Located in the extreme southeast of France, only a few kilometers from the Italian border, Menton is nicknamed “The Pearl of France”. Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities of the French Riviera. Colorful, lively, joyful. But what to visit in Menton? I hope this article will make you want to discover it for yourself!
How do I get to Menton?
Like most of the cities known to the Mediterranean, there are several options available for you to go to Menton. Located just 7km from Monaco, the last French exit of the A8 motorway allows you to enter the city. Be careful not to miss the exit otherwise you will have to take a little tour in Ventimiglia, Italy, to turn around! (I warn you because it happened to me hahaha).
If you choose the car check out the parking lots in advance because it is difficult to park in Menton, the narrow streets leave little room for cars, with a little luck you will find little to be a free place along the quays of General Leclerc. Otherwise you can opt for the train, sometimes more expensive but simpler if you do not move. Daily connections are provided between Menton and Paris gare de Lyon by TGV (or TGV and TER by changing in Nice). If you want to visit Monaco and Ventimiglia from Menton, (or the opposite), it is much less expensive to take the train, especially in Monaco where the free places do not exist and the very expensive car parks.
Visit Menton on foot
Classified as “City of Art and history” since 1991, Menton is full of small, typical and colorful streets that will make you dream of Italy. Walking around the sandstone of your desire is the best way to discover it. Here are some of the most important places in this beautiful city.
There are several other places that I have not visited or photographed in Menton and that are part of things to see such as the Jean Cocteau Museum, the Serre Garden of the Madonna, the Garden of Val Rameh, the cemetery of the old castle, the town hall , the Biovès Gardens, the Museum of Fine Arts…
Lemon Festival in Menton
Known all over the world, the feast of Lemon Chin is a very special event. In 1875, hoteliers proposed to the municipality to create a carnival parade to animate the city in winter. From 1876, the carnival seems to be a success for the inhabitants of the city and the winterers. Kings, princes and artists frequent the Menton palaces or build villas. The 1882 edition is even done in the presence of Queen Victoria!
Thanks to its particularly mild climate, Menton is still in 1928 me the first citrus producer of the continent. A hotelier has the idea to organize a private exhibition of flowers and citrus in the gardens of the hotel Riviera. Success is such that the next year the municipality takes the idea to its own account. The Carnival of Menton mingles with this event and carts of shrubs planted with oranges and lemons parade in the city. The name “Feast of Lemon” actually appears in 1934 and seeks to supplant the famous carnival of Nice.
Since then, this party has been held every year at the end of winter. Today, 120 tons of citrus fruit and two weeks of work are needed to make the parade’s impressive chariots. The citrus fruits are fixed on wreaths of box structured on wire cages. At the end of the event, the fruits, of which 90% are in good condition, are sold at low prices.
If you liked this article, do not hesitate to come and take a tour on the one dedicated to Toulon!