We left Cinque Terre at 7:30 am on the train to Genoa where we would switch trains. Genoa is a huge sea port… there are at least 8 train stations. We had a 2 hour wait for our connection to Ventimiglia so we stepped outside the train station to look for a suitable breakfast spot… choosing the Grand Savoia Hotel on the other side of the Christopher Columbus Plaza … his huge monument in the center. Full buffet breakfast at the hotel…very swanky and really delicious.
Arriving in Ventimiglia, we discovered there was a French Rail workers strike happening which was disrupting the schedules and we didn’t know if we would be able to continue on to Menton (just across the French/Italian border)… our train did go so we got lucky… others heading to the Nice airport did not.
We arrived in Menton around 3:30, easily found our hotel, checked in and set right out for an exploration specifically to find St. Michael’s Bascilica and the picturesque cemetery high above the city.
Climbing, climbing we admired this very colorful city with most buildings some shade of yellow and the windows in every other color. We arrived at the Bacilica to discover a wedding in progress. This meant I couldn’t get great shots but I did managed to sneak in a few. The Bacilica is dedicated to St. Michael, Menton’s patron Saint, and also my favorite Archangel. There are several statues and frescoes of him throughout the church. The ceiling fresco in particular is commanding.
Outside the church in the piazza, you get a sweeping views of the harbour below. We continued climbing even higher through charming narrow streets hardly what we’d call an alley. Up, up until we reached the cemetary… for the best views over the entire city. Exactly stunning.
A light rain started falling as we descended back to sea level so we made tracks for our hotel to relax and catch up on some blogging. This is the first WiFi I have had since Capri, so I had lots of photos to upload and text to write. A glass of French wine was enjoyed during this time.
Blogging completed, we set out for an evening stroll to see the lights only to discover that Menton shuts down at 10pm. All was quiet… hardly anyone about. We walked past the casino and along the waterfront until we found a late night pizzeria open. There, we shared a pizza and called it a night. Menton is lovely and only a 10 minutes train ride from Monte Carlo (we’ll go there tomorrow).