Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Ventimiglia Alta - Mediaeval Ventimiglia

This is a panorama stitched together from 7 photos taken on the bridge over the River Roia [River Roya in French ]
The old mediaeval town is on the left hand side and the modern town of Ventimiglia is on the right.

I took this photo standing on the middle of the bridge-looking up the Roia valley towards the other bridge and distant mountains.
The mediaeval town of Vintimiglia is an assortment of higgledy piggledy lanes and ramshackle houses squeezed together onto a small, incredibly steep hill. You can just see the bell tower of the cathedral poking up above the rest of the buildings.

It seems very run down, poor and damp which contrasts dramatically with the mediaeval towns in France which generally seem prosperous and pristine or at least comfortable and well maintained.

It has a really interesting atmosphere and I liked the old town a lot [and plan to visit again soon] but I can see why many people don't recommend visiting as there is a forbidding look to the town as it looms over you and it doesn't have the immediate prettiness of Eze or Menton.

Two flags flying- the Italian flag and the pirate flag, the Jolly Roger. I'm not sure why the pirate's flag was flying- I saw several pirate flags flying in Vintimille.
Next time we visit I will buy a guidebook, if one exists, as I would like to find out more about the contrasting architecture in the mediaeval town. Some of the houses looked as if they were originally owned by the very wealthy and others by the very poor.
This was one of the wider streets.
Arches and tunnels often lead to little private courtyards.
Narrow dark lanes with many arches between to help support the buildings - in some places these lanes had little or no daylight -so it must have been like living underground before electric light became common. I didn't manage to take any decent photos of the very dark alleys - next time maybe.
This building showed multiple signs of use and re-use across the centuries.

Some interesting coloured laundry hanging out to dry.
The balustrades for this building were entirely trompe l'oeil painting -it was very effective , except where time had eroded the paint and destroyed the illusion.
Some interesting carved stone faces under a balcony.

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isay said...

lovely shots!

natural attrill said...

That does look like an interesting place. Thanks for showing us the photos, 'pretty' towns are in all the books and tour guides, I like to see and hear about other places.

Katia said...

What a fantastic photographic voyage. I love the shot of the laundry hanging up to dry :)

Pam said...

WOW, these photos are spectacular!