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Published: August 23rd 2019
We knew at some point we'd have to venture out to Ventimiglia. It's the first town across the border in Italy and only an hour away. Last year when we were here we ventured out there and happened upon a great little restaurant called Da Daniele. We all sat on their outside patio, I had white wine and a delicious Tiramisu, everyone else had pasta vongole (clams). Anyway apparently the pasta and clams were so delicious it was already decided that we'd make the drive to Da Daniele a tradition should we ever be in this neck of the woods again........
So we climbed in the car and headed East towards Italy not knowing the difficulties that lay ahead. We like to travel on the base corniche which is picturesque and pass through all the sweet little beach towns. The last town in France is Menton and as we are passing through the intensely crowded Monte Carlo we are stopped by a detour sign. There would be no easy crossing through Menton today. Terry had his trusty google maps going and it redirected us to head North up the hill. The next thing I know we are heading towards La
Turbie up on the grand corniche and very far away from the seaside town of Ventimiglia. We did reach the top many miles later and then we slowly descended back toward the sea and the border. Terry and Tom successfully navigated us onto the A-8 highway where we finally felt we were on our way. Terry who was keeping a keen eye on google maps noted that at the border there seemed to be slower traffic, what we did not expect was that the traffic was actually stopped. We crossed the border into Italy and inched along the only road to Ventimiglia for 2 hours. We kept thinking surely there has been a horrific accident and we expected to see ambulances and many police cars at some point along the road but there was never a shred of evidence that an accident had occurred. While we patiently waited our turn to inch forward on the one lane into town multiple cars passed us on the right then butted in at the front of the line. We did finally arrive at the entrance to Ventimiglia. There is a 5 point "round about" right as you are entering and there were many
policemen on foot trying to direct hundreds of cars from 5 different directions through this small portal. Total time to get here 3 hours. It was exhausting but we were determined to have lunch at Da Daniele. At last we arrived, drove around the block a few times looking for parking then walked to the beach for lunch.
The day was hot and we appreciated the slight sea breezes, we enjoyed watching the locals play in the water and once again the food was scrumptious. (they added pizza to their menu which was lucky for me). Three hours to get here and lunch only took an hour and a half. We wanted to get going back to our little corner of France but procrastinated thinking about the nightmarish traffic we would likely incur on the way back. Finally resigned to the idea that it would be a long journey, the sooner we start the sooner we'll get back; we got up and made our way to the car and head to France.
I'm ending this quickly by just saying the trip back was much speedier than the trip in. There was a considerable slow down at the border
mostly because you needed to pay a toll. Once on the A-8 heading West it was pretty much a breeze.
I am noting that there was no discussion of the need to go back to Da Daniele on any future trip (so much for tradition) but at least for now I have added Italy to the many countries Tom and I have visited this year.
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