What they said
“In a word: magnificent!
Il Valico truly is a little slice of heaven. Every morning of our two-week stay, I would fling open the curtains and have my breath taken away by the view of the blooming garden outside and the Mediterranean sparkling in the sun. We had all sorts of plans for excursions and trips, but when we arrived we found that for the most part, we were more than happy to stay where we were, soaking up the sun and breathing in the fragrant aromas of the roses and the citrus trees. And reading -- we read a great deal, both the books we had brought and those we found in the verandah, which made for a perfect shady retreat when the sun grew too hot or the fall of dusk brought out the mosquitoes. There was enough room for all three of us to have space of our own -- both indoors and out!
I was thrilled by the kitchen, so well-equipped that I became adventurous and took to cooking and baking in a way I normally find a little tedious at home. This was made all the more delightful by the excursions we did make, such as our trip to the market at Ventimiglia -- what a magnificent cornucopia of fresh fruit and vegetables! Not to mention the stalls selling cheese, sausage, sauces, and even pizza by the slice to keep you going. Trips to Menton and Latte filled the cupboards the rest of the time, and very pleasant they were too -- even without a car. We did make use of the Skoda for one trip to the Hanbury Botanic Gardens, which were a revelation: beautiful, and fascinating, and somehow refreshing to the spirit.
We were aided as we arrived and throughout our visit by the delightful Jeannette, and by the Menton taxi drivers, who were uniformly friendly and helpful, as was housekeeper Veronique. The night-time frog chorus and the light-show from the fireflies added an extra sprinkle of magic to our stay, as if the local wildlife were welcoming us too.
Julia made the whole process of booking easy, and provided all the practical information needed for our stay. Almost as soon as we arrived I broke the screen of my phone (disaster!) and she drove me into Menton to a most efficient shop-- just one example of the welcome and kindness we found in Il Valico.
We are already planning our return.”
A.F. Ireland. May 2019
Nestled in the hills of Italy, this beautiful house is comfortable, warm and inviting with stunning views of the Côte d'Azur. Spotlessly clean with all amenities including a small kitchen which is fully equipped with utensils, dish washer and large refrigerator. Hair dryers in every room and air conditioning/heating. There are a number of stairs within the house which is to be expected as the house is built on a hillside. So not suitable for those who need flat spaces. Lemons and grapefruits hang from the trees in the garden which is filled with flowers. A great location for touring the South east coast of France and the hilltop and fishing villages of Italy. Rent a small car as the road is narrow and there are a couple of tight arches to go through. Julia has a small car at the house to rent. Superb hiking, challenging cycling and bird watching in the national forests which climb up from the coast. Cultural activities include a fabulous museum of Cocteau's art and film work in nearby Menton. Superb French and Italian restaurants down by the ocean and throughout the area. Julia, our gracious host, was available by phone or email to answer any questions we had. It was difficult to leave the stunning view and we would definately rent again.
J.S. U.S.A. May 2017
"We just returned from a two week stay at Il Valico, and it was spectacular. Pictures do not do it justice. The view of the sea and sky changes constantly, and light just pours through the big windows.
The well-equipped kitchen is a big plus for cooks, and excellent produce, charcuterie, olives, and cheeses are readily available in nearby markets. Though we ate every meal on the terrace (in September) the lovely Library provides a perfect place for dessert and a limoncello after dinner.
Great privacy for 2 couples, with the apartment below. Be sure to heed the owner’s advice about a car! You must have one, and it must be small to fit through the narrow passages near the house.
The place is a dream."
J.B., U.S. September 2016
"I returned to Paradise. At least, that is what I told my friends and family. Having had the opportunity to come to Grimaldi in September, 2015, I was anxious to return this June with my own family. I couldn't wait to see and hear their amazed faces and gasps of pure joy at the sight of the Mediterranean coast from the terrace. I was not disappointed. This place is extraordinary. From the beautiful furnishings and appointments, to the well stocked library and a refrigerator full of all the basics, we couldn't have been more pleased. The apartment is also immaculately maintained. Jeanette quickly took care of a small issue with the tv (our fault). This place is a dream."
L.A., U.S. June 2016
"This was our second visit in 18 months, yet it seemed we had never been away. I had thought it was the house I loved. Then I thought it was the garden. Now I realise it is both because they complement each other so sympathetically. Why? Because it’s a team thing: the cheerful, willing back-up. Money can’t buy that.
In winter, when it’s grey and cold, I think of Il Valico to cheer myself up. I go there a hundred times at least, so often – especially at night when sleep will not come. There are not many places like that, where you leave a part of yourself and hope to return to reclaim it.
