Best Things to Do in Ventimiglia Italy

When you are done with the French Riviera and are considering exploring the Italian Riviera, you can consider visiting Ventimiglia as your first starting point. I will be talking about the best things to do in Ventimiglia Italy, on your trip so that you don’t have to break sweat while planning.

When I was researching what more I could do from Nice, I found that Ventimiglia could be an excellent day trip from Nice, after exploring the places around the French Riviera.

Ventimiglia, Italy is a hidden gem nestled on the Italian Riviera, just a stone’s throw away from the French border. This charming town may not be as well-known as its neighboring cities like Nice or Monaco, but it is definitely worth exploring. Ventimiglia offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty that will captivate any traveler.

I have had the opportunity to visit Ventimiglia multiple times and each time I discover something new and exciting about this enchanting town. In this article, I will take you on a journey through Ventimiglia’s old town, Hanbury Botanical Gardens, Promenade Reine Astrid, Forte dell’Annunziata, Friday Market, Roman ruins of Albintimilium and many more attractions that make this place truly special.

So let us dive in!

Things to do in Ventimiglia Italy

Explore the Old Town of Ventimiglia

An old building with stairs in front of it, a popular attraction among the Things to Do in Ventimiglia.
An old building with stairs in front of it, a popular attraction among the Things to Do in Ventimiglia.

The old town of Ventimiglia is steeped in history and charm. As you wander through its narrow cobblestone streets lined with colorful buildings adorned with flower-filled balconies, you can’t help but feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

One must-see landmark in the old town is the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. This stunning cathedral dates back to the 11th century and features beautiful frescoes and intricate marble work. Another notable attraction is the Church of San Michele Arcangelo which boasts an impressive bell tower offering panoramic views of the town.

Visit the Hanbury Botanical Gardens

Things to Do in Ventimiglia: Explore a Building with a Clock Tower
Things to Do in Ventimiglia: Explore a Building with a Clock Tower

Located just outside of Ventimiglia lies one of Italy’s most beautiful botanical gardens – The Hanbury Botanical Gardens (Giardini Botanici Hanbury). These gardens were established in 1867 by Sir Thomas Hanbury who was captivated by their natural beauty during his travels.

The highlight of these gardens is undoubtedly their vast collection of exotic plants from all over the world. As you stroll through the gardens, you will be greeted by a symphony of colors and scents. From towering palm trees to vibrant tropical flowers, the Hanbury Botanical Gardens are a true paradise for nature lovers.

The garden is open during specific seasons:

  • Spring/Autumn: March 1st to June 15th and September 16th to October 15th, from 9:30 to 17:00 (closes at 18:00)
  • Summer: June 16th to September 15th, from 9:30 to 18:00 (closes at 19:00)
  • Winter: October 16th to the end of February, from 9:30 to 16:00 (closes at 17:00)

It is closed on Mondays from November 1st to the end of February and on December 25th, but open on January 1st. The minimum time recommended for a visit is 1 to 1.5 hours.

Ticket Prices:

  • Normal ticket: €10.00
  • School reduction: €6.00 (for a minimum of 15 people)
  • Groups (minimum 20 people): €7.50 per person
  • Reduced tickets: €8.00 (for over 65, 6-14 years, FAI-T.C.I members, Camperlife members)
  • Family ticket: €25.00 (parents + children 6-14 years)

Additional Services:

  • Audio-video guide rental: €5.00 (free for blind visitors with a dedicated application, currently not available)
  • Wedding photography services available within the garden
  • Various membership options for frequent visitors

For more information and reservations, contact OMNIA at tel. (+39)0184229507 or email [email protected]. Enjoy a memorable and enriching experience at Hanbury Botanical Garden!

Quick Tip: If you are planning to visit the Italian Riviera from Nice, Monaco or Cannes then I would recommend you to check this trip Italian Coast & Markets: Full-Day Small Group Trip with which you can explore Ventimiglia, San Remo

Stroll along the Promenade Reine Astrid

Ventimiglia offers visitors a variety of attractions and activities, including a bridge over a river.
Ventimiglia offers visitors a variety of attractions and activities, including a bridge over a river.

For those seeking a leisurely walk with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea, look no further than the Promenade Reine Astrid. This picturesque promenade stretches along Ventimiglia’s coastline and offers stunning vistas of the azure waters.

The best time to visit is during sunset when the sky is painted in hues of pink and orange, casting a magical glow over the sea. As you stroll along this promenade, take your time to admire the charming cafes and restaurants that line its path. Stop for a gelato or sip on an espresso as you soak in the beauty that surrounds you.

Take a dip in the Mediterranean Sea

Ventimiglia is blessed with beautiful beaches that cater to all types of beachgoers. Whether you prefer sandy shores or secluded coves, Ventimiglia has it all.

One of my favorite beaches in Ventimiglia is Balzi Rossi Beach which boasts crystal clear waters and dramatic cliffs that provide shade during hot summer days. Another popular beach is Calandre Beach which offers soft golden sand perfect for sunbathing or building sandcastles with your family.

