Ventimiglia is located at the mouth of the River Roia where it flows into the Ligurian Sea. The Roia divides the city into two zones, the Medieval Part, the so-called "Upper Ventimiglia," and the modern town, built from the beginning of the 19th century on the Left Bank.

According to historians, the original settlement was founded by the tribe of the Ligurian Intemelian in prehistoric times, with the name of “Albium Intemelium”.

Origins of the name Albium Intermelium / Ventimiglia

According to the most reliable studies, the etymology refers to the concept of "city (“Albium”or “Albom”) of the Ligurian Intemelian (“Intermelium”) [1]. The two words then merged into “Albintimilium” (the classical Latin name of the town) through a form of “Vintimilium”, referred to popularly as as “Vigintimilium” [Twenty Miles]). In the Middle Ages it was renamed “Vintimilia”.

History of Ventimiglia in ancient times

In ancient times the settlement developed as a maritime and agricultural center; Ventimiglia was first an outpost against the Greeks of Marseille, and with the "Ingauni" of Albenga, perhaps it allied with Carthage during the Second Punic War.

Then, after a period of hostilities with Rome, in 180 BC, it came under Rome's control and accepted its laws. Probably in the first century BC, the Ligurian Intemelian acquired  the title of “municipium”. In 49 BC it obtained Roman citizenship from Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) and it was called "Albintimilium" in the Augustan Age.

In Roman times the city was enriched with villas, aqueducts, fountains, a public forum, a theater and baths.

History of Ventimiglia since the Middle Ages

In 1251, after the domination of the Counts of Ventimiglia, the Genoese captured the city. From that time the city followed the fortunes and fates of Genoa, passing in the 18th century under the Napoleonic rule, and then later under the Savoy control.

With Unification it finally entered into the Kingdom of Italy in 1861. Between the 19th and 20th century Ventimiglia had a substantial demographic increase, and the lower part of the city had a large commercial and cultural development, accompanied by the discovery of new archaeological sites, which prove the antiquity of human settlements here.

Today Ventimiglia, for its environmental and cultural characteristics has become a tourist center of major importance, which also has rediscovered the ancient traditions, such as the Battle of the Flowers, historical parades and Flag-wavers.

See the travel guide for Ventimiglia.


1. See A. Gandolfo," The Province of Imperia: History, Arts, Traditions, Blu Edition , 2005