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Fontanalba In his quest for wild flowers, the English botanist Clarence Bicknell ventures into the nearby mountains of the French Riviera. Passionate about the alpine floral species, in 1905 he began the construction of a house on land belonging to the Counts Alberti della Briga on the valley of Fontanalba. This typical colonial English style house will become its summer residence and the base of its botanical expeditions. This place which he adorned the walls with floral paintings remains today the witness of his fascination for the unique botanical wealth of this region: “There is no part of this district which may not be visited by a good walker, within a day’s excursion, and by an early start one may be among the larches, the gentians and the Edelweiss on a summer morning, and in the evening gather Oleander and Pancratium near the sea. It would be difficult to find another region of equal size with a richer or more varied flora, and after some ten years botanical expeditions I have collected over 1700 species of vascular plants.” Clarence Bicknell (1842 – 1918)

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