Sunday, May 6, 2012

Vielle Ventimiglia.....


Most people alight at the station in Ventimiglia simply to change platform and board another train to another destination......but the Italian town which represents the border between France and Italy on the Riviera is well worth exploring....and look at the beautiful setting of the Old Town...


True it is a bit rough and ready round the edges in a workaday sort of way, and true some visitors do take a quick trip to the market to do a bit of rapid cross border shopping before heading back to the station, as the produce is wonderfully fresh - and much cheaper than France....


But few visitors make it up the hill and enter into the heart of the Old Town, and thus miss not only a trip back in time (a cliche I know), but also the architectural treasures of winding cobbled streets, arched alleyways, old palazzo buildings and piazzas....



It is delightful to get totally lost in the maze edged with crumbling stone walls, trompe l'oeil, loggias, and beautiful stone churches....


There is something deliciously quirky about this place off the beaten track - it became impossible to take any photographs which did not include washing lines - and the neatest washing lines at that...symmetrical and colour-coordinated in  otherwise quite haphazard disorderly streets...


And everyone stopped to look down from the bridge at this lone gardener who has reclaimed a bit of disused, barren riverbed and turned it into a little blooming paradise where the river meets the sea...


I found the place a whole lot more enchanting than I was led to believe it would be - but that is the beauty of taking off for the day, crossing the border with just a camera in hand and few expectations - and as soon as you do cross that border from the French to the Italian Riviera it really does feel like a completely different country....


The train from Nice to Ventimiglia takes just 40 minutes - only 20 minutes from Monaco Station. Enjoy!!

7 comments:

French Girl in Seattle said...

I just love how fast and how cheaply you can get almost everywhere from Nice! You must love exploring with that wonderful city as your homebase, Catherine. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

louciao said...

That first photo gave me a real shock as it looks almost identical to the palazzo we stayed in in southern Italy in Tropea. In fact, your pictures of Ventimiglia remind me of much of what I loved about Calabria, washing lines included!

Owen said...

Looks wonderful !

I want to go see it now... once long ago I knew someone whose family name was Ventimiglia...

A Cuban In London said...

That first photo made me go: Old Havana! :-) I swear I've seen a set of stairs similar to that in Havana. What a great collection of images. And the explanation wasn't 'alf bad either! :-)

Greetings from London.

EG CameraGirl said...

You have such a good eye, Catherine. If I ever get to the Riviera, I MUST check this place out.

Catherine said...

Well worth avisit ....thanks for your comments this week...

manyslices said...

Hello,

Stopping in from SSS 2 and was scrolling through your posts. I love all that you have captured here. So old and intricate and beautiful. Lucky you. Don't know if I shall ever land my feet in Europe, but if I do, drinking up all the architect like this, is exactly what I will be doing.
Cheers,
Leah