Ventimigilia Things to Do
This ancient coastal town lies just after the French border. Head here for warm waters, a lively weekly market and an Old Town with marvelous views.
Ventimigilia is an easy day trip from Nice. If you’re vacationing in France and you want to head to Italy, this is an ideal place to linger for an afternoon or even longer. Enjoy the weekly market, the inviting beaches and the winding local streets.
The Old Town
Ventimigilia dates from Roman times. Today, part of the village still stands. Wend your way around the beautiful Old Town. This part of town is located high in the hills behind the rest of the town. It’s a short climb up here. You’ll be rewarded with views across the entire bay. Look for the area west of the river. This is a good place to go when it’s warm outside as the streets of the Old Town are cooler than the rest of the area. Come here later in the day for a freshly caught fish dinner.
The Friday Morning Market
On Fridays, the entire town comes alive. This is the time for one of the largest markets along the Riviera. Look for acres of sellers offering clothing, leather goods, homemade food items, jewelry and local art. You’ll want to come here early. It’s an easy five minute walk from the train station. Be prepared to bargain.
The Sir Thomas Hanbury Gardens are one of the largest gardens in any Italian coastal town. The gardens are filled with fountains, sculptures, pools and benches where you can sit and relax. Rare plantings are everywhere. Look for native flowering plants that bloom all year round. There’s a garden filled with cacti as well as others devoted to flowers like hibiscus and passion flowers along with wild animals like birds and tortoises.
Le Calandre Beach
Unlike many other beaches along the Riviera with their rocky shores and thick pebbles, Le Calandre has softer sands. You can spread a blanket out for a day by the beach. No need to wear beach shoes to protect your feet. The waters are shimmering and clear on a hot summer day. Keep in mind there is an undertow so you’ll want to keep a close eye on your little ones. Right behind the beach are a series of shops and restaurants that make it easy to grab a quick lunch and then head right back to the beach.
Area Archeologica della Citta Romana di Albintimilium
For a close-up look at the city’s ancient Roman roots, this is the place to be. Walk around the area and you’ll see the remnants several Roman structures. There’s an amphitheater and other areas including a thermal bath and living quarters. Right next to the ruins is a museum that helps you understand what you’re seeing.
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