Menton, Alpes-Maritimes, French-Italian border, France

Menton is a French commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department, located on the French-Italian border, close to the Principality of Monaco, and a famous tourist resort on the French Riviera. The border town on the Italian side is Ventimiglia. Lemon is one of the symbols of the city, thanks to its Mediterranean climate citrus trees bear fruit. Since 1928 the lemon fesival held every year in February. Known for its old town with its narrow streets and colorful facades and its stunning monument, the Basilica St Michel and Long Street with its art workshops. To see: the City hotel, the casino with Bioves garden (located on a large driveway where the Lemon Festival takes place every year), the St. Paul Garavan area with beautiful properties and magnificent gardens that surround them, Carnolès Palace (former home of Antoine 1er de Monaco) today Museum of Fine Arts and which garden is home to the main collection of citrus in France; the Pian (sloping garden with just olive trees like planting), Bastion located in the port that received the Jean Cocteau Museum, the Palace of Europe, the Riviera (ex-hotel), the villa Tempe à Pailla, the Monastery of Annunciation, among others. His most famous beaches are: Sablettes, Rondelli and Hawaii.

Tips

Menton is an ideal city for holidays throughout the year thanks to its Mediterranean climate. You will find accommodation for all tastes and budgets even that many restaurants and shops.
If you want to know the area, you can rent a car or motorcycle or just use public transport. You can take the train or a bus that takes you to Nice or Monaco.

Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Veliko Tarnovo, known like the ‘City of the Tsars’, is a city in north central Bulgaria and the administrative centre of the province with the same name. It’s located on the Yantra River, surrounding the Balkans, famously known as the historical capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire. The old part of the city is situated on the three hills, Tsarevets, Trapezitsa, and Sveta Gora. The palaces of the Bulgarian emperors and the Patriarchate, the Patriarchal Cathedral and some administrative and residential edifices surrounded by thick walls are on Tsarevets. Trapezitsa is known for its many churches and as the former main residence of the nobility. During the Middle Ages, the city was among the main European centres of culture, it has an important architecture that attracts lots of tourists. It was a very important city with foreign merchants (Jewish, Roman Catholic, Armenian) but in 1393, the Ottoman Empire captured it. The city and the rest of present-day Bulgaria, remained under Ottoman rule until the 19th century, when national identity and culture reasserted themselves as a strengthening resistance movement (480 years under Ottoman rules). It was at Holy Martyrs Church in Veliko Tarnovo where Tsar Ferdinand declare the complete independence of Bulgaria in 1908. Today, Veliko Tarnovo is the center of one of the largest urban areas in Bulgaria and is one of the few cities in the country with a growing population.

Tips

It’s a city with a rich and interesting history, so a good way to know more about it, is to take a guided tour or a private guide. You’ll discover beautiful monuments and churches.
There are other important cities and naturals places to see near the city. You can rent a car to discover it by yourself but make attention because you’ll find people that only speak local language so if you don’t understand the signs, you’ll be in a problem. Make sure you have good maps and indications.

Pastrana, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain

Pastrana is a village and municipality in the south of Guadalajara province, autonomous community of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain, at 95 km from Madrid. It is the capital of the region of La Alcarria. The city was important in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. There are still a few presences of the medieval city. We find the Ducal Palace, where the Princess of Eboli lived, an important figure in the history of the place, now owned by the University of Alcalá. You can also find the convents founded by Saint Teresa of Jesus, the tapestries of Alfonso V, the Collegiate Church with its Baroque altars, statues and shields, the fountain of four Sewers (1588), Dean Square with its historic buildings that remember the grandeur of the past, the street of the Palm, with its palaces: of the Inquisition, Burgos, knights of Calatrava and the synagogue, among others.

Tips

St Joseph’s Convent, founded by St Teresa, is part of St Teresa’s traces a route of culture and tourism pilgrimage which brings together the 17 cities where St Teresa has left foundations or “traces”. The road is not in an established order or time because every pilgrim can do it when he wants and in the order he wishes.
If you visit the city in January, you can participate in two festivals, the 17th is the day of St. Anton and the 20th is the day of Saint Sebastian, you’ll find songs, processions and typical food. At Easter, you will find similar festivities. The day of St Teresa, October 15th, is also celebrated.