Fontana Rosa

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Fontana Rosa (entrance)

Fontana Rosa is a Belle Époque French garden placed in Menton (Alpes-Maritimes).

The Spanish writer Vicente Blasco Ibáñez (1869-1928) began to build it from 1922 on, and he established there with his second wife, Elena, and died in 1928.

This garden with Spain's and Menton's pottery is found in avenue Blasco-Ibanez, near Garavan station, and was appointed Historical Monument in 1990.

It is also called "Le Jardin des Romanciers" (El Jardín de los Novelistas/The Garden of Novelists), and was frequented by celebrities like Jean Cocteau. It was the place where Blasco Ibáñez wrote Mare Nostrum, a novel filmed later in 1926.

The garden inspired by Andalusian and Arabian-Persian styles have species such as Ficus macrophylla, Araucaria heterophylla , palm trees, banana trees or scented rosebushes. It is tribute for Vicente's favourite writers : Cervantes, Dickens, Shakespeare or Honoré de Balzac, whose busts can be found in the door of the propriety and to whom he dedicated several fountains and rotundas.

Its main buildings are a little over-lifted villa with polychromatic pottery which hosts a library and a personal movie projector room, and a main house (Villa Emilia) in the low part of the propriety that dates from the 19th century. The architectonic complex has also an aquarium, a colonnade, a concrete pergola, pillars, flower vases, ceramic-panelled benches around the main house and a big rounded pergola by a long staircase in the middle of the propriety.

After Blasco Ibáñez's death in this propriety, his son inherited it. In 1939, it was sacked during the war and later abandoned for more than thirty years. Blasco Ibáñez's son gave it to the commune of Menton in 1970. Since 1985, its buildings has been being restored and since 1991 its pottery.

It can only be visited with the Patrimony Service.

Vicente Blasco Ibáñez

Coordinates: 43°47′08″N 7°30′49″E / 43.78556°N 7.51361°E / 43.78556; 7.51361