Green bower in Villa Hanbury Botanic Gardens, near Ventimiglia.

© Valeria Cantone/Shutterstock

Giardini Botanici Hanbury


Established in 1867 by English businessman Sir Thomas Hanbury, the 18-hectare Villa Hanbury estate is planted with 5800 botanical species from five continents, including cacti, palm groves and citrus orchards. Today it's a protected area, under the care of the University of Genoa.

Take bus 1 from Via Cavour in Ventimiglia (there's a stop two blocks from the train station beside a Calzedonia shop) to 'La Mortola' stop. The bus continues on to the Ponte San Lodovico frontier post, from where you can walk down to the Balzi Rossi caves and beach on the French border.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Ventimiglia attractions

2. Centro Storico

2.41 MILES

The small village on the hill is upper Ventimiglia, home to one of the largest historic centres in the Italian Riviera. Medieval walls surround the lofty…

3. Musée du Bastion

2.42 MILES

Cocteau loved Menton. It was following a stroll along the seaside that he got the idea of turning a disused 17th-century bastion (1636) on the seafront…

4. Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta

2.43 MILES

A must-see when exploring the historic centre, this cathedral has original 13th-century elements, including a portal with an acute arch, Romanesque…

5. Basilique St-Michel Archange

2.45 MILES

From place du Cap a ramp leads to southern France's grandest Baroque church, the 17th-century Italianate Basilique St-Michel Archange. Its olive green and…

6. Cimetière du Vieux Château

2.52 MILES

For great views of the old town and the port, meander all the way up through the historic quarter to this hilltop cemetery. It's something of a pilgrimage…

8. Mercato del Venerdì

2.66 MILES

Ventimiglia is best known for its huge Friday market when hundreds of stalls sell food, clothes, leather goods, homewares, baskets and everything else…