The famous seaside resort of Menton is a small town nestled in the heart of the Alpes-Maritimes just outside Italy and Monaco.
Menton: charming Belle Epoque
Small squares and ochre facades lend the place a certain charm. The various styles flourish together to create a city with original architecture and many points of interest.
Saint Michael square and White penitents chapel are, for example, such beautiful representations of Baroque art. The basilica hosts an annual classical music festival and bears the crest of the Grimaldi family. Further away, the eye-grabbing Russian church is commissioned by the granddaughter of Tsar Nicolas I and combines East and West in its realisation, while, perched on a hill, the Annunciation monastery is one of the city’s symbols. You can go by car but the bravest prefer climbing the 464 stairs of the rosary path from the city centre! Do not skip Garavan Boulevard, its gardens and luxurious villas, which embodied in 1888 the “Babylonian dream” of rich foreign tourists.
Then take a well-deserved break in the city centennial market and taste the local specialties: lemons of course, but also Barba Juan, fougasse, pichade and tian! It is located between the port and the old town. You can also choose Careï!
Menton is above all a seaside resort and the various beaches of Menton will easily suit everyone! Sand or pebbles, private or public… Sablettes beach is located near the old port and is the biggest one. But you can also choose between Garavan beach near the port of the same name and the Italian border nearby, Casino beach as an extension of the Bioves gardens or Fossan beach, which is non-smoking!
If the surroundings are any interest to you, stroll through the narrow streets of the hilltop village of Sainte Agnes, Eze and from Monaco! Impossible indeed to go to Menton without visiting the principality! Its exotic garden offers a wonderful view of the city; the changing of the guard at castle Grimaldi, the port, the Oceanographic Museum and the walks along the luxury hotels will keep you busy the whole afternoon.
From there, take the moyenne corniche in the direction of Nice, as the road is gorgeous! A walk in Cours Saleya and the flower market in the old town is a pleasant moment, as is the visit of the Matisse museum.
Finally, why not cross over to Ventimiglia market, the market flower on Fridays, the counterfeit market, but especially the market that takes place every morning and hands on a plate a lot of delicious specialties to taste (Calabria sausage, Parma ham, fresh pasta with artichoke,parmagiano reggiano...)? The village of Dolceacqua, about thirty kilometres from Menton is a must-see. The Italian hinterland is revealed and the two towers of the old castle overlook the village and the river. The medieval town is home to some treasures, like the church in pastel tones, in the old village of La Terra.
San Remo, still located in the seaside province of Imperia is worth the detour forthe beauty of villa Hanbury and its botanical gardens; they are amongst the most exciting in the world!
Menton and its surrounding areas will satisfy all travellers with its charming scenery! And if you come in February you can attend the Lemon Festival, which is the largest event of the seaside resort.