Overlooking the Gulf of Genoa, Ventimiglia is a coastal resort town near Italy’s border with France. Now famed for its weekly market, it is located on the site of ancient Album Intimilium. Its tumultuous past includes being besieged by the Byzantines and Goths, then attacked by the Saracens before being annexed to the Genoese Republic in 1505.
Things to do in Ventimiglia
History buffs can visit the Museo Archeologico Girolamo Rossi, which is named after the man who discovered the Roman city of Album Intimilium. It occupies the mezzanine of the Annunziata Fortress, where you can enjoy magnificent views across Ventimiglia. On display are more than 700 artefacts uncovered during excavations, including busts, ceramics and glassworks.
For a day at the beach, head to Le Calandre, which stretches to the west of Ventimiglia’s town centre. Its shallow waters make it ideal for families and there’s a small beach bar serving drinks and snacks. On the other side of Ventimiglia are the pebbly shores of Marco Polo Beach and Libeccio Beach.
Ventimiglia marks the start of the Alta Via dei Monti Liguri, which stretches for 440 kilometres through the Ligurian Alps to Ceparana. Usually completed as 44 day hikes, it takes in the high mountains of Beigua Natural Regional Park and the valleys of Capanne di Marcarolo Natural Regional Park. At 2,201 metres, Monte Saccarello is the highest point along the route, with its summit shared by both Italy and France.
Getting around Ventimiglia
Ventimiglia is around 40 minutes’ drive from Nice and 45 minutes from Nice Côte d'Azur Airport, which has flights to destinations across Europe and North Africa. Regular trains connect from Genoa to the Ventimiglia railway station and the town is compact enough to explore on foot.