|Intercommunality||CA Riviera Française|
|• Mayor (2022–2026)||Yves Juhel (LR)|
|14.05 km2 (5.42 sq mi)|
|• Density||2,200/km2 (5,600/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||0–774 m (0–2,539 ft) |
(avg. 16 m or 52 ft)
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
Menton (French: [mɑ̃tɔ̃] ; Occitan: [menˈta] , written Menton in classical norm or Mentan in Mistralian norm; Italian : Mentone [menˈtoːne] ) is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region on the French Riviera, close to the Italian border.
Menton has always been a frontier town. Since the end of the 14th century, it was on the border between County of Nice, held by the Duke of Savoy, and Republic of Genoa. It was an exclave of the Principality of Monaco until the disputed French plebiscite of 1860, when it was added to France. It had been always a fashionable tourist centre with grand mansions and gardens. Its temperate Mediterranean climate is especially favourable to the citrus industry, with which it is strongly identified.
Although the name's spelling and pronunciation in French are identical to those for the word that means "chin", there does not seem to be any link with this French word. According to the French geographer Ernest Nègre, the name Menton comes from the Roman name Mento. II, the count of Ventimiglia from 1162-1200. In Mentonasc, the city's name is Mentan (pronounced [mẽˈtã] ), and in Italian Mentone ( [menˈtoːne] ).However, it is possible that the name of the city comes from Mons Ottonis (reconstituted) from the name of Otton
An inhabitant of Menton, un mentonnais or un mentonasque in French, would be O mentonasc in the local dialect.
The Menton area has been inhabited since the Paleolithic era, and is the site of the original "Grimaldi Man" find of early modern humans, as well as remains of Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons.In Roman times, the Via Julia Augusta, a road connecting Placentia (now Piacenza) with Arelates (now Arles) passed through Menton, running along the Rue Longue in the old town. The first major settlement occurred during the 11th century CE, when the count of Ventimiglia constructed the Château de Puypin (Podium Pinum) on the Pépin hill, north and west of the modern town centre. During the 13th century, the seigneury of Puypin fell to the Vento family of Genoa who built a new castle along the Roman road, now the site of the Vieux-Château cemetery, providing the core around which the current town grew. Menton was thus incorporated into the Republic of Genoa. The first mention of Menton dates from 21 July 1262, in the peace treaty between Charles of Anjou and Genoa. Its position on the border between the Angevin-ruled Provence and the Republic of Genoa, which at the time claimed Monaco as its western limit, made it a coveted location.
Acquired in 1346 by Charles Grimaldi, Lord of Monaco, Menton was ruled by the princes of Monaco until the French Revolution.[ citation needed ] Annexed during the Revolution, Menton remained part of France through the First Empire. It belonged to the district of Sanremo in the department of Alpes-Maritimes, which at the time included Monaco and Sanremo.
In 1814, Menton was included in a reconstituted principality of Monaco which, after Napoleon's Hundred Days in 1815, became a protectorate of the king of Sardinia. The princes of Monaco were obliged to do homage to the king for Menton, although not for Monaco itself.[ citation needed ]
In 1848, Menton, along with its neighbour Roquebrune, seceded from Monaco, due at least in part to a tax imposed on lemon exports.They proclaimed themselves a "free city" during the 1848 revolutions related to the Italian Risorgimento, then two years later placed themselves under the protection of the Kingdom of Sardinia where they were administered by the House of Savoy for ten years.
The Treaty of Turin concluded on 24 March 1860 between the Kingdom of Mauricio and Napoleon III's France called for the annexation of the County of Nice to France, subject to a plebiscite, as a reward for French assistance in Italy's war against Austria. The plebiscite, with universal adult male suffrage, was held on 15 and 16 April 1860, and resulted in an overwhelming vote in favour of annexation (833 for versus 54 against in Menton and Roquebrune), [ citation needed ] The County of Nice was thus annexed to France that June, and Napoleon III paid 4 million francs in compensation to the prince of Monaco, who renounced his rights in perpetuity on 2 February 1861.despite complaints of rigged elections from, among others, Nice-born Italian nationalist Giuseppe Garibaldi.
The publication of Winter and Spring on the Shores of the Mediterranean (1861) by the English doctor James Henry Bennett had a profound effect on Menton, making it a destination for sufferers of tuberculosis.By the end of the 19th century, tourism was an important factor in Menton's growth. The town was popular with British and Russian aristocrats who built many of the hotels, villas, and palaces which still grace Menton today. Many of these hotels and palaces were pressed into service as hospitals during World War I to allow injured troops to recuperate in a pleasant climate.
Menton was the only sizable settlement captured by Italy during its invasion of France in June 1940. Following the armistice of 22 June 1940, two-thirds of the territory of the commune was annexed by Italy as terra irredenta . The annexation lasted until 8 September 1943.
Although officially returned to Vichy France, Menton was in fact occupied by Nazi Germany until its liberation by American and Canadian troops of the First Special Service Force on 8 September 1944.
