Close to Italy, the Principality of Monaco and the County of Nice, Mentonbenefits from a subtropical microclimate where winter barely intrudes. A centre for the arts, spoiled by nature in every season, Menton is a place where you can enjoy the fabulous sea the nearby sun-kissed mountains alike.
A paradise of gardens, Menton is also a showcase of architectural styles that transformed the Riviera into, as the geographer Elysé Reclus put it, “the pearl of France”.
Menton is, moreover, the first town in the Alpes-Maritimes department to be granted the title of “Town of Art and History”.
Menton was once a lordly domain of the Genovese family, the Vento. In April 1346 it was bought by Charles Grimaldi, lord of Monaco. The history of the town is therefore closely intertwined with that of Monaco.
Under the Treaty of Paris of the 2nd of February 1861, the town was joined to France.
A British doctor, James Henry Bennet, promoted Menton as a spa town. Around the same time the great hotels and luxurious villas built by such architects as Charles Garnier, Abel Glena and Hans Georg Tersling began to appear. The great days of the Côte d’Azur are still alive in Menton today.
Places to discover
Menton offers discovery tours following the tracks of some of the great names of cultural history.
The old town is the historic heart with its shady medieval alleys. The Basilica church of St Michael the Archange and its belltower make the Place de la Conception one of the most beautiful baroque squares in the region.
There are acres of green spaces, parks and gardens, hundreds of trees lining the streets, and enormous brightly-coloured buildings all over the town – which boasts seven outstanding gardens.
Visits with qualified guides are regularly organised by the local authorities.
Culture and nature combine to make a year of events associated with both the sea and the mountains. Though a quietly peaceful town, Menton also knows how to celebrate. Such activities play a very important part in the life of the town. Here is a slogan: Each month = an event promoting the richness of Menton’s heritage :
• Christmas in Menton (December/January)
• The inescapable Lemon Festival (February)
• Theatre, music, conferences (March/April/May)
• The Gardens Month/ Mediterranean Arab Thoroughbred Championships (June)
• Music Festival (August)
• The Mediterranean Days of the Garden (September)
• The Menton Symposia (October)
• The Monaco and 3 Rivieras Marathon (November)