This small northern retreat in the province of Imperia is located a quick train ride away from the coastal city-state of Monaco. Home to fewer than 60,000 people and covering just 20 square miles, Ventimiglia is ripe with the historical attractions, cultural landmarks and impressive artwork of a destination three times its size.
Ancient remains of a second-century Roman theater, as well as other architectural remnants of an era long gone, rank high among the list of stops for travelers to Ventimiglia. Visitors especially love the Church of San Michele Arcangelo, which was—perhaps a little ironically—built upon the same foundation as a pagan temple in the 10th-century. And the public library is home to one of the largest collections of 17th-century manuscripts in Italy. The nearby caves of Balzi Rossi offer a more natural look at a historic past, and the Hanbury Botanical Gardens are among the biggest in all of Europe.