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Ugly Surroundings?

Toronto
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Ugly Surroundings?

We'll be staying near Ventimiglia in May near www.locandadeiboi.it.

Someone said Ventimiglia and the surrounding area is not very "picturesque" and is an "ugly border town."

I was wondering if this is true and if we're better off staying elsewhere?

Imperia, Italy
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for Italian Riviera
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1. Re: Ugly Surroundings?

You may be staying in a very picturesque position, depending on the precise location. The nearby la Riserva hotel http://www.lariserva.it/ has wonderful views all across the Cote d'Azur, though your place may be facing inland which is not quite so attractive.

You are very near the Citta Alta of Ventimiglia, which I think is very attractive, with a C12 cathedral and wonderful views. It is, however, very undeveloped compared to comparable locations in France, which leads some to regard it as shabby and run-down.

The lower town (the main shopping area) of Ventimiglia is architecturally undistinguished, but in an attractive location where the River Roya meets the sea. It is certainly more of a border trading town than a conventional tourist resort. You are also very close to Bordighera, which is a much more sedate and conventional resort.

Much of the surrounding area is extremely picturesque. You have, for example, in the very nearby Giardini Hanbury what is possibly the finest coastal garden on the Riviera. And the scenery up the Nervia valley beyond villages such as Dolceacqua and Apricale is magnificent, particularly if you go high up to places such as Baiardo or over the Colle Langan to Triora.

Imperia, Italy
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for Italian Riviera
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2. Re: Ugly Surroundings?

Looking again at the directions map on www.locandadeiboi.it/index.php… I note that the recommended route to your accommodation passes close by the highway services area and customs post, which includes a massive truck stop and an array of flyovers. This is certainly unattractive.

Toronto
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3. Re: Ugly Surroundings?

Thank you for your reply.

We'll actually be coming from Nice by car.

It appears this is the view from a nearby home of the b&b we may stay in:

…amazonaws.com/photos/41383/2.41383_IMG_0842…

Does this look like a well-positioned location like the la Riserva hotel enjoys in your opinion?

Additionally, I found the towns situated around Lugano and Como Lakes to be the most beautiful I've ever visited.

Would you say there are areas that offer comparable scenic beauty in this region? Or is South France a better bet to spend most of our day trips in?

Thanks again.

Imperia, Italy
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for Italian Riviera
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4. Re: Ugly Surroundings?

Not the same view as the Riserva. The view from there along all along the Cote d'Azur would be to the right of the picture, but will be entirely hidden behind the hill from this location. In addition, just to the left of the picture, at the bottom of the valley, you will probably have a very good view of the highway services and truck park. On the plus side, you will might also get good views inland across the edge of the Maritime Alps.

The towns and lakes around Lugano and Como possibly edge this area slightly for scenic beauty, whether in France and Italy, but they don't have the sea. The advantage of Ventimiglia for a location is that you can day-trip very easily in both France and Italy and make your choice among the attractions on both sides of the border, each of which have their adherents. I much prefer the Italian side, which is lower-key and where most of the villages are still alive and lived in by people who work the land, but others prefer the more glittering and artificial pleasure of the French Riviera.

Toronto
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5. Re: Ugly Surroundings?

Thanks Perilizia.

Which coastal towns would you most recommend? I've heard very nice things about San Remo for example.

Imperia, Italy
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for Italian Riviera
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6. Re: Ugly Surroundings?

Bordighera is relaxed and has a long seafront promenade, part with free parking, much of the rest entirely traffic-free for pleasant walking and restaurants. There is a small old town area (Bordighera Alta) higher up the hill above the small harbour. The house of Queen Margherita (for whom the pizza was named) is an interesting attraction fondazioneterruzzivillareginamargherita.it/ (Italian only website, but you don't need Italian to visit).

San Remo is a pleasant and busy little place, has better shopping, a couple of harbours, a cathedral and old town area (the Pigna), and other attractions such as the Villa Nobel and pleasant garden areas. There is also a new 24 km cycletrack/footpath along the sea built on a by-passed railway line. I like San Remo, but occasionally people are disappointed by it as they expect a world-class upmarket resort such as it was in its heyday in the 1920s and 30s. These days it is more of a low-key resort for Italian families and a local commercial centre, but with architectural reminders (such as the Casino) of its more glorious past.

7. Re: Ugly Surroundings?

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