Ventimiglia is a rather small (population of approximately 24,500 people) Italian city located in the westernmost part of Liguria, province of Empire. Liguria is considered one of the most picturesque regions of Italy (it is not without reason that Italians call it the “lucky horseshoe of Italy”, hinting not only at the geographical form, but also at the significance for the country) Ventimiglia can be called an adornment of the Ligurian coast. The Italians themselves call it the "flower gate of Italy" because of the lush vegetation and flower gardens, which is everywhere - what the Genbury Botanical Garden alone is worth! Another name given to the city by the Italians - “city of borders” - is connected with its geographical position: Ventimiglia is located only 7 km from the border with France.
A significant part of the funds in the city’s economy comes from the tourism industry, which is not surprising: sights of the city, pebble beaches, mild climate and picturesque landscapes attract travelers from all over the world. Even tourists vacationing on the Cote d'Azur in France come to enjoy the local beauty (taking advantage of the fact that you can quickly get to the city by car: for example, the journey from Garavana to Ventimiglia takes less than 20 minutes). What is noteworthy, the resort is popular not only among foreigners: Italians themselves also often visit Ventimiglia (especially many tourists from Piedmont and Lombardy).
Apparently, the city was named after the first settlers (inthemelia, descendants of immigrants from western Liguria) that appeared in this area before our era: the name "Ventimiglia" can be translated as "the main city of the Ligurian-Inthemelia." In about the 2nd century BC, the settlement was conquered by the Romans on the orders of Publius of Numantia and incorporated into Ancient Rome. The settlement was called Albintimilium (now the name is the Archaeological Museum of Ventimiglia). The city grew and grew, acquired fortress walls, an amphitheater.
Subsequently, Ventimiglia received the status of a municipality (Julius Caesar loved to stay in Ventimiglia on the way from Provence), which gave the city large financial subsidies. In the VIII century, Ventimiglia became one of the territories conquered by the Franks, in the XIII century it became part of the Republic of Genoa. The city could gain independence only in the 17th century.
Ventimiglia can be conditionally divided into two parts: the more modern (which began to be built in the 19th century), located on the left bank of the Roya River, and the medieval part, located on the right bank, also called Upper Ventimiglia. The historical part of Ventimiglia got such a name because of its location - the medieval buildings of Upper Ventimiglia are located on a hill.
Medieval Ventimiglia itself is a whole monument of culture, architecture and art, which deserves to slowly explore all the sights. But, of course, among them there are the most memorable.
Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary
The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta) is located in the very center of Upper Ventimiglia and is the center of the city’s regilious life. The temple complex includes the medieval cathedral itself and the Baptistery of John the Baptist. Services in the temple complex are conducted to this day.
The place where the cathedral is located has been used for worship since ancient times. The first temple, erected on the site of the cathedral, was pagan - it worshiped the Roman goddess of the marriage and birth of Juno. Subsequently (during the Frankish Carolingian dynasty, from the 6th to the 10th centuries), another temple belonging to the Lombards was erected in its place, on the ruins of which the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary was built. The exact date of the construction of the temple is unknown - it is attributed to the period of the XI-XII centuries. There are suggestions that the more accurate date of construction of the cathedral is 1100.
The architecture of the church, related to the Romanesque style, is conditionally divided into two parts. The first, more ancient, dates back to the end of the 11th century: small blocks of sandstone were used in the construction of this part of the cathedral. The second part, which dates back to the XII century, is made with a clear influence of French architecture - this is especially noticeable in the windows, arches and naves, which are divided into square pillars. During its existence, the appearance of the temple was damaged, and in the middle of the 20th century, a restoration was carried out in the cathedral, the purpose of which was to restore the temple to its former appearance. When the restoration was completed, the temple was consecrated.
The cathedral is located at Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 4.
Church of the Archangel Michael
The Church of the Archangel Michael (Chiesa di San Michele Arcangelo) is even more ancient than the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary - the building is dated to the 10th century, which is noticeable in more strict architecture.