F.T. , UK May 2016"
"A five-star villa in a five-star location.
Our family of 5 spent a month at this lovely villa in February and we had a fabulous time. The weather was sunny and warm most of the time, with the few odd showers, and we had breakfast and lunch on the balcony many times. The view over Menton and Monaco is incredible and mesmerising and the sun reflects off the sea, giving a lot of warmth to the balcony. We spent hours just admiring the location while sipping orange juice made from windfalls off Julia’s citrus trees. The gardens have 5 terraces and are well tended with a wide variety of plants and places to sit and relax.
The house was bigger than we thought and arranged in such a way that everyone could find their own corner in which to read, or sit together for dinner or to watch the large TV (with UK SKY satellite, including sports and movies). The bedrooms are lovely and comfortable with great bathrooms and the annex beneath the balcony was ideal for our son and daughter in law. The kitchen is not huge but we found it well equipped and cooked for 5 many times with no problems. The fridge and dishwasher are large and the little utility room is fine for washing and drying clothes. In the evenings (it was February after all) we needed some heating but the villa has plenty of options for keeping warm.The decor is stylish, with original artworks, and the seating comfortable throughout.
You certainly need a small car if you intend to go and I would recommend a Toyota Aygo or Fiat 500 if you wish to navigate the tunnels in Grimaldi without worrying about scratching the vehicle. We had a Citroen C3 which was fine but we had to take two of the four tunnels slowly with about 3 inches to spare on each side. The parking is by the villa and easy. There are no shops in the village and so you need to drive down the hill to Latte on the Italian side (Conad supermarket) or Menton on the French side. Just behind the villa is a long distance footpath which we walked several times. There are incredible views from this path and an interesting deserted village. If you continue up the path, through the deserted houses, you come to a little village with Taverna and church and good views towards Ventimiglia.
We were staying during the Menton Lemon Festival and this is well worth a visit. We attended the nighttime parade which was astonishing with very creative floats and happy performers. Menton and Menton Garavan (near to the villa) have fine restaurants. We also parked near the Menton Garavan station and took trains to Ventimiglia and Nice - cheap and easy with wonderful sea views. Parking can be a bit tricky in Menton but there are lots of spaces beside the Super U supermarket in Garavan and it is only a short walk into town along the shore.
Jeannette greets you on arrival and speaks many languages. She also lives up the road in case of problems. The cleaner pops in a couple of times a week and does a fine job. We highly recommend this villa and location - we have never stayed anywhere so quiet and relaxing with such a great view. We intend to return.
GC and family. UK. February 2016"
“Il Valico is a magical place with the most breathtaking views of the Med. The villa is beautiful and has all the comforts of home along with a well stocked kitchen. Julia is very easy to communicate with and informative. Jeannette met us when we arrived and took care of all our needs. She was a wonderful hostess. Fantastic location to explore both the Italian and French coasts. We carry with us very happy memories! ”
— J.C. U.S. June 2015
“We were charmed – by the house, by the garden, by the views, by the friendly welcome, by your excellent library and by Menton.
We did most assuredly have an excellent time and settled in very quickly, and eventually managed to drive through the final two arches with considerably greater speed than the first few times!
Your home is delightful, very well equipped and comfortable. Menton was charming with friendly and helpful locals. We loved the mixture of French and Italian –Ventimiglia felt so different. We went to Nice twice, firstly by bus. Because of work on tunnels it took a long time to get through Monaco so the second time we used the train which was fine. We also used the tram. We both thought the public transport good. We used several of the beaches you recommended, swimming on each occasion. We found the garden fascinating and only wonder how you and Teresio keep it as well as it looked (to us). I could probably go on waxing lyrical but I think you can tell we had a lovely time. Thank you.
F. & D.T, U.K. September 2014”
“Julia had arranged for us to meet up with Irene at the train station in Menton. She welcomed us and showed us around the property. The house was marvellous, clean and with magnificent views. All information about the neighbourhood was provided before we arrived. The description of the property was describing in the advertisement, but when we arrived it was even better. It had all a family of four wished for. A really luxurious experience. We visited the 2 star michelin restaurant Mirazur down the road, and spent lazy days on the secret beach down the hill. We went hiking in the mountains and bicycled the col de turini path. A perfect holiday in a perfect house. We will come back again and again.”
M.S. Finland. July 2014
“ Grimaldi has a view to die for . A stunning location .Extremely comfortable and very well appointed to a very high standard . We have but only happy memories of our stay and would be happy to recommend it to those seeking a charming and quiet property complete with a terraced garden, as an ideal place to either relax or to explore the Riviera”
— J.H. U.K. September 2013