Menton

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Thanks to a beneficial subtropical microclimate (316 cloudless days a year), winter is practically unknown in Menton. Therefore, you can enjoy a beautiful sea and the nearby sunny mountains all year round. Menton is on the borders of Italy, the Principality of Monaco and the Comté de Nice.

Menton is a destination that is becoming more valued by an increasing number of international visitors. After the French, it is logically the Italians who visit the most, followed by the English and German. A new phenomenon is that the visitors are coming from increasingly greater distances, from North America, Russia, Scandinavia, Southeast Asia… The Japanese, for example, have a weakness for Menton, and for them the ‘must’ is to come here to celebrate their union.

Lots of cruise ships sail pass Menton, but none stop

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Menton, France (from Google Earth)

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Menton is the site of the Jean Cocteau Museum. See some excellent slides of the museum.
Hotels in Menton are KYRIAD – MENTON and the Best Western Hotel Prince de Galles a striking Italian-style hotel front, facing the Mediterranean. Sound-proofed rooms, some with balconies. Bar terrace with sea view.

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Typical of the many festivals held in Menton is the Caribbean Festival which features entertainers and other representatives from some of the French overseas territories.

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Lemon Festival in Menton, France
15 days of joy and exhuberant furies spread all around the streets… 15 days offered to the festive kids and the voluble feast… 15 days when the streets belong to the giants, to the music bands and to the acrobats.. Whistles, tom-toms, drums and maracas roll, knock, shake… Together with the percussions, coppers play melodies. With masked or painted faces, traditional costumes or clown suits, sumptuous caps or alluring wigs, the Festival of Lemon invites the Carnivals of the World. And at the end of the festival, King Carnaval is neither burnt, nor drowned but quite simply crystallized or pressed! New in 2007: “gardens of light” in the Biovès ‘ gardens : Saturday the 17th of February, Tuesday the 27th of February and Tuesday the 6th of March 2007 from 8.30 pm to 10 pm (Organization of three evenings events with light exhibitions, special effects and music…) Opening Schedules of the gardens: From Monday to Friday from 9.am to 18pm. Saturdays and Sundays. from 9.am to 7pm

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More Facts About Menton, France

A charming town full of mystery is located at the french-italian boarder right on the coast. Surrounded by mountains, Menton is protected from winds and benefits from a wonderful weather.

Menton was founded on the Comtes of Vintimiglia domain. Menton belonged to Grimaldi family (Monaco) from 1346 till 1848, and on the 2nd february 1861 officialy became french.

From the 18th century, Menton attracted a lot of celebrities : Ferdinand de Lesseps, La Reine Victoria, l’Impératrice Eugénie, Alexandre de Russie, le roi Albert 1er de Belgique, Ferdinand Bach, Vicente Blasco Ibanez, Jean Cocteau, le Président René Coty, Katherine Mansfield, la Reine Astrid de Belgique, …

The medieval city
It looks like an opened amphitheatre. Only two doors remain; the doors St Julien and St Antoine.

Saint-Michel square
Made of little white and grey stones representing Grimaldi coat of arms. The construction of Saint-Michel church began in 1640 and terminated in 1675. The bell tower was constructed in the 18th century and the front in 1819 in baroque style. On the side, church of “White Penitents” was constructed in 1687 by Prince Louis 1st.

The Bastion
Constructed from 1636 to 1639 by Honore II of Monaco to defend the town. In 1957, restored it to put his work of arts. A charming town full of mystery is located at the french-italian boarder right on the coast. Surrounded by mountains, Menton is protected from winds and benefits from a wonderful weather.

Menton was founded on the Comtes of Vintimiglia domain. Menton belonged to Grimaldi family (Monaco) from 1346 till 1848, and on the 2nd february 1861 officialy became french.

From the 18th century, Menton attracted a lot of celebrities : Ferdinand de Lesseps, La Reine Victoria, l’Impératrice Eugénie, Alexandre de Russie, le roi Albert 1er de Belgique, Ferdinand Bach, Vicente Blasco Ibanez, Jean Cocteau, le Président René Coty, Katherine Mansfield, la Reine Astrid de Belgique, …

The medieval city
It looks like an opened amphitheatre. Only two doors remain; the doors St Julien and St Antoine.

Saint-Michel square
Made of little white and grey stones representing Grimaldi coat of arms. The construction of Saint-Michel church began in 1640 and terminated in 1675. The bell tower was constructed in the 18th century and the front in 1819 in baroque style. On the side, church of “White Penitents” was constructed in 1687 by Prince Louis 1st.

The Bastion
Constructed from 1636 to 1639 by Honore II of Monaco to defend the town. In 1957, restored it to put his work of arts.

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Garden Show in Menton. IN SEPTEMBER!!!! The rest of the Northern Hemisphere is getting ready for Winter.