Admire the views from Forte dell’Annunziata

Perched high above Ventimiglia’s old town sits Forte dell’Annunziata – an ancient fortress dating back to Roman times. This fort offers panoramic views of both Ventimiglia and its surrounding landscapes.

The best time to visit Forte dell’Annunziata is during sunrise or sunset when golden rays illuminate this historic structure creating an ethereal atmosphere unlike any other time of day.

Shop at Friday Market

Things to Do in Ventimiglia: Explore the picturesque streets lined with palm trees.
Things to Do in Ventimiglia: Explore the picturesque streets lined with palm trees.

If you’re a fan of open-air markets, then Ventimiglia’s Friday Market is a must-visit. This bustling market takes place every Friday and offers a wide array of goods including fresh produce, clothing, accessories, and local crafts.

As I wandered through the market, I couldn’t help but be drawn to the vibrant colors and enticing aromas that filled the air. From juicy tomatoes to fragrant spices, the Friday Market is a feast for all your senses.

Discover the Roman ruins of Albintimilium

Ventimiglia has a rich history dating back to Roman times and one of the best places to explore this history is at the Roman ruins of Albintimilium. These ancient ruins offer a glimpse into Ventimiglia’s past as an important trading hub in ancient Rome.

The best time to visit these ruins is during spring when wildflowers bloom around them creating a picturesque backdrop for your exploration. As you wander through these ruins, imagine what life was like thousands of years ago when this area was bustling with activity.

Discover a magnificent stone building with a captivating doorway while exploring Things to Do in Ventimiglia.
Discover a magnificent stone building with a captivating doorway while exploring Things to Do in Ventimiglia.

Taste the local cuisine at a traditional trattoria

No trip to Italy would be complete without indulging in its delicious cuisine and Ventimiglia offers plenty of opportunities to do just that. The town is home to several traditional trattorias where you can savor authentic Italian dishes made with locally sourced ingredients.

One trattoria that stands out is Trattoria da Oscar which serves mouthwatering seafood dishes such as spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams) and fritto misto di mare (mixed fried seafood). Another popular spot is Ristorante La Risacca which specializes in homemade pasta dishes like tagliatelle al ragù (tagliatelle with meat sauce) and gnocchi al pesto (gnocchi with basil sauce).

Attend the Ventimiglia International Circus Festival

If you happen to visit Ventimiglia in July, don’t miss the Ventimiglia International Circus Festival. This annual event attracts circus performers from all over the world who showcase their incredible talents in a series of jaw-dropping performances.

The festival takes place in Piazza della Costituente and offers a unique opportunity to witness acrobats, jugglers, clowns, and other circus acts up close. It’s a truly magical experience that will leave you in awe of the performers’ skills and creativity.

Visit the Church of San Michele Arcangelo

The Church of San Michele Arcangelo is not only an architectural masterpiece but also holds great historical significance for Ventimiglia. This church dates back to medieval times and features stunning frescoes that depict biblical scenes.

The best time to visit this church is during spring when sunlight streams through its stained glass windows creating a mesmerizing display of colors on its walls. As I stood inside this sacred space, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of peace wash over me.

Take a day trip to Monaco or Nice

Explore the glamorous city of Monte Carlo, located in beautiful Monaco, France. Take day trips from Nice, France to experience all that this luxurious destination has to offer.
Explore the glamorous city of Monte Carlo, located in beautiful Monaco, France. Take day trips from Nice, France to experience all that this luxurious destination has to offer.

Now as it is easy to come to Ventimiglia from Nice or Monaco it is fairly easy to explore the other way around when you started with Italian Riviera.

Ventimiglia’s strategic location makes it an excellent base for day trips to nearby cities such as Monaco or Nice. Both cities are easily accessible by train or car and offer their own unique attractions.

In Monaco, you can try your luck at one of its famous casinos or explore the opulent Prince’s Palace. In Nice, you can stroll along the Promenade des Anglais or visit the vibrant Old Town.

Take Dolceacqua Day Trip

Things to Do in Ventimiglia: The sky is blue.
Things to Do in Ventimiglia: The sky is blue.

Immerse yourself in the picturesque village with its iconic bridge, framed by rolling hills and vineyards. Savor a local Rossese di Dolceacqua wine, with its distinctive floral and mineral notes, for a truly special experience.

To get to Dolceacqua from Ventimiglia, you can take a short bus ride ( Line 7 for 1 – 3 €) or drive for about 20 minutes. Once in Dolceacqua, you can explore the historic medieval village, visit the Castle of Dolceacqua, stroll across the famous Roman bridge, and enjoy authentic Italian cuisine at local restaurants.

Don’t miss the opportunity to taste the local Rossese wine, known for its unique flavor. Enjoy your day trip to Dolceacqua!

Relax at Balzi Rossi Beach

If you’re looking for a more secluded beach experience, head to Balzi Rossi Beach. This hidden gem is tucked away between dramatic cliffs and offers a tranquil escape from the crowds.

