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Visiting Ventimiglia, Italy and its Palazzo Comunale: municipal architecture in Italian Rationalist style

Updated on February 19, 2016
Flag of Italy
Flag of Italy | Source
Municipality of Ventimiglia
Municipality of Ventimiglia | Source

Italian civic confidence from the 20th century

The 'Palazzo comunale', or Municipal Palace (1), in Ventimiglia, Imperia province in Liguria region, Italy, is one of the main landmarks of the city.

Some features

The buidling is a fine example of the Italian Rationalist architectural style. This style was in vogue in the mid-20th century and this post-World War Two municipal building was influenced by it.

Situated at Piazza della Libertà , the building is characterized by a square pillared frontage, with two balconies, and a tall tower. Sometimes the 'Palazzo comunale' is referred to simply as 'il Municipio' (Italian: the Municipality).

The proximity of the sea, and the presence of palm trees in the vicinity of the building, gives a definite Southern, Mediterranean context to this example of Rationalist architecture.

One of the striking features which drew my attention during my visit was the enormous Italian flag which was flying from the building. This, too, was the case with the photographer who took the picture of the building which I am using for this article.

Interestingly, the Municipality maintains a Webcam from the vantage point of the tower of the 'Palazzo Comunale' and the resulting wide views of the nearby coastal area made available are impressive. More broadly, the municipality's tower maintains a commanding presence over the coastline, evocative of an ancient watchtower: in the Middle Ages, local sentries would keep a lookout for sometimes hostile shipping variously of Genoese and Saracen provenance.


(1) The use of the word 'Palazzo' (palace) to refer to a large public building is not unusual in Italy.

Map location of Liguria, Italy
Map location of Liguria, Italy | Source

Also worth seeing

In Ventimiglia itself, which exists on two, distinct upper and lower levels, there are various church buildings of architectural note, including the Medieval Cathedral, and San Michele and Sant' Agostino churches. There are remains of Roman amphitheatre in the city. The Hanbury Gardens attract many visitors.

Balzi Rossi (distance: 8.2 kilometres), situated near the French border, contain caves of archeological interest.


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 Ventimiglia 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). For up to date information, please check with the airline or your travel agent. Please 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.

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