"Menton - lemons, flowers, and Jean Cocteau" Top 5 Page for this destination Menton by NiceLife
Menton Travel Guide: 131 reviews and 292 photos
The pretty town of Menton signals the change from France into Italy, with its Italianate architectural style in abundance, colourful displays of flowers in its parks, and above all, the abundance of lemon trees.
The baroque cathedral rises from out the tightly-packed houses of the old town, built out on a hill. The colours here become more daring as they reach closer to the Italian border, less than a thousand metres away. The soft creams and pale yellows of Nice by now have turned to rich terracota and vivid ochres, contrasted with blue or green shutters.
In the four levels of the cimitieres of the old church is written the ecclectic history of Menton. Russian princes mix with grand italian families, and consumptive British expatriates. Victorian romantic illustrator Aubrey Beardsley is here (courtesy of tuburculosis at age 26), along with William Webb, founder of Rugby, and many sickly English girls sent here in Victorian times, unsuccessfully, for their health. Many health tourists unfortunately wasted their return ticket.
The Jardin Boives runs through the centre of the town, lined with Citrus trees and filled with exotic palms and colourful plantings.
Menton is said to enjoy the most sheltered and favoured climate on the Riviera. It quickly became the focus of gardeners who came from throughout Europe to found their grand designs, often nestling in the hillside and set against pure blue sky.
There are many grand private gardens in Menton, and admission can be arranged for guided group visits on select days through the helpful Tourist Office, conveniently situated alongside the Jardin Boives.
In Carnival time every February the town gives itself over to the festival of the lemon, which is said to be the rival of all other varieties.
Walking in the direction of Italy along the Bay de Garavan, avoid the flat harbour road with its relentless line of unlovely holiday apartment blocks, and instead take the high road - the Boulevard de Garavan.
This is the key to access the exotic gardens, beautifil villas and finest views of Menton - from above. Here hardy Euphorbia grows gigantic, and Bouganvilliea in rich profusion. The villas are sumptuous and you will access the beauty of Menton, hidden from those for whom it is merely somewhere to lie on the beach.
- Pros:Pretty, with favoured climate and lush vegetation
- Cons:Many many holiday apartments
- In a nutshell:A nice place for the unhurried life
Around the time of Carnival in February, Menton stages the spectacular Festival of the Lemon. In addition to various... more travel advice
Great place to people watch ( warning see tips!) The Bruschetta is their specialty and rightly so, it is just perfect.... more travel advice
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