The best time to visit this beach is during weekdays when it’s less crowded. Pack a picnic and spend the day lounging on its soft sand or exploring its crystal-clear waters.

Where to Stay in Ventimiglia?

If you are thinking about exploring further in Italian Riviera and planning to explore Sanmero and other places around then you can make a base in Ventimiglia.

I would recommend you to stay in the below hotels in Ventimiglia

Luxury and Comfort

  1. La Riserva di Castel d’Appio – Charme & Relax: This hotel offers a blend of charm and relaxation with stunning views. It’s perfect for travelers seeking a more upscale experience. link
  2. Villa Eva Hotel: Located close to the beach, Villa Eva Hotel provides a comfortable stay with modern amenities for those who desire both luxury and convenience. link

Mid-Range Comfort

  1. Hotel Calypso: This hotel is well-reviewed and offers a good balance between comfort and affordability, making it suitable for a wide range of travelers. link
  2. Hotel Kaly: A cozy option with a friendly atmosphere, Hotel Kaly is ideal for visitors who want a comfortable stay without breaking the bank. link


  1. Sole Mare: Offering sea views and a convenient location, Sole Mare is a great choice for travelers on a budget who don’t want to compromise on experiencing the beauty of Ventimiglia. link
  2. Hotel Posta: This hotel provides basic amenities at an affordable price, perfect for those looking to save on accommodation costs while enjoying their time in Ventimiglia. link

For an extensive list of budget hotels in Ventimiglia, you can explore more options on Cheap hotels in Ventimiglia.

Final Thoughts: Things to do in Ventimiglia Italy

Ventimiglia, Italy may not be as well-known as its neighboring cities but it certainly holds its own when it comes to charm and beauty. From exploring the old town to visiting botanical gardens, strolling along promenades, taking dips in the Mediterranean Sea, admiring views from ancient forts, shopping at markets, discovering Roman ruins, tasting local cuisine at trattorias, attending circus festivals, hiking scenic trails of Ligurian Alps and visiting historic churches – Ventimiglia has something for everyone.

As I reflect on my experiences in Ventimiglia, I can’t help but feel grateful for having had the opportunity to explore this enchanting town. Its rich history and natural beauty have left an indelible mark on my heart and I hope that through this article I have inspired you to embark on your own adventure in Ventimiglia.

So pack your bags and get ready to immerse yourself in all that Ventimiglia has to offer – trust me when I say that you won’t be disappointed!

FAQs: Ventimiglia Travel Guide

Q: What are the top attractions in Ventimiglia in 2024?

A: The top attractions in Ventimiglia in 2024 include the Ventimiglia Market, Ventimiglia Alta, Chiesa di San Michele, Menton, Waterfront, Chiesa di San Michele Arcangelo, and Mortola.

Q: What can I do in Ventimiglia?

A: In Ventimiglia, you can sightsee, wander through the narrow streets of Ventimiglia Alta, visit the Chiesa di San Michele, explore the coastal area, browse the Ventimiglia Market, and walk along the shoreline.

Q: Do you have a guide to Ventimiglia?

A: Yes, we have a guide to Ventimiglia that covers the top attractions, activities, and things to do in Ventimiglia.

Q: What are some activities in Ventimiglia?

A: Some activities in Ventimiglia include visiting the Ventimiglia Market, exploring Ventimiglia Alta, sightseeing in Chiesa di San Michele, and discovering the coastal area.

Q: Where is Ventimiglia Market located?

A: Ventimiglia Market is located in Ventimiglia, a coastal town in Italy.

Q: What is Ventimiglia Alta known for?

A: Ventimiglia Alta is known for its stunning views, narrow streets, and historic architecture.

Q: Can I get Italian food in Ventimiglia?

A: Yes, Ventimiglia is known for its delicious Italian food. You can find cafes scattered throughout town where you can enjoy some local cuisine.

Q: Is the Ventimiglia Market worth visiting?

A: Yes, the Ventimiglia Market is definitely worth visiting. It offers a wide range of souvenirs, handmade crafts, and local products.

Q: How far is Ventimiglia from Genoa?

A: Ventimiglia is a short distance from Genoa, approximately 130 kilometers away.

Q: Can I visit Grimaldi on a trip to Ventimiglia?

A: Yes, you can visit Grimaldi on a trip to Ventimiglia. It is a nearby town known for its beautiful coastline and Doria Castle.

Q. Is Ventimiglia and Vintimille the same thing

A: Yes, Ventimiglia and Vintimille refer to the same place. Ventimiglia is the Italian name for the town located in Liguria, Italy, while Vintimille is the French name for the same town.

Q. How safe is ventimiglia

A: When it comes to safety, Ventimiglia is relatively safe at night, which is comforting news for visitors and solo travelers alike. Major crimes are fairly infrequent here, suggesting that visitors can enjoy the city’s offerings with a considerable degree of peace of mind.

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