One wonderful thing about living in the Riviera is that we are a mere 20 minutes from the Italian border. Ventimiglia, the border town, is positively icky. But drive about 30-40 minutes farther, up into the mountains, and you’ll discover another world.
Dolceaqua (freshwater) is a lovely medieval town from the 12th century. It was later conquered by Charles III of Savoy in the 15th century. On the right bank, many of the shops and restaurants are under archways/tunnels that lead up the mountain.
There is a great wine bar and several B&Bs. On the more modern right bank, there are many pizzerias and trattorias around the town square.
Further up the mountain is one of our favorite towns – Apricale. It is classified as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy! Its origins date back to the Bronze age.
The village is entirely pedestrian and there are two fabulous restaurants with food at a pretty reasonable price, given the quality.
A visit here, if you’re staying in Nice or Monaco, is very worthwhile!