character houses for sale french riviera - bay of menton

A red villa concealed in its tropical garden
overlooking the Bay of Menton
, ALPES-MARITIMES provence-cote-dazur FR


Menton, the lemon capital courtesy of its superb climate, is above all renowned for its mildness and its way of life. The last town prior to the border, it owes much to Italy as regards its architecture and its atmosphere. To the east of the town, on the hills dominating the port, numerous villas and their terraced gardens, sometimes cosy, sometimes immense, all blend into the surrounding countryside which appears to slope down from the heights of Mount Carpano to the sea. “Villa Posillipo” stands along the famous Route-des-Garavan which winds its way along the frontier. It can be found by simply following the signposts for Italy.


This property is reached by first crossing a large, secured estate and then, once through the last wrought iron gates, a little stone-lined driveway goes under an oriental archway and leads to the villa, concealed in the midst of its extraordinary tropical haven. Although a dark red ochre in colour, it blends so well with the garden that it is difficult to find a point from where it can be viewed in its entirety. Everything was apparently designed such that the outside and the inside are as one and that it is possible to live predominantly on the terraces sheltered from the sun and the wind in an eternal flurry of greenery.

The villa

Visitors enter via the first floor directly into a large living room which is set out around a central pink sandstone pillar brought back from a trip to the Orient. It is heated by two superb stone fireplaces in winter. On the right-hand side, facing a first permanently covered terrace, is a corridor-kitchen, the glazed area of which looks out over the garden, giving residents the impression that they are cooking outside in the open air. Running the full length of the south-facing lounge, a large main terrace, covered with rushes, provides a magnificent view of the Bay through the vegetation. A little stairway at the back of the lounge leads upstairs to a large living room. Illuminated on the sea side by a porthole and on the garden side by small arched windows, it provides access all on a level to a terrace which extends over the second level of the garden terracing and includes a large concrete planter filled with plants. A passageway leads to the back of the house. The view over the Bay and the garden is slightly more dominant even though it is enclosed by the east wall of the villa. The large water tank installed under this terrace could easily be converted into a swimming pool.
On the other side is a superb bedroom with a bathroom.
Set at a slight distance, the lower level of the house comprises a living room with a small kitchen, a bedroom and a bathroom. It has its own entrance but a little stairway goes directly up to the ground floor level.
Also at the back is a semi-outside area currently used as a workshop-storage area which could be converted into an additional room.
This villa, exuding a cosy, bohemian atmosphere, is dotted with books arranged on numerous wooden shelves which makes no secret of the current owner’s vocation.

The garden
No less than fifty different species of palm tree are spread out over the four levels of terracing, reflecting one of the hobbies of the current owner who is author of a magnificent book on the subject. A multitude of other plants also have their place, including an immense avocado tree which produces some 200 kg of fruit each year. The luxuriance of the garden evokes a small square of domestic jungle which the evergreen exotic species keep green all year round. This haven is scarred by a long red stairway that vertically links the various areas. An impressive dry stone amphitheatre provides a splendid panoramic view of the Mediterranean Sea and makes it possible to host open-air events and film shows. It also gives a glimpse of the old customs post on a lower level. Next to the house, extending the kitchen terrace, a lotus pond provides a touch of coolness and the gentle murmur of water. Above the property dominated by a cliff that can be seen through the holes in the greenery, the vegetation mixes with that of a neighbouring, equally exotic garden.

Our opinion

“Villa Posillipo” was named after a district in Naples, the panoramic view from which is strangely reminiscent of that of the Bay of Menton and the air that it exudes has all the fragrances of the “dolce vita” (sweet life). Although the house does not reflect the immodesty of that of the “Villa Malaparte” in Capri, the style that it takes from its perpetual sprouting stipes and palm trees is nevertheless outstanding. Almost all of the species of palm tree currently identified have cleverly been acclimatised on the terracing of the villa which gives the impression of being slightly out of phase with the rest of the world, summer and winter alike. Nothing is bland or ordinary, whether inside or outside this house which has been deeply marked by the commitment of the artist living there. However, this does not prevent it from being reorganised whilst remaining relatively concealed so as to live happily, with the additional asset of being able to take a peaceful stroll to Italy in order to partake of a cappuccino without even having to lock the door.

1 575 000 €
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur

Voir le Barème d'Honoraires

Reference 114575

Land registry surface area 2441 m2
Main building surface area 138 m2

Regional representative

Emmanuel Honold       +33 1 42 84 80 85



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NB: The above information is not only the result of our visit to the property; it is also based on information provided by the current owner. It is by no means comprehensive or strictly accurate especially where surface areas and construction dates are concerned. We cannot, therefore, be held liable for any misrepresentation.

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