For those of you who watch Heroes, Ventimiglia will be an Italo-American, all-flying, all-teleporting, multi-purpose dreamboat called Milo, who sports a razor-sharp jaw and flawless skin. For the rest of you, it’s a one-horse town on the Franco-Italian border that, at some point in history, lost its horse.
Friday morning and early afternoon are best spent ambling through the town’s weekly market, which sprawls along the promenade, its myriad stalls selling wares that range from good quality, inexpensive and delicious food: cheeses, oils, olives, and dried meats; to outrageously naff designer rip-offs; handbags, belts, sunglasses, bling, blang, best ignored – you could end up arrested for selling contraband at the French border.
Trains return to France infrequently after 3pm, and we found ourselves stranded until 11pm after an evening spent trudging around in search of a decent restaurant by the bay (on a Friday night!)
My mother and I were reduced, for nearly two hours, to sipping (delicious) red wine, in near silence, at a tiny café opposite the town’s cinema. Near silence, for those of you who know my mother, is rare, but we were rendered speechless by the tangible sense of inertia that seemed to hang, like dustsheets in an abandoned house, softly over the town.
So watch Heroes, stick to Milo, and give the town a miss.