Ventimiglia (from Latin Albintimilium) is located a few kilometers from the border with France, in the province of Imperia. It is divided into two zones: the upper part, medieval, perched right on the river Roia, and the lower part located, between the Roia and the Nervia, on the flat part of the coast. The old centre rises in an imposing position and is easily distinguished for all corners of the plain. The urban structure is characterized by the presence of several clusters of houses, which are built one to each other according to the different time frames of construction: Like in most of the centers of Liguria, due to the lack of space, the houses grow in height. The irregular arrangement of buildings, arches, canopies and religious shrines create always different angles and do not leave space for monotony.
The Romans built here the settlement of Albintimilium, a "Castrum" (a fortified camp), placed in a strategic location on the Via Iulia Augusta, that was built on the ruins of the preexisting "Oppidum" ( a fortified centre), known with the name Album Itermelium. The city submitted its decline around the IV or V century A.D. , due the decline of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the barbarian invasions. Around the year 1000, Ventimiglia ruled over several centers of the interior and a section of coast and controlled the road leading from Rome to France and the connections between the Piedmont and the Ligurian hinterlands. The natural harbor shelter of the river Roia made the city an important trading centre. In 1526, the city experienced a second phase of decline and suffered severe damage to homes and city walls, with the conquest of the Grimaldi's of Genoa.
During the French Revolution the city was, for a short time, the capital of the department and with the arrival of the railway it became a Border and Customs station.
ITINERARY FOR VISIT:
The city walls, Nice and Porta Piemonte.
The Romanesque cathedral and the coeval baptistry.
The Palazzo Pubblico, a famous medieval building.
La Loggia of the Magistrate dell'Abbondanza (of Abundance).
The Theater and the Oratory of San Secondo.
The Church of S. Francescco, building of '400, rebuilt in the Baroque period.
The Church of S. Michael, medieval building, which has been rebuilt, but preserves a crypt of the XI century.
The Funtanin, a fountain created in the V century.