Nov 3rd, 2009, 06:01 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 22,604
Wow, steps, thanks. Will take a look but must go work on some leaves.

I hear what St. Cirq is saying though.
TDudette is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2009, 09:23 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 47
Just to add my own two bits (or more as the muse may come as I write!), I can't say much about Ventimiglia as I have never been that far west on the Liguria Ponente, sometimes called the Italian Riviera for Francophiles. I don't know the French Riviera towns at all, although my sense tells me that they are probably overbuilt and I have seen pictures of huge condo developments that don't look charming at all.But I don't where this "poverty" bit comes from, the entire stretch from Genoa to Ventemiglia is dotted with little resort towns, some very charming, some less well known then others. I actually prefer this part of Liguria to the Levante section between Genoa and La Spezia (which includes Cinque Terre). I find towns like Camogli and Sestri Levante too built up on the beach, actually not many beaches on the Levante side at all. On the Ponente side I don't care for the stretch between Genoa and Savona, but then there are a whole string of pretty beach towns, to mention a few: Noli (my favourite, an old maritime republic), Varigotti (resort town with supposedly one of the best beaches in Italy), Albenga (an old Roman town), Alassio (very popular resort town), Diano Marina, and on the other side of Imperia, San Remo - probably the trendiest town and close to the border for the OP. One of these days I want to visit Dolceacqua in the hills behind Ventemiglia as its supposed to be one of the best wine areas in Liguria with a good red.

Oh and BTW I much prefer Pigato wine from Ponente to the Vermentino from Levante
Villa_Sampaguita is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2009, 11:36 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 387
"Pleasing to the eye"? Beauty is only in the eye of the beholder -- or does someone want to argue otherwise?

Loathing Monaco is about what? If its not about the moneyed affluence, is it the visual impact of post-war high-rises (which Menton has plenty of. Check out these videos:

As for Camogli and Sestri Levante, they began and to a large extent remain fishing villages that didn't change their historic town plans to accommodate automobiles and car-driven tourism, as did much of the Riviera Ponente. It's pretty hard to distinguish between Noli and Camogli

Picture of Noli

Picture of Camogli

except Camogli didn't replace it's pedestrian lungomare and commercial fishing boat marina with a car drive and a sandy beach.

I think it's good people share their values and describe their reactions to various places, but their are historic, economic and geographic reasons why some Italian coastal towns are built right onto the sea, and why some developed a pre-20th c. resort atmosphere, and some a post-war resort atmosphere.

But which you prefer has a lot to do with your attitudes about money, class, history and what is the meaning of travel and/or vacationing -- in fact, if ever the word "worldview" had a concrete meaning, it means that how you will view Ventimiglia or Monaco or Sestri Levante is very much a reflection of how you view the world as a whole.

I certainly don't want to talk stcirq out of saying as often as she likes "that the measure of pleasantness just starts to tank after you pass the French border into Italy in that region," but she's talking about herself. For me (and I'm only talking about myself, it goes just the other way. I don't find Menton pleasant, and it just gets worse as I pass through Roquebrun onto Monaco. I want to turn around and go back to Italy.

Some will feel like stcirq. Some will feel like me. It can't be simplified down to some universal of idea of "pleasantness." It doesn't exist in travel and visiting foreign countries.

Villa Sampaguita,

A lot of quality Vermentino is produced right alongside Pigato in the Riviera Ponente

and vice versa

All these oversimplifed categories just don't cover the waterfront, to put it literally.
stepsbeyond is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2009, 12:06 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 387
Just to emphasize how individualistic these reactions can be, here is a Paris-based vacation rental owner who was happily vacationing in Monaco, describing a daytrip to Ventimigila:

"Off we all went to drive through the wealthy resort towns of Villefranche, Eze, Roquebrune, Cap d'Ail and Menton, heading for Ventimiglia, the first town after crossing the border into Italy.

"Before wandering through the Friday afternoon market of clothing, knickknacks and food stuff, we took a brief walking tour of "Ventimiglia Alta" -- twisting, crumbling medieval alleys and dark streets, falling apart but alive, having once belonged to the Benedictine Monks of The Isle of Lerin (just off Antibes) who had connections to Seborga, of Templar fame. The Cathedral, which has a crypt dating from the 7th-century, is being fitted with a new organ (we heard them tuning it) and is said to be built on the site of a pagan temple from the inscription inside to Juno (Hera), wife of Jupiter (Zeus). The "trompe l'oeil" on the ancient buildings throughout the tiny town are astonishing, juxtaposed by adjacent hangings of the daily wash.

"Down at the market below, we took advantage of the beautiful and inexpensive leather goods, kitsch souvenirs and aged Parmesan cheeses at bargain prices. The merchants all speak Italian, French and some English, sometimes all at once! Before returning to France, we drove a bit further to San Remo, for real Italian pasta at a 'Ristorante' overlooking the sea."

Apparently wasn't unpleasant for her.
stepsbeyond is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2009, 02:27 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 22,604
We have argued constantly about our reactions to various places and I think a person's feelings are as complex as his/her personality.

I can wax poetic about Venice and totally ignore the crumbling things, touristy tasteless restaurants, etc.

Monaco IS a moneyed place but some of it is beautiful to moi.

Still haven't looked at everything, Step, but I will.
TDudette is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2009, 03:51 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 49,521
Ventigmilia is not a great place to vacation. I've been there and it is pretty run down - it's kinda a way station between Italy and France. I think you have to consider your time and money. I would prefer to spend my limited travel time in cities that are interesting rather than just nothing to write home about.

But then Stepsbeyond has a good point, it doesn't hurt to explore where others don't bother to go. You may find a jewell you (and others) didn't know existed.
nanabee is offline  
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