MentonItalian: Mentone) is "The Lemon Festival Capital of the World". Located in Alpes-Maritimes, France, but next to the border of Italy, it is in many ways more Italian than French. It has its own microclimate, generally milder than the rest of the French Riviera, and became in the late nineteenth century a place where Northern Europeans with TB came to either regain their health or to die. As a result its cemetery is filled with the graves of notable Englishmen, Germans, and Russians. The old town is largely pedestrianised, which adds to the charm of this sedate resort.
- A8 Exit Menton. Follow signs for Centre-Ville.
- Bas Corniche from Monaco or Italy (Ventimiglia)
- Train from Monaco/Nice or Ventimiglia
Menton has a curious one way system, it is probably a good idea to park near the port and not attempt to drive anywhere else. Although the climb up to the cemeteries is steep on foot it is considerably better than attempting to drive it.
Menton is reasonably compact and most points of interest are within walking distance.
Attractions such as the cemeteries and the churches are up steep hills and many steps however the views that can be gained are well worth the effort.
Being so close to the Italian border, one can literally walk to Italy. This is definitely more of a novelty than of practical use, as trips into Italy even to the nearby towns are far enough to be made either by rail or by road.
- Jean Cocteau Museum Although it was previously in a bastion near the port, the new museum is a purpose built building designed by the Italian Architect Rudi Ricotti and houses an incredible modern interactive display of drawings, ceramics, tapestries, film memorabilia, and a large mosaic by the artist. The bastion has more pictures and entrance to this is included in the museum ticket.
- Salle des Marriages In the town hall, the civic wedding hall is decorated completely in murals by Jean Cocteau.
- The charming old town is compact and largely pedestrianised.
- Saint-Michel-Archange as a sign of the town's history, about a sixth of the names on the memorial to the dead of the First World War died fighting in the Italian armed forces.
- Several impressive gardens dotted through the town including those at Garavan (Olive trees in Parc du Pian, Jardin Exotique, Villa Fontana Rosa).
- Palais Carnolès, Museum of fine arts and open air sculpture garden.
- Casino and the magnificent hotels Royal Westminster and Ambassadeurs.
- Cimetière du Vieux Chateau Russian Orthodox chapel, grave of William Webb Ellis - founder of Rugby football, view over town.
- The perched villages inland (Ste Agnes and Gorbio).
- The Mare Nostrum brewery in Castillon.
- Fête du Citron There's a lemon party and you're invited! Lemon-related festivities over several days in February. See the official website of the festival here: Fête du Citron
- Festival de Musique de Menton is a music festival running through the last day of July to the middle of August. The music is primary classical, with artist and symphony orchestras from all over the world.
- Sentier Le Corbusier is a path starting just west of the city of Menton, leading around Cap Martin, with nice views of the sea, and possibilities to go down to beaches or rocks next to the sea. The path continues all the way to Monaco, although the path doesn't have that much of a view after the Roquebrune-Cap Martin train station.
- Citrus products
In Ventimiglia (Italy), about 7–10 km east of Menton, a market is held every Friday which is located around the main park and the roads by the Mediterrean sea. The vast majority of stalls sell clothes.
There are numerous good restaurants in the Old Town and down towards the port, which offer good value for money. Expect to pay €15-€20 for the cheapest three course meal set menu. Higher priced menus are, of course, also available.
Le BalicoPlace aux Herbes in the Old Town. Closed Tuesday. Local Menton Cuisine - menus €20-€50 plus à la carte.
Le Nautique27 Quai de Monléon by the port. Closed Sunday evening and all day Monday. Seafood speciality - menus 20-50 plus à la carte.
- McDonalds 19 Place Georges Clémence. Open everyday 08:00-23:00. Free Wi-Fi is available, just get a decent seat inside a 15m radius.
phone: +33 4 92 41 76 76address: 8 avenue Boyer
address: 4 Avenue General De Gaulle
phone: +33 4 93 35 89 50address: 29 Porte de France
Royal Westminsteraddress: 1510 promenade du Soleil
Résidence Maeva Les CitronniersLocated in the heart of the town centre and 500 m from the old town and old harbour. Air-conditioned, self-catering apartments. 300 m from the beach.
address: 5 Rue de la RepubliqueLocated between the old town of and the newer shopping area, and a short walk from the train station. Rooms are air conditioned and the hotel has a superb roof-top terrace for sunseekers during the day or for those requiring a much needed refreshing beverage!
Camping Municipal Saint Micheladdress: Plateau St MichelLocated at the end of the Route des Ciappes de Castellar, a decent camping lot with access for autohomes. The city is reached by either following the road, or taking the ~450-step stair down to city level, about 100 meters from the police station.