Menton, nicknamed the Pearl of France, is located on the Mediterranean Sea at the Franco-Italian border, just across from the Ligurian town of Ventimiglia.Menton station has rail connections to Paris, Marseille, Cannes, Antibes, Nice and Ventimiglia. The smaller Menton-Garavan station is situated between Menton and Ventimiglia.
The fishing industry was devastated in the 1980s and 1990s due to a combination of overfishing and hypoxia in the bay. At the time, the devastation was erroneously attributed to the dubiously nicknamed "killer algae" Caulerpa taxifolia (a non-native Asian tropical green alga first discovered in the Mediterranean Sea adjacent to the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco in 1984) spread throughout the coastal sea floor. Later, sound scientific findings revealed that the seaweed was adept at absorbing pollutants and excess nutrients, actually aiding the recovery of native Posidonia sea grassand enhancing local fish populations and overall biodiversity.
Menton has a very mild subtropical microclimate with an average of 316 clear or partially cloudy days annually. Under the Köppen system, Menton features a hot-summer mediterranean climate (Csa). However, the milder winters (on average) and the warmer nights in summer (on average), compared to the rest of the French Mediterranean coastal area, provide Menton with a particular micro-climate, with significant warm-summer mediterranean climate (Csb) influences and characteristics, like coastal Southern California (usually experienced between Nice through Monaco and Menton, toward the Italian border town of Ventimiglia and up to San Remo) that is favourable to hardy clementines, mandarin oranges, satsuma orange, tangerines, oranges and lemons (SRA 625 is protected Citron de Menton variety) groves, hence one of the town's symbols, the lemon. Winter frosts are extremely rare but may occasionally occur every few years at the ground level and snow falls on average once every 10 years. Likewise, summer temperatures are relatively moderate with day temperatures of 28-32, but rarely rising above 33 °C.
|Climate data for Menton (Alpes-Maritimes department, France), 2009-2016 temperature data only|
|Record high °F (°C)||64.9|
|Mean maximum °F (°C)||62.1|
|Average high °F (°C)||58.1|
|Average low °F (°C)||45.3|
|Mean minimum °F (°C)||37.9|
|Record low °F (°C)||32.2|
|Source: Météo Climat BZH|
Menton is known for its gardens, including the Jardin Serre de la Madone, the Jardin botanique exotique de Menton ('Le Val Rahmeh'), the Fontana Rosa, the Maria Serena garden, and the modernist gardens of Les Colombières.Le Val Rahmeh was established in 1905 by Englishman Sir Percy Radcliffe, the first owner of the gardens, and named for his wife. Villa Fontana Rosa was built in 1922 by Blasco Ibáñez, a Spanish novelist, and the gardens of the villa are now open to the public.
|Source: EHESS and INSEE (1968-2017)|
Public nurseries/Preschools include:
Public primary schools include:
There are two public junior high schools, Guillaume Vento and André Maurois.The two public sixth-form colleges/senior high schools are Lycée Pierre et Marie Curie and Lycée Professionnel Hôtelier Paul Valéry.
The private Institution Notre Dame du Sacré Cœur has the Villa Blanche preschool, primary, and junior high school in the Centre-ville area.
The Mentonasc dialect is currently spoken by about 10% of the population in Menton, Roquebrune, and the surrounding villages.[ citation needed ] It is taught within the French educational system, as a variety of Niçard (i.e. Provençal and Occitan). However, in nineteenth-century linguistic descriptions, as well as in contemporary linguistic scholarship, Mentonasc is described as an intermediate between Niçard and the Intemelio dialect of Ligurian. Some scholars insist that Mentonasc is, at its base, a Ligurian dialect, with French influences coming only later,.
The Fête du Citron (Lemon Festival) takes place every February. The event follows a given theme each decade; past themes include Viva España, Disney, Neverland, and India. The carnival lasts a few days, with different bands passing through Menton's streets on foot or on truck trailers. The Casino Gardens in the centre of town are decorated in the theme of the festival, using lemons and oranges to cover the exhibits, and huge temporary statues are built and covered with citrus fruit.
The Casino Gardens are also the location for Menton's Christmas Festival.
The Menton Classical Musical Festival is also held every year in the centre of the old town.
Menton has a football team, Rapid de Menton, who play at the stadium Stade Lucien Rhein. Menton also has a rugby team, Le rugby Club Webb Ellis de Menton.
There is a municipal swimming pool, Piscine Alex Jany.
The town is famous in the cycling world as being the start of the climb of the Col de la Madone de Gorbio (generally shortened to Col de la Madone),which rises to 925 metres and was (in)famously used by Lance Armstrong to train for the Tour de France; many professionals based in neighbouring Monaco still use the climb for training and testing.
Menton was also the location of a international tennis tournament the Riviera Championships that ran from 1902 to 1976. It was hosted by the Menton Lawn Tennis Club. The event was part of the French Riviera circuit tour.