The church was originally erected by the princes of the city and was used as a family chapel in which they prayed, were baptized, and married members of princely families. However, later the princes handed over the church to the monks of the Benedictine Order. In the XI-XII centuries the church was restored, and its appearance is perfectly preserved to this day. The church also houses two pillars from the ancient Via Giulia Augusta road. One of these pillars is used to maintain the arches of the church crypt.
The church is located on the Piazza San Michele. From the Ascension Cathedral you can reach it in less than 10 minutes: bypassing the cathedral on the left on Piazza Cattedrale, go to the intersection with Vico Olivi, turn left and go straight ahead. Vico Olivi goes to Via Piemonte. When you reach the intersection with Piazza Colletta, turn right and you will see a church.
The Blacks Oratorio (Oratorio dei Neri) was erected in 1650 for the Brotherhood of Mercy and was dedicated to the patron saint of the city, San Secondo. Such a formidable name the building received the color of the vestments in which the members of the fraternity were dressed. 3The building is made in the late Baroque style with an abundance of exterior elements. The interior of the oratorio is striking - there are frescoes by Maurizio Carrega, eight paintings by Serra, located on the side walls. The seventeenth-century altar, made of white marble, deserves special attention. Columns of black marble adorn the altar; it was also used for inlaying.
Archaeological complex Albintimilium
The archaeological complex of Albintimilium, dating back to the 2nd century AD, was discovered back in the 19th century. though Albintimilium was opened for tourists only in 2004when archaeologists conducted a thorough excavation there. On the territory of Albintimilium is Antiquarium - a historical museum. Currently, the complex allows you to get acquainted with the history of the city, to admire the gates of Porta di Provenza (I century BC), an ancient Roman theater that accommodated up to 5 thousand spectators in the past, the remains of walls, houses and baths.
Genbury Botanical Garden
Giardini Botanici di Villa Hanbury is located on Cape La Mortola, near the small town of Mortola Inferiore, 5 km from Ventimiglia. Near the garden there is a bus stop for Route 1, which you can catch in Ventimiglia.
As far back as the beginning of the 19th century, there were only vineyards and a small grove on the site of this magnificent garden. However, in 1867, an Englishman and gardener Thomas Genbury, who liked the mild Ligurian climate, acquired the 18 hectare plot on Cape La Mortola. Together with his brother Daniel and landscape designer Ludwig Winter, he set about creating a botanical garden - which he was very successful at. By 1889, over 5 thousand plants were growing in the garden!
Unfortunately, during the Second World War, the garden was significantly damaged, but 100 years after its creation, in 1987, the city authorities took up a large-scale project to restore the lost collection of plants.
Currently, tourists can see here about 5,800 different species of exotic plants from all over the world. In addition to plants, the garden is decorated with numerous statues brought from the East, fountains and grottoes.
Fairs, markets, rallies, festivals
Numerous holidays are held annually in Ventimiglia: almost at any time of the year, tourists have a chance to get to one of them. For example, in October in the vicinity of Ventimiglia the World Rally Championship takes place, and in November a sailing regatta (winter season). December will delight you with traditional Christmas markets.
Rally of rare cars
In April, a rally of rare cars takes place - an impressive event that is rarely seen anywhere! The battle of flowers takes place from June 18 to 19 (it is not without reason that the city was called the “flower gate”) - albeit not as large-scale as in French Nice, but the spectacle is still fascinating with a riot of flowers and colors.
August is dedicated to the medieval history of the city: the entire historical part of Ventimiglia turns into scenery, against the background of which reconstructions of medieval events and battles take place, processions of standard-bearers take place in the streets, and competitions in archery and crossbow shooting are held. On the night of June 19, the holiday ends with a large-scale theatrical performance in a medieval style.
However, even if you did not attend one of these events, you can visit the traditional Ventimiglia Friday Market! The atmosphere of calm and measured throughout the week reigns in the city, but on Friday the embankment changes: buyers come here from neighboring Italian cities and the French Riviera (prices on the Friday market of Ventimiglia are even lower than on sales in inexpensive French stores).
