July 10, 2014
When I’m not traveling on assignment, I often choose my travel destination from a picture I see of a place, a picture that fuels my curiosity.
While the pursuit of visual pleasure is a common motivator for many, I find it to be a particularly strong motivator for photographers.
We see a picture of a place and the next thing we know, we are on a plane, on our way to take a better photo.
It happened to me for Buenos Aires, where I traveled for a picture of a great street art mural. It happened to me for Hoi An Vietnam, where I traveled for a picture of the Full Moon in Tet Festival. And it happened to me in Menton in the French Riviera, for a picture of laundry hanging outside a quaint yellow house…
I am always in search of interesting areas to shoot laundry as part of my on going personal photography project Intimacy under the Wires, and when I saw that picture of laundry in the French Riviera, I knew it had to be my next destination.
I was in Paris for two weeks in March, shooting a pastry guide to the city. After an intense fortnight, I couldn’t help but head south for a much-needed change of pace. On a whim, I booked a last-minute train ride to Nice with very vague plans for my itinerary upon arrival.
I found myself taking day trips to Villefranche-sur-Mer and peeking into The Welcome Hotel, where Jean Cocteau used to stay. I made my way to Cap Ferrat, where I visited the Villa Ephrussi de Rotschild.
I went for a long hike all the way to Eze to meet a fellow local photographer. Finally, I traveled to the medieval village of Menton, where I drank wine and tasted an abundance of of lemon and citrus jams. The leitmotiv to my wanderings? The search for laundry.
I truly fell in love with Menton. A small village on the French Italian border between Monaco and the Italian Riviera, it is a perfect mix of yellow-washed Italian architecture and French cuisine.
With the Alpes maritimes on one side and the Mediterranean sea on the other, Menton is the picturesque French Riviera of dreams.
If you are a first-time visitor, I highly recommend a visit to one of Menton’s gardens, especially Val Rahmeh and Fontana Rosa gardens, both named after beloved women. Visit the baroque basilica of Saint Michel Archange with its fine bell tower, and make sure to drink your fair share of Limoncello, a Menton favorite.
- For an amazing bespoke travel experience in the south of France, contact Truffle Pig
- The Guardian recently dished on its favorite addresses in Menton. Check out what made the list.
- A closer look inside Marisa Williams’ adventures in Nice.
Written by Sivan Askayo
Sivan is a freelance Travel Photographer. She contributes to leading magazines such as Travel+Leisure, Conde Nast Traveller, Lonely Planet Traveller, Monocle and Elle Decor. When she is not globe trotting on assignments, she splits her time between Tel Aviv and New York, where she has been living for the last 12 years. She will always find an opportunity to visit and shoot Paris, hoping a few times a year. She loves coffee and will never be on a diet that would require her to give up chocolates and desserts.
Website: Sivan Askayo
Tags: Alpes Martimes, Cap Ferrat, Èze, Fontana Rosa garden, French Riviera, Intimacy under the Wires, Jean Cocteau, Limoncelo, Menton, Nice, Sivan Askayo, South of France, The Welcome Hotel, Val Rahmeh garden, Villa Euphrussi de Rotschild, Villefranche
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