European Adventure 2013


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Europe » Italy » Liguria » Ventimiglia
September 30th 2013
Published: October 1st 2013
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Ventimiglia - Hanbury Botanic GardensVentimiglia - Hanbury Botanic GardensVentimiglia - Hanbury Botanic Gardens

View from Gardens over the Mediterranean Sea
We were surprised to find a place called Hanbury Botanic Gardens in the town of Ventimiglia Italy but were attracted to it as it was voted No 1 attraction in the town on Trip Advisor. The gardens occupy 45 acres of land and were constructed by a very wealthy Englishman called Thomas Hanbury in the 1870s. They were sold to the Italian State in 1960 by Hanbury’s daughter-in-law, then in 1987 they were entrusted to the University of Genoa who continue to manage them. A magnificent Palazzo on the property was originally built in the 11thCentury but has been modified and added to over the years. It is only one of many beautiful structures on the property including temples, fountains, statues, covered archways and family memorials. The gardens which were terraced down to the Mediterranean Sea, contained plants from all over the world, many in themed areas including to our surprise, an Australian native forest. There were amazing collections of cacti and a pond with lots of captivating little tortoises. An ancient Roman Way, the Via Aurelia, passes through the property.

After lunch we headed into the hills above Ventimiglia to the town of Dolceaqua, famous for its wine, old
Ventimiglia - Hanbury Botanic GardensVentimiglia - Hanbury Botanic GardensVentimiglia - Hanbury Botanic Gardens

Tortoises sunning themselves in one of the ponds
bridge (subject of a painting by Monet in 1884) and castle reached after a strenuous climb through the tortuous alleyways of the ancient 12th Century town. There were lovely views down the Val Nervia which stretches 20km to the sea from the Alpes Maritimes mountain ridges.

Another interesting attraction was watching a game of European handball played by two teams in a very vigorous fashion in the town square. On occasions, the ball would soar up 4 storeys into someone’s balcony and many times looked like it would break a window or hit the beautiful church that bordered the square. Many locals were gathered to watch the game on chairs alongside or hanging out of windows. Back to Ventimiglia where we had a glass of wine and a “scratch meal” from the local deli on the balcony of our B&B as all restaurants were closed, it being Mon night!


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Ventimiglia - Hanbury Botanic GardensVentimiglia - Hanbury Botanic Gardens
Ventimiglia - Hanbury Botanic Gardens

Temple (based on a Moroccan temple) designed by an Italian architect
Ventimiglia - Hanbury Botanic GardensVentimiglia - Hanbury Botanic Gardens
Ventimiglia - Hanbury Botanic Gardens

Via Aurelia - ancient Roman Way on which many famous people have walked
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Dolceaqua

Bridge immortalised by Monet with 11th Century castle in background
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Dolceaqua

Alleyways in the old town
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Dolceaqua

View from the castle up the Val Nervia to the Mountains
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Dolceaqua

View from the castle of the "new town"


Tot: 2.692s; Tpl: 0.018s; cc: 10; qc: 49; dbt: 0.0306s; 2; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.4mb