Monaco Ports new pleasure in Ventimiglia
Situated on the Riviera dei Fiori (Riviera of Flowers), at the mouth of the Roya River, Ventimiglia sits on a stunning coast line, close to the Italian town of Sanremo on the one side and the city of Menton and Principality of Monaco on the other.
Ventimiglia is renowned for its idyllic scenery, the charming architecture and history of the old town centre and a favourable climate all year round. The first port from the French border on the Gulf of Genoa, this gorgeous town is also very close to the world-famous Hanbury Botanic Gardens and is surrounded by an excellent selection of Italian restaurants and bars. The famous Friday seafront market attracts crowds of shoppers from all over France and Northern Italy, while a nearly endless calendar of events provides entertainment throughout the year along the local beaches (of which Balzi Rossi, Calandre and Baia Benjamin are between the most beautiful) and up towards the Alps, where Limone Piemonte, a stunning international ski station is only 64 km from Ventimiglia.
The villages of Dolceaqua and Apricale are only a few km further inland but once there visitors are transported into a completely different world. The former, with its ancient stone houses along narrow alleys and a popular humpback bridge crossing a scenic river, sits beneath a towering medieval castle. Apricale, on the other hand, included in the list of “Italy’s most beautiful villages”, is perched upon green tree-dotted hills and its warren of arched passageways and leaning houses are home to many charming bars, restaurants and shops.
The beautiful Mediterranean resort town of Sanremo is a miniature mecca of Italian style and passion for food and long afternoons sitting at café tables. With a wealth of small boutiques, fashionable eateries, luxury villas and the grand Casino Sanremo, this little gem is half an hour from Cala del Forte.
20 minutes in the other direction, across the border into France, lies Menton, the “city of citrus” with its annual Lemon Festival and a nearby permanent display of lemon and orange trees among the palms and many subtropical gardens. It hosts a much loved music festival each summer while currently its most prominent cultural showpiece is the celebrated Jean Cocteau Museum.