© Franck Barbier

The Dolce Vita

A gentle way of life

With over 310 days of sunshine a year, the brilliant blue sea, little cobbled streets, colourful Italian-style facades, lush gardens, local produce and artists’ studios, Menton perfectly embodies the good things in life. “La Dolce Vita” is an art form in Menton that is constantly nurtured. Come with me I’ll show you…

Marie-Laure shares her experience.

Awakening at dawn

The first catch of the day

It’s early in the morning, on the Quai Impératrice Eugénie, the pier, north of the old port, and the fishermen are already hard at work. Under the protection of a statue of Saint-Michel wearing a fisherman’s hat, bargain hunters, tourists and early risers are busy chatting and negotiating. The return of the fishing catch is a special moment, displaying the fishermen’s work, the sea’s generosity, and a respect for its produce. A sea bream catches my eye and I slip it into my basket. Going from the sea to the plate couldn’t be quicker. Something to contemplate…

Breakfast

at Esplanade des Sablettes

Hunger gets the better of me. I head for the cafés on Esplanade des Sablettes which offer an incredible view of the Bay of Menton. Taken by its wonder, I find a place to sit. Time seems to stand still. While I enjoy a piece of toast with lemon jam, I watch as the town comes to life. Under the morning summer sun, the sea breaks into blue. Breathtaking…

Lunch on

a private beach

I’ve built up an appetite after my swim. I head over to one of the private beach terraces that run along Les Sablettes, each one more colourful and exclusive than the next. This little break is in an enchanting location, allowing me to regain my strength before setting off to explore one of Menton’s “Jardin Remarquable” labelled gardens. Mouth-watering…

Daydreaming

in the garden

The gentle Menton climate has led to some stunning gardens, each more inspiring than the last. I walk up to the Jardin Serre de la Madone, listed as a “Jardin Remarquable”. I feel as if I have stepped into another world, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, offering a moment to relax by the water, a stroll along the pathways lined with tropical plants, and a chance to admire the green, lush, and peaceful view. If time were to stand still, this is where I’d surely like to be. Enchanting…

A charming

stroll

It’s time to join my friends for a drink. I walk along the Promenade du Soleil. It is already buzzing with people. The atmosphere at the end of the day, when the heat is less intense, is very lively and the locals and holidaymakers are already filling the streets. Then, I branch off towards the little alleyways I like best, which lead me along winding, narrow steps to the Place aux Herbes. These little lanes reveal the history of this old quarter of the city. Endearing…

An authentic sensory

experience

The Place aux Herbes is instantly appealing, as the Menton fountain, shaded by plane trees, slowly trickles. It whispers its secrets to those who, sitting on the stone benches, are willing to listen. The temperature is getting cooler. The square, lined with terraces, gradually comes alive. I join my friends for a well-deserved drink. Time gently passes by; laughter can be heard all around as the square is filled with merriment. Bliss…

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