Menton has a history associated with lemon since the 15th century. From a medieval culture (cereals, vines and fig trees), the inhabitants of Menton intensified the cultivation of olive trees (the first oil mills appear in the 14th century). The first citrus trees appear in the 15th taking advantage of the microclimate of Menton.
Menton is for five centuries (14th to 19th) under the suzerainty of the Princes of Monaco. In 1848, Menton seceded from the principality of Monaco with its neighbor Roquebrune because the Prince Florestan I of Monaco maintained a tax on the export of lemons, the main resource of these cities. Incorporated in free cities, they are administered by the house of Savoy until 1861 when they became French. Napoleon III paid a compensation of four million francs for the two cities to Prince Charles III of Monaco.
Today, the lemon is one of the symbols of the city of Menton. The Lemon Festival is hold in the city since over seventy years. It takes place between the last three weekends in February.
In July, the festival "Menton, my town is tango" is an opportunity to dance argentinian tango on the seafront with the regulars of the region but also many italian tourists. The festival organizes, for this occasion, some concerts, performances and dance workshops.
Menton contain many interesting monuments to visit. The Carnolès Palace, which is the former home of Antonio I of Monaco, and hosts the largest collection of citrus in France. The Bastion, which was built on the open sea in the 17th as a forward defence of the port, is today in the port of Menton and houses the Jean Cocteau Museum. The Town Hall with the wall paintings of the marriage hall by Jean Cocteau. The Basilica of Saint-Michel in Baroque style.
Thanks to its microclimate, Menton hosts exceptional gardens (Biovès Gardens, Botanical Garden Val Rahmeh, Fontana Rosa, Pian Park, La Serre de la Madone, Villa Maria Serena).
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