Menton: “The Pearl of France”

After spending quite a bit of time in Menton when I lived on the French Riviera, I can assure you that the city lives up to its nickname “the pearl of France.”  Located in France’s Côte d’Azur, Menton’s unique culture is influenced by its proximity to both Monaco (to the west) and Italy (to the east).
Thanks to the region’s subtropical micro-climate, les mentonnais (inhabitants of Menton) enjoy an average of 320 cloudless and temperate days per year.

What to do in Menton

serre_madone_garden_mentonMenton is known for its dedication to the arts and myriad gardens found throughout the city. For ceramics lovers, there is the Fontana Rosa Garden. The Maria Serena Garden was created at the beginning of the century by Lawrence Jonston, who also created the English Hidcote Manor Gardens.

One of the loveliest areas is the old town, with its narrow, cobblestone streets and medieval and baroque architectural wonders that have been faithfully preserved for over seven centuries. The baroque basilica of Saint-Michel is found here, along with world-renowned Jean Cocteau Museum. The Service du Patrimoine (Heritage Organization) offers guided tours of the old city for groups and individuals Maison du Patrimoine
Palais d’Adhémar de Lantagnac
24 rue Saint-Michel
Tel.: +33 (0) 4 92 10 97 10,

Musee Jean CocteauMenton is home to several high-quality museums, including The Contemporary Art Gallery, located on the ground floor of the Palais de l’Europe. The Palais de l’Europe is a magnificant building from the beginning of the century designed by the Danish architect, Hans Georg-Tersling.
8, avenue Boyer

The Museum of Fine Art is located in the former summer home of the Princes of Grimaldi (of Monaco fame).  The museum houses works by some of the biggest names in contemporary art along with an impressive collection of paintings from the 13th- 20th centuries.
3, avenue de la Madone.

Where to stay in Menton

Menton Hôtel Paris Rome This lovely hotel is the perfect place to stay for garden lovers. Located near the city’s famed Maria Serena, Les Colombières, Val Rahmeh, and Hanbury gardens, Menton Hôtel Paris Rome also has a lovely interior patio filled with jasmine, camellia, and magnolia flowers.

For a less expensive option, try Menton Hôtel le Parisien, a comfortable spot located near the water and the casino.
27, avenue Cernuschi
06500 Menton
Tél 04.93.35.54.08, Fax 04.93.35.21.53

Where to eat in Menton

Menton_bayFor a gourmet seafood experience, head straight to Le Mirazur . In addition to serving up incredible maritime inspired dishes, Le Mirazur offers incredible views of the Mediterranean from its Salon or Terrasse dining areas.
30, Avenue Aristide Briand

If being this close to the border has put you in the mood for some Italian cuisine, I recommend La Coupole, located in the old part of the city. The ambiance is warm and friendly and the prices are reasonable. Enjoy a walk around the old city after dinner.
9, Avenue de Verdun

Written by Jen Westmoreland Bouchard for EuropeUpClose.com

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