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William Webb Ellis played a large role in the sport of Rugby

He retired to Menton, died, and is buried there.

A football game was played at Rugby School in England since the mid 18th century and the unwritten rules in force during Webb Ellis’ time required the schoolboy catching the ball on rebound to retire with it as far back as he desired. According to one of his contemporaries, Matthew Bloxam, William Webb Ellis instead of doing that, rushed forward with the ball, a “novelty” which although had had no immediate impact on the way the game was played at the time, became the distinctive feature of the football game at Rugby School, some 10-15 years later. Countless generations of schoolboys contributed to the evolution of the Rugby School football game, whose rules were drafted and written down for the first time in 1845. He retired to Menton, died, and is buried there.

A football game was played at Rugby School in England since the mid 18th century and the unwritten rules in force during Webb Ellis’ time required the schoolboy catching the ball on rebound to retire with it as far back as he desired. According to one of his contemporaries, Matthew Bloxam, William Webb Ellis instead of doing that, rushed forward with the ball, a “novelty” which although had had no immediate impact on the way the game was played at the time, became the distinctive feature of the football game at Rugby School, some 10-15 years later. Countless generations of schoolboys contributed to the evolution of the Rugby School football game, whose rules were drafted and written down for the first time in 1845.

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sospel

SOSPEL, FRANCE

North of Menton through the mountains is Sospel. First ruled by Ventimiglia, then Count of Provence, then Count of Savoy. In the 1300’s, the town took the side of Pope in Avignon against the false pope in Rome. Thus the town became a became a diocese. Therefore Sospel got its own cathederal, which is the largest in Alpes-Maritimes. A tramway opened in 1912 from Menton, but it closed in 1931.

There was once a golf course and a hotel for the golfers. Even Winston Churchill played golf there. The course closed in the 1930’s and the hotel was converted to apartments. See a great history of Sospel. Sospel has a frequent bus service to Menton and is connected to Nice by train. See more on Sospel.

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Nearly 1200 feet high, Sainte Agnes is the highest village by the sea in Europe.


From Cap Martin to the Italian riviera, the Mediterranean is at its feet.

Sainte Agnes has long been a coveted military outpost: it was first a fortified roman camp, then a 12th castle of the House of Savoie, then the last link of the Maginot line between France and Italy in the thirties. Far from the crowd and concrete of the Riviera, Ste Agnes has kept its architecture intact with its narrow lanes, its secret vaults and its close-knit houses. The ruins of the castle are now home to a medieval garden that evokes courteous love.

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Fort Agnes was an important part of the “Southern Maginot Line”. It defended France from invasion from Italy. Find out about these amazing forts that survived World War 2 and the Cold War

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School (ecole) and town hall (hotel de ville) in Ste-Agnes

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italianfrontier

The Italian border is just East of Menton, (in the Garavan section). It’s an ‘open’ border so the customs and immigration building is abandoned.

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The small village of Castellar is perched on a steep, narrow ridge overlooking the Mediterranean, just 6 km north of Menton.

And it’s really perched, with steep sloped valleys on all sides and the village streets running parallel, close together, along the top of the ridge. To the south, the view from the village is the Mediterranean, with parts of Menton visible below. To the north, high hills topped by rocky cliffs, with more mountain peaks visible beyond.

Population: 638; Altitude: 363 m

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View from Castellar

The main square is the Place Georges Clémenceau, with a fountain, the school and the Mairie. Running north from there, the Rue de la République takes you up to the old Palais Lascaris-Vintimille, now split into two by the street. A small domed portal at the corner of the old Palais is now a the Musée des Forces Publique. In the courtyard behind is a potter.

There’s only one small épicerie (grocery store) in the village, on the Rue de la République, across from the communal bread oven.

Castellar has a mysterious murder in its past, with the assassination of “Pierre le berger” in August of 1991. There was a trial in 2002, and 16 years later, in April 2007, a new trial started in Nice.

The main square is at the end of the village closest to the sea, with the Mairie (town hall) and a nice 1-star hotel restaurant. Four narrow streets run lengthwise along the ridge, with the village church, the 16th-century Saint Pierre, at the northern end. Outside of the village itself there are a few old chapels, and a nice walk out to the east for great views of the seaside. View from Castellar

The long village streets are quite picturesque, with some ancient and some nicely renovated houses. The main square is the Place Georges Clémenceau, with a fountain, the school and the Mairie. The long village streets are quite picturesque, with some ancient and some nicely renovated houses.

Here’s some more pictures of the church and museum in Castellar

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The “perched villages” around Menton hosted an animal fair on the Menton beach. We saw donkeys, goats, gulls, and even sailboats

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See Napoleon Beach which is adjacent to the Napoleon Hotel in Menton

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