Balzi Rossi Coastal Path
In the far west of Liguria, a stone's throw from the border with France and the Côte d'Azur, there is a fantastic trail that, starting from the Balzi Rossi via the Aurelia road, also offers breathtaking views of Cap Martin and Menton. An all-sea-view itinerary that will allow you to experience panoramas, culture (the anthropological museum is beautiful), the Balzi Rossi caves, Villa Hanbury (with its botanical park, which we recommend you to visit in spring) and beaches where you can take a dip in the sea.
At the border
You can reach Ventimiglia on the A10 motorway and head for the Balzi Rossi car park, at the Italy-France border at Ponte San Ludovico. Here you can park and immediately reach the first building of the Balzi Rossi Museum, just below the steep rocky cliff where the caves that have yielded numerous artefacts related to Palaeolithic grave goods are located. Past the museum, the lane passes behind a pretty little beach, then climbs back up to the side of the railway after a short climb. The Grimaldi tower appears on the steep rock face, while wide views open up over Menton and Cap Martin.
The Via Julia
From the centre of the beach, two stairways underpass the railway embankment and ascend to the nearby Aurelia road, proceeding along a still well-preserved portion of the Via Julia Augusta built by the Emperor Augustus to connect the Po Valley with southern Gaul. In short, you reach the entrance to Villa Hanbury, which is of course worth a visit. Along the route, you will find a plaque commemorating famous people, from Dante to Napoleon, who passed through this historic route that connected the Italian peninsula to the South of France.
Continuing on, you will cross the old 19th century seaside promenade, dating back to the period when Sir Thomas Hanbury founded the famous gardens. The picturesque trail ends near the small beach of Cape Mortola, which can be reached in five minutes with a further stretch between the rocks (watch out for slippery sections).