’Azur.
Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Dirk was fortunate to have parents who loved to travel to Europe…a lot. By the time he was 7 the globetrotting hook was firmly set.
After high school he studied German and copious beer consumption during a year abroad in Salzburg, Austria, and following graduation from Auburn University in 1987 he decided to…. well, who cares really?
The important thing is that in 2000 he purchased an apartment in a tiny village in the south of France and immediately set his sights on learning everything he could about the area.
With tireless devotion, he painstakingly sampled the region’s best restaurants, wines, and local specialties, all while developing a power list of invaluable contacts.
Le Stuff, his blog about the south of France, has been featured in numerous newspaper and Internet publications and garners readers from around the globe. He is surely the world’s only expert on locations used in Alfred Hitchcock’s film To Catch A Thief starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, and he is, in fact, BFF with Brigitte Auber, the French actress who co-starred in the classic film.
In 2010 Dirk consulted (in France) for a German N-TV film crew and in 2011 he was featured in a BBC Radio 4 production titled “The Search For Villa Noel” about the quest to find author David Dodge’s villa in Juan Les Pins, France.
Ask Dirk what he enjoys most in life and his answer will invariably be to share good food, wine, and his favorite locale in the world with good friends.
Thanks for stopping by!
Hello, I lived in St Jean Cap Ferrat for 3 years commuting back to the US for my job. Now back in the NW. Nice blog. I was wondering if you can give me more information about John Robie’s Villa from the movie To Catch a Thief. Who owns it? Does it have a name? Can I see it from Google Earth? Cheers and I’m glad I found your site. Nate.
Thanks very much for the email and kind words about the blog.
You can check out Le Stuff’s To Catch A Thief: Take 2 for a bit more information on Robie’s villa.
The house is located on the road (D18) leading up to the village of St Jeannet (St Jeannet is seen in the background in several shots). Today the villa is privately owned and visitors are not allowed inside, but you can easily stop and take pictures from the street.
There is a photo of the back of the house as it looks today in the “Take 2” post.
If you’ve seen the movie you would probably immediately recognize the house today if you were to pass by. It looks very much the same as it does in the film.
I don’t know the name of the villa (or if it has one), and I’ve never tried to find it on Google Earth, but I think it would be fairly easy to do.
It’s fascinating the amount of interest the villa generates (the #1 search topic on Le Stuff).
Again, thanks for the email and I hope I’ve been helpful.
p.s. Did you enjoy living in St Jean cap Ferrat?
Are you sure that the Château La Croix-des-Gardes is the so-called Sanford villa in the film?
It doesn’t seem like it.
Some things from those shots of the front façade do not match.
Well apparently I now hold the record for the latest blog post reply in the history of the world! My sincere apologies I have let Le Stuff linger without any activity for too long. I was just updating some things and saw that I never responded to your comment. The Chateau de la Croix des Gardes in Cannes at 145 Boulevard Leader is indeed the villa used in the film. Look at the railing at the south end of the property and it’s recognizable as the one in the film. The archway we are led to believe is the entrance to the Sanford Villa is actually in Grasse at 98 Boulevard Schley. Again, my apologies for the late response and thanks so much for your comment!
Hello – I wanted to listen to Jean Buchanan’s BBC broadcast but the BBC doesn’t have it in their archives – does anyone know where I can find it to listen to?
Hi John please forgive my ridiculously, absurdly late reply!!! I actually tried to find an active link today to “The Search For Villa Noel Fleuri” but could not. All of the BBC links are inactive it seems. I have a copy of the program on a cd, which I will dig out and see if I can put a link on the blog. Thanks so much for commenting and again, my sincere apologies for taking so long to respond.