Visiting Grimaldi, Italy: Panoramas, Juxtapositions, and Views of Menton, France
A mutually enhancing photogeneity
One of the really interesting features about Grimaldi, near Ventimiglia, Italy, is that it is from this locality, located as it is near Italy's Mediterranean border with France, that some of the best views of the French city of Menton may be obtained. Menton — spelt Mentone in Italian — is known as the Pearl of France (Italian: la Perla di Francia ; French: la Perle de la France ), such are the exquisite views of it that the visitor to the district may obtain. The bay upon which it is situated curves significantly and from the eastern end of the bay, which crosses the Italian border, there are some excellent panoramas of the city.
I have supplied a few photos, taken from Grimaldi, which depict this French city with its unique situation. The main photo, above, shows Corso Europa, the name of the freeway in Italy which ends at the border with France, and which passes through a tunnel shortly before Italian territory ends. Adjacent to this road is the railroad which shortly after passing through another tunnel, also leaves Italy. In the background may be seen the city of Menton and its Old Port, in the background to the left of the photo.
France and Italy have two road border crossing places where their borders meet at the Mediterranean and the upper photo on the right was taken from the upper border crossing, near the former Italian customs house.
The lower photo was taken close to the border crossing itself. This view was obtained at the lower crossing, near sea-level.
In terms of the profusion of Mediterranean visitor attractions, it is often said that the best Greek ruins may be seen in southern Italy, and that the best Roman ruins may be seen in southern France. Well, to this widely stated perception may be added another suggestion: the best views of the Pearl of France may be seen from Italy at Grimaldi, near Ventimiglia.
Grimaldi and Menton may thus be said to contribute to each other's photogeneity.
Grimaldi, near Ventimiglia, is in the Liguria region of Italy.
February 6, 2013
Also worth seeing
In Grimaldi itself, with its clifftop Mediterranean views and Grimaldi Tower, is Balzi Rossi, which has an archeological museum and caves.
In Ventimiglia (approx. distance: 8 kilometres) visitor attractions include the Medieval Cathedral and the Sant' Agostino and the San Michele churches; the Palazzo comunale , is a municipal building in Rationalist style; there are remains of a Roman amphitheatre.
How to get there:
Alitalia flies to Genoa (Aeroporto di Genova ); there are rail links from Genoa to Ventimiglia. The nearest sizable international airport to Grimaldi is Nice, France (Aéroport Nice Côte d'Azur ). Delta Airlines flies direct from New York to Nice. The French railroad company SNCF serves stations between Nice and Ventimiglia (French: Vintimille ); the nearest railroad station to Grimaldi is Menton-Garavan, over the French border, which is withing walking distance of Ponte San Luigi. Enquire also at Nice Airport for bus links to nearby Menton, France. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. You are advised to refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.