Years ago, when I first vacationed in Menton, I was instantly smitten with my new discovery. I had found a place with luminous light, a shimmering sea, ancient villas and flower-filled terraces, all washed in dreamy pastel watercolors. Who wouldn’t be enchanted by this magical place?
Menton sits in the southeastern corner of the Cote d’Azur – where you can tickle the turquoise sea or enjoy the snow-capped mountains in the distance. Some call this place “the Pearl of the Alps”. It is a fairytale-esque little town, a hidden gem, just far enough away from the playground of the rich and famous to enjoy the Franco-Italian Riviera. Whether you call it the Cote d’Azur or the French Riviera, this is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and sophisticated regions in the world.
Sun, sea and sand
Menton is exceptional – snuggled between the sheltering mountains and the glistening Mediterranean Sea. Where the microclimate produces conditions favourable for growing tangerines and oranges; and where the town’s trademark is the aromatic and sweet Menton lemon. Boasting 331 days of endless sunshine, now who wouldn’t enjoy that? Annually, in February, La Féte du Citron festival attracts thousands of travellers, tourist,
There is nothing like sitting on the Promenade du Soleil watching the azure sea sparkling in the intense sunshine or the sun casting shadows off the ochre colored facades or simply watching a magnificent sinking sunset. Even with promenades for strolling, renowned gardens, and amazing seafood and crisp market bounty; there is so much more to enjoy in this captivating seaside village with the confluence of French and Italian cultures.
Culture and architecture
Menton is the last major town before leaving the French Riviera and reaching Italy, offering new and ancient sites to savor: the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel from 1619 or the artisanship of the Grimaldi Coat of Arms, and the astonishing Baroque architecture in Old Town, or shopping in the Belle Époque covered market from 1898. By the sea, experience the recent addition of the Musee Jean Cocteau – housing the world’s largest collection of works by one of the most multifaceted artists of the 20th century. This storybook town will leave you lingering for more.
Menton has a strong history of revival; from the German Army and the SS occupation during World War II. With help from the American and Canadian forces, Menton was quickly liberated in September 1944. It took nearly 10 years to recover and repair the damages in this idyllic sea coast town, but Menton moved forward, rebuilding – along with commemorating the USA and Canadian troops in the Place aux Herbes, with an historical plaque. As an American, I always feel welcome; receiving a heartfelt Bonjour, while enjoying many sojourns in this charming place.
With each memory, Menton will forever bring a smile to my face, alongside an everlasting appreciation for the opportunity to spend many happy days in this incredible setting.
J.Christina is the blogger behind www.scribblesandsmiles.net. Blogging from the Midwest, J. Christina, and her husband, Mr. Christie, share their European trips so others can travel vicariously through their scribbles and images.