IMG_0514That’s right – today’s post is not from France but Italy! This picture features not one, but three countries – Italy, France and Monaco as you follow the line of the mountains into the distance.

IMG_0328Today we took a day-trip to Ventimiglia, the Italian city closest to the French border (just seven kilometres). It is about forty kilometres from Nice and we travelled by local train which took about three quarters of a hour. Ventimiglia is at the end of the line for Cote d’Azur trains, making it easily accessible.

IMG_0341The first thing we did when we arrived was cross the bridge from the New Town over the River Roya and find somewhere for a quick coffee. We then began our ascent of the medieval Old Town, which is still very much a place where the locals live.

IMG_0349You climb up and up the narrow walkways.

IMG_0353At every turn there are charming scenes. The people go about their daily lives and clearly Saturday was the day for washing as it hung from almost every window.

IMG_0385A little dog barks at us from the window above.

IMG_0388A cat waits for his lunch whilst taking in the sun.IMG_0384The Virgin Mary is stationed along the way.

IMG_0361The sun streams in between the houses pressed together.

IMG_0363At the northern edge of the hill sits the Church of San Michele Archangelo, which dates back to the tenth century.

IMG_0355We headed back in the direction of the coast.

IMG_0446Here is the Cathedral of Ventimiglia – 11th-13th century but built on an earlier church which was built on top of a pagan Roman temple.

IMG_0437The nave.

IMG_0431The altar.

IMG_0416The baptistry with its thousand year old font.

IMG_0422Seventh century carvings from the early Christian church on the site.

IMG_0420Sixteenth century fresco.

IMG_0440Adjacent to the church is the San Antonio Convent.

IMG_0448We made our way back down the hill.

IMG_0454Looking west.

IMG_0487Back at sea-level.

IMG_0480We enjoyed a well-deserved lunch at this waterfront restaurant called Stella Marina.

IMG_0465We ate on the shaded terrace with views of the azure sea.

IMG_0476The rhythmic sound of the waves breaking on the beach.

IMG_0494Following lunch we crossed the pedestrian bridge back into the new town.

IMG_0498Looking north you could see the snow-capped peaks of the Maritime Alps.

IMG_0506In the new town is the Giardini Pubblici with its forest of date palms.

IMG_0509The old town as seen from across the Roya River.

IMG_0324We took the train back to Nice in the mid-afternoon. For dinner we ate at home; a selection of French breads, meats and cheeses, with a little wine of course and followed by some delectable pastries from the local boulangerie patisserie. This is the view of the new moon rising into the night sky from the terrace of our apartment. OK, I took this photo last night but trust me, it looks the same right now.