On sale clothes, shoes, accessories, products, household goods - in short, everything that we used to see in a large market. There are cheap Chinese-made items, but there are also many inexpensive Italian brands that are hard to find outside of Italy.
In addition to the Friday market, an urban food market (Mercato) operates daily in Ventimiglia. Here you will find a wide range of vegetables, fruits, cheeses, fish and meat, pasta, various herbs and spices.
There is a small outlet in Ventimiglia, called Story Deluxe, which works 7 days a week from 10:00 to 19:00, and on weekends until 19:30. The outlet mainly includes luxury brands Burberry, Armani Jeans, Guess, Moschino, Calvin Klein and others, so shopaholics will be happy.
- Address: Corso Limone Piemonte 13
- Official site: www.storydeluxe.com
The weather in Ventimiglia, as a rule, is typical for the whole of Liguria - due to its proximity to the sea and geographical location, the climate is very mild and warm (therefore, Mediterranean resorts recommend tourists who wish to improve their health).
Cloudy days are very rare but at the same time the sun does not bake too much - even in the hottest months (July-August) the air temperature is usually not higher than +28 degrees. In winter, she does not fall +7 degrees.
The water temperature in the sea during the hottest months reaches +24.9 degrees, and in winter the water is even warmer than air! The climate of Ventimiglia makes it an ideal place to relax at any time of the year.
There are over 50 different accommodation options in the city.among which it is easy to choose the suitable option. Room prices, as elsewhere, depend on the service offered and the holiday season. The highest prices are in late July - early September. The average cost of a three-star hotel room is approximately 80 euros per day.
Hotel Calypso is located just 40 meters from the sea and 150 from the train station. There is a small grocery market on Friday near the hotel. Breakfast is served daily for hotel guests.
Hotel Giuseppe is directly opposite the train station, a 9-minute walk from the nearest beach. Guests have at their disposal a terrace with stunning views of the city panorama.
One of the most popular in Ventimiglia, Hotel Kaly is just a few steps from the Ligurian Sea. Most of the rooms have a small terrace with sea views, or a private small garden. Near the hotel there is a small supermarket and a market.
Hotel Villa Eva
Hotel Villa Eva is located 100 meters from the Villa Eva Beach of the same name, which houses a small restaurant, also owned by the hotel. Each morning, the hotel staff provides a small breakfast of drinks and pastries. Some rooms have a private terrace with sea views.
B&B and apartments
B&B Casa Fenoglio
B&B Casa Fenoglio is a 7-minute walk from the sea. B&B Casa Fenoglio is a 16th-century historic building. In the morning, a hearty continental breakfast is included in the room rate.
B&B Porta Marina
B&B Porta Marina is located 800 meters from the train station and a 10-minute drive from the French border. The rooms offer views of Roya and the Ligurian Sea. Guests at the hotel can also enjoy a rich breakfast.
How to get there
The city can be reached by car or by rail. There is no airport in Ventimiglia - the closest are located in Nice (about 40 km), Albenga (80 km) and Genoa (about 150 km).
- You can get to Ventimiglia from France via the A8 motorway.
- From Barcelona, Spain, take the E15 motorway, onto the French A9 to Nimes, then onto the A8 via A54 and A7.
- From Cuneo - through France on the E74 highway, leaving for the SS20 state highway.
- There are two popular routes from Turin: one passes through Cuneo and France (to Cuneo - via E717 and A33), the other - through Savona and Albenga (to Savona via E717, then along E80).
- From Milan, take the A7 motorway, then follow the E25 and E80.
- We recommend renting a car at auto.italy4.me
Trains from Genoa, Turin (via Cuneo) and Marseille (via Nice) travel to Ventimiglia. The route from Cuneo to Nice (via Ventimiglia), which is considered one of the most picturesque in Europe, deserves special attention.
From neighboring San Remo and Alassio can be reached by regular regional trains. Check the current schedule on the official website of trenitalia.com