Notables who were born, lived, or died in Menton include:
Menton is twinned with:
The early history of Monaco is primarily concerned with the protective and strategic value of the Rock of Monaco, the area's chief geological landmark, which served first as a shelter for ancient peoples and later as a fortress. Part of Liguria's history since the fall of the Roman Empire, from the 14th to the early 15th century the area was contested for primarily political reasons. Since that point, excepting a brief period of French occupation, it has remained steadily under the control of the House of Grimaldi.
Alpes-Maritimes is a department of France located in the country's southeast corner, on the Italian border and Mediterranean coast. Part of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, it encompasses the French Riviera alongside neighbouring Var. Alpes-Maritimes had a population of 1,094,283 in 2019. Its prefecture is Nice, with Grasse as the sole subprefecture.
The French Riviera is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France. There is no official boundary, but it is usually considered to extend from Toulon, Le Lavandou or Saint-Tropez in the west to Menton at the France–Italy border in the east. The coast is entirely within the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of France. The Principality of Monaco is a semi-enclave within the region, surrounded on three sides by France and fronting the Mediterranean. The French Riviera contains the seaside resorts of Cap-d'Ail, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Villefranche-sur-Mer, Antibes, Juan-les-Pins, Cannes, Saint-Raphaël, Fréjus, Sainte-Maxime and Saint-Tropez.
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in Southeastern France. In 2017, it had a population of 1,573. Cap Ferrat was named in 2012 as the second most expensive residential location in the world after Monaco.
Roquebrune-Cap-Martin is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, Southeastern France, between Monaco and Menton. In 2018, it had a population of 12,824. The name was changed from Roquebrune to differentiate the town from Roquebrune-sur-Argens in neighbouring Var.
Monégasque is the variety of Ligurian spoken in Monaco, where it is considered a national language, even though it is not the official language of the country, which is French.
The Province of Imperia is a mountainous and hilly province, in the Liguria region of Italy, situated between France to the north and the west, and the Ligurian Sea, an arm of the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Its capital is the city of Imperia.
Niçard, nissart/Niçart, niçois, or nizzardo is the dialect that was historically spoken in the city of Nice, in France, and in all the area of the historical County of Nice. The affiliation of Niçard is debated: it is generally considered a subdialect of Provençal, itself a dialect of Occitan, while some scholars argue that the historical dialect spoken in Nice was more strictly Ligurian.
Mentonasc is a Romance dialect historically spoken in and around Menton, France. It is classified as a dialect of Occitan and a sub-dialect of Vivaro-Alpine, with some strong influence from the neighbouring Intemelian Ligurian dialect spoken from Ventimiglia to San Remo.
Nice-Ville station, also known as Nice-Thiers station, is the main railway station of Nice, France. It is situated on the Marseille–Ventimiglia railway and constitutes the southwestern terminus of the Nice–Breil-sur-Roya railway. Nice-Ville is served by TER, Intercités and TGV services, as well as the Gare Thiers stop on Line 1 of the Nice tramway.
Sospel is a commune (municipality) and former schismatic episcopal seat (1381-1418) in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France near the Italian border and not far from Monte Carlo.
Italian irredentism in Nice was the political movement supporting the annexation of the County of Nice to the Kingdom of Italy.
Intemelio is a Ligurian dialect spoken historically from the Principality of Monaco to the Italian province of Imperia.
Hans-Georg Tersling was a Danish architect who lived and worked for most of his life on the French Riviera where he became one of the most significant and productive architects of the Belle Époque. His work mainly consisted of designing mondain hotels, villas and mansions for members of the French and European aristocracy and other elite who resided in the area.
The Marseille–Ventimiglia railway is a French-Monégasque-Italian 259-kilometre-long (161 mi) railway line. It opened in several stages between 1858 and 1872.
National road RN 98 is a French road. In its latest form, it connects Toulon to Menton. It also passes through Monaco.
The Bastion Museum is a museum of works by Jean Cocteau, on the harbour wall of Menton, on the French Riviera, in the Alpes-Maritimes department of France. The Bastion was built in the 17th century by Honoré II, Prince of Monaco. Cocteau restored the Bastion himself, decorating the alcoves, reception hall and outer walls with mosaics made from pebbles.
Les Colombières is a villa in Menton, in the Alpes-Maritimes department on the French Riviera. The gardens of the villa were designed by Ferdinand Bac between 1918 and 1927. Bac also designed modernist furniture for the house and personally painted all the villa's frescos and paintings. The gardens are 7.4 acres (3.0 ha) in size, and have been described as full of "wit, brilliance and imagination" that "inspire both the intellect and the imagination".
Monaco-Monte-Carlo station is the sole railway station in the Principality of Monaco, though part of it is located in Beausoleil, France. It is served by trains of the French state-owned operator SNCF, on the Marseille–Ventimiglia railway line. The station, along with the entire railway line in the principality, is located underground.
Grimaldi is a fraction of 281 inhabitants in the municipality of Ventimiglia, in the province of Imperia. It is located near the French border of Ponte San Luigi. The oldest inhabited centre, located at 220 m, takes the name of Grimaldi Superiore, to distinguish it from the houses built along the State Road 1 (SS1) Aurelia, which makes up Grimaldi Inferiore.