We were not on holiday in Italy, in fact it was not even in our plans to go to Italy. We were in the south of France. So when it was suggested that we get a train and drop by Ventimiglia for dinner, we thought why not. A short journey from Monte Carlo and you are in another country, how bizarre.
Now Ventimiglia is an interesting place, not least because it is the surname of one of my favourite actors. Milo Ventimiglia, the love of my life. Actor in Heroes, originally one of my favourite shows too until the second season hit our screens. Anyway, back to Ventimiglia, the city. When you first come out of the train, it can be a little daunting with a crowd of African immigrants waiting just out the station. They stand and sit a little somewhat menacing in groups, with no where to go and nothing to do. Displaced because they are either come from troubled waters or are just chancers. I feel for Italy, apparently this is a big problem from them, especially in Rome. Boats of immigrants arrive on their doorstep and they pretty much don’t know what to do with them.
As a visitor to the town, it is not the most comfortable or appealing welcome. As we did not have a clear destination for what restaurant we wanted to visit and eat at, the thought of lingering while we look at phone maps etc filled us with dread, so we huddled together and walked quite time towards to the sea. On the seafront is where there is a collection of restaurants, mostly Italian and Mediterranean as you would expect. It is also safer and full of more settled and local individuals.
We went to one restaurant right on the sea front which had a decent review. When we got there it was way too formal and way to empty. The menu didn’t inspire us either. So as we walked along the street we saw smiling faces, heard happy chit chat and a wave of garlic floated our way. We found our spot for dinner. This is exactly what we wanted, a friendly Italian team with who appeared to be ‘the don’ working the tables, greeting folk. We were happy to be in a safe place ready for some good Italian food. And yes, the food was good. I suspect there is better to be had in Italy, but with limited time, we were happy with the result.
Samantha Vanilla and Helen decided to go for a half and half of pizza and pasta, so it was spaghetti Bolognese with ham and mushroom pizza. I went for massive grilled king prawns still its shell. I wasn’t full on hungry, so this was enough for me. A bottle of chilled Italian white wine washed it all down very well.
I am delighted that we threw caution to the wind and achieved four countries in four days, but the waiting brood at the station did nothing to add to our enjoyment. When we did finally get back to the station, they were there, but so was our train and the hottest cops I have ever seen. They were checking tickets and ID as passengers got on the train. We thought that was the last of that kind of Italian hotness, until we got to the next station and more hunks go on. Wow, Italian police are hot. My lasting memory of Ventimiglia will always be wanting the hottest police men I have ever seen to give me a thorough searching for contraband.
Passeggiata Guglielmo Oberdan 37