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The 2016 Fête du Citron® pays tribute to Cinecittà!


 Finally! We now know the 83rd Lemon Festival’s theme, and it would be an understatement to say that it was a well-kept secret. The curtain has been lifted – the highlight of the Menton region’s calendar which will take place from 13th February to 2nd March 2016. Let’s go to Cinecitta!
After 3 years dedicated to Jules Verne: Around the World in 80 days, the Tribulations of a Lemon in China, and 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, the festival closes the chapter on science fiction. A new chapter begins, but the pursuit of the extraordinary continues, with the theme chosen for 2016 – Cinecittà. The dream and nostalgia of Italian cinema in the 50s and 60s, that “belle époque” which, thanks to the ingenious talent of Visconti, Fellini and Sergio Leone, left its mark on generations of film buffs. And continues to fascinate today.
Like Visconti, who from Bellisima to the Guépard or Nuits Blanches to Rocco et ses Frères, developed his often uncompromising art and vision, Italian cinema in that era produced cult, oneiric and fanciful films which inspired dreamers and revolutionaries.
Flamboyant cinema replaced street cinema which had, at the end of the Second World War, closed the chapter of the Roman studios’ dubious history, gradually transforming them into a “European Hollywood”.
On la strada de la dolce vita (On the road to the sweet life)
Cinecittà at Menton is a light-hearted theme which represents an era which had a sense of extravagance, but also and above all, a sense of realism. The art of appreciating life and all its subtleties. So be prepared for another unforgettable voyage with monuments, motifs and representations of Italian cinema made with oranges and lemons! From 13th February to 2nd March 2016.
This “trip to Italy” starts the day before Saint Valentine’s Day in the Jardins Biovès (Bioves gardens) and will continue throughout the festival with an eclectic promenade amongst the masterpieces of transalpine cinema. The citrus motifs representing them will be inspired by dramatic films such as Amarcord, comedies, epics such as Cleopatra, as well as Spaghetti Westerns.
At nightfall the same venues will be draped in magical colors thanks to the Jardins de lumières (Garden Lights) 16th, 19th, 23rd and 26th February at 8.30pm. Visitors-spectators will be plunged into the cosy, intimate atmosphere of local cinemas. The citrus decorations will come to life with the actors’ performances under the lights of the projectors, caressed by the original soundtracks of Ennio Morricone and Nino Rota. A fantastical moonlit promenade. And the Lemon Festival would not be the same without the Corsos des Fruits d’or (Golden Fruits Parades) 14th, 21st and 28th February at 2.30pm. It’s thanks to them that the event has become one of the most important on the Côte d’Azur’s calendar!
Once again spectators will crowd around the entrance to see the fanfares and street entertainers whirling between the citrus floats. A homage to clowns or Fellini’s La Strada, these parades are a delicious interlude which will also take place at nightfall with 2 corsos nocturnes (night-parades) Thursday 18th and 25th at 8.30pm followed by fireworks.
The scene is set – all you have to do is reserve your seats. So “ciao” and see you in February!
Festival highlights

  • From 13th February to 2nd March: Visit the Jardins Biovès – an exhibition of citrus motifs
  • Sunday 14th February at 2.30pm: Corso aux Fruits d’Or – (Golden Fruits Parade)
  • Tuesday 16th February at 8.30pm: Les Jardins de Lumières – (The Gardens of Lights)
  • Thursday 18th February at 8.30pm: Corso Nocturne – (Night-parade) – followed by firework
  • Friday 19th February at 8.30pm: Les Jardins de Lumières – (The Gardens of Lights)
  • Sunday 21st February at 2.30pm: Corso aux Fruits d’Or – (Golden Fruit Parade)
  • Tuesday 23rd February at 8.30pm: Les Jardins de Lumières – (The Gardens of Lights)
  • Thursday 25th February at 8.30pm: Corso Nocturne – (Night-parade) – followed by firework
  • Friday 26th February at 8.30pm: Les Jardins de Lumières – (The Gardens of Lights)
  • Sunday 28th February at 2.30pm Corso aux Fruits d’Or – (Golden Fruit Parade)

Key figures

  • An average of 240,000 spectators each year.
  • 3 weeks of festivities and entertainment, including the artisan trade show and the orchid festival.
  • Up to 145 tonnes of citrus used.

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Exhibition of citrus patterns

From 15th february to 3rd march 2020

Golden Fruit Parades

Sundays 16th, 23rd february and 1st march 2020

Gardens of lights

On 15th, 21thand 28th february 2020

Night-time parades

On thursdays 20th and 27th february 2020