1. Dolce Aqua
This beautiful picturesque village is only a 15-minute drive from Ventimiglia. Claude Monet found inspiration for his painting Le chateau de Dolceacqua. Via the arch bridge, you enter a medieval part Borgo with narrow streets and small shops Our favorite restaurant is La Rampa on the square. They have pizzas made from kamut and their speciality is rabbit.
After Dolce Aqua, you will see the beautiful village of Apricale build against the mountain. Like a fairytale. Apricale is an artistic village and attracts many artists. If you walk through the narrow streets, you will eventually reach a square with 2 churches. You will find a bar where you can enjoy an aperitivo. Our favorite restaurant is on the way to Apricale: Locanda La Favorita Apricale. They have delicious menus at a good price. You will enjoy the beautiful view over the mountains.
3. Rocchetta Nervina
Our children’s favourite place in summer: the waterfalls in Rocccheta. Cross the little square and, before the bridge, take the path up the mountain on the left. It’s a 20-minute walk up, but then you find a real blue lagoon. Super-cold but beautiful blue water. Many Italian children jump off the waterfall. What our boys like most is the trip down the river. It is a bit of a survival trip and can be done by children from the age of 14. There are many water walls in Rocchetta and for nature lovers, you can go hiking.
4. Ventimiglia Alta
We love the medieval town of Ventimiglia. Here you will discover the real Italian life. That’s why we also rent out studios and flats there. It is a maze of narrow authentic streets and squares with olive trees. The churches are so beautiful, worth a visit. In the summer there are medieval festivals, which are really cool. Then the whole town will be in medieval style again, with music, performances and delicious delicacies.
A fashionable village with really great restaurants and a nice boulevard. Every Thursday morning, you can shop at the market for the most beautiful Italian leather bags (believe me, I saw them in Laren). We love to eat Barolo Risotto at restaurant Valdisogno. A real speciality. The kids love it because they have over 100 pizzas on the menu, all named after famous people. If you have parked your car in the car park, be sure to take a stroll into the old town. So beautiful and cosy! Our other favourite restaurant is near the station: Café Monet. Not the most beautiful location but you can eat really great food for a good price. It is a small restaurant with delicious Italian dishes.
Menton is within walking distance of Balzi Rossi. When you cross the border you will see a bakery on your right after 250 meters: l’amie du pain. They have really delicious croissants. Menton is a picturesque French village in the colors of Italy. There is a beautiful new promenade with all kinds of nice beach clubs. Our favorite is Panama Plage.
This village between Menton and Monaco, one of the pearls of the Riviera. It has a beautiful historic center with nice square with restaurants, bars and great views. Be sure to visit the castle as well. In the former school of the medieval village, at the foot of the castle, you will find hotel/restaurant Les Deux Frères. A restaurant for foodies. When we went there to eat, we discovered that the owner is Dutch. Funny right?