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Ventimiglia: Romantic Casa Lorenzina B&B

Phone: 347.1611045

Reviewed by: Sebastiano M from Italy, review #2960

When: September 2010

Rough Mediterranean Paradise

from the terrace, photo by Sebastiano Mangone

Romantic Casa Lorenzina is not a hotel, but a small B&B occupying an apartment in a farmer's house not very well maintained outside. Premises are reached from the state road via a steep concrete-coated road approx. 250 yards long. You park alongside the road itself, and you must walk 70 yards to the house.

The first impression is to be in the middle of nowhere. The sea view is more than scenic, yet the access road to the house is wild, with only partly cultivated plants, mostly local untamed vegetation and olive trees. We rang their mobile, so we found the Host waiting for us, a friendly senior man, he also helped with our bulky luggage.

House lays isolated on a hillside facing south to the sea: unless you are a passionate walker you need a car to go anywhere.

Approximately one mile the nearby village has bank, supermarket, drugstore and all facilities. I drive a roadster, a perfect occasion to enjoy driving, even short distance, in the sun. I closed the top only at night.

Casa Lorenzina is mid way between Ventimiglia and the border with France, the first French town being Menton.

Ventimiglia highlight is the upper medieval part, perched right on the river, in an imposing position, with several clusters of houses built one attached to the other according to the different time frames of construction. It was very picturesque; space lacking the houses grow in height. The irregular arrangement of buildings, arches, canopies and religious shrines always create different angles and does not leave space for monotony.

We enjoyed a lot browsing through the stands of the huge Friday Market downtown.

Our host - actually the all-in-one man speaks many languages (presently studies Russian) and is quite knowledgeable of the area, tales and history, it was entertaining listening to that during breakfast. We owe him the chance to see and visit many places off the beaten path, you know - picturesque inland villages, natural swimming pools formed by a small river, those insiders' places that unless someone tells you...

During the week we spent there he recommended us small, romantic beach restaurants, but also low-priced eateries, no luxury no frills but local family cooking that we enjoyed even too much. One of those is at walking distance - one night we walked there, and we drank a lot without the police nightmare. It is incredibly cheap, yet clean and good food, not a tourist place indeed, quite local.

B&B premises include a small terraced garden and a solarium area with a funny sort of beach hut, with a queen-size mattress, my girl read there while I got to sleep in a few seconds, maybe the silence I'm no longer used to... He got us some beer, it was a real dream lingering there in front of the terrific scenery of the sea.

By the way, the host breeds Brazilian parrots and Love Birds, you know the small parrots? Cute, not that noisy.

You would never ever expect, considering the almost shabby outdoors, a room so nicely appointed and comfortable.

Haven't seen the other, ours was large and sun filled, antique furniture but not the museum look they usually have, the large flat TV , the colour shades, all-in-all it was very cozy. Immaculate clean, my girl (a cleanout maniac) passed the finger over the shelves, no dust, she even looked under the bed, all right. Every day they change towels, I loved the soft terrycloth bathrobes.

Wi-Fi broadband is free, good signal. One night it was sort of rainy, they switched central heating on without asking.

Early evening be prepared to hear the frogs serenade, however stops around 9-10.

The area, especially Monte Carlo, Monaco, Cannes and Saint-Tropez is quite expensive. Draught beer, not a pint for sure, was E16 in a pub, old town of Nice. In Monaco we enjoyed an American pub, Stars 'n' Bars, quite casual, good music, reasonably priced. At a table not far from us we recognized a very famous top model who looked quite at ease far from the risk of paparazzi.

Price I paid for this double room was 87Ä per night (2 people) including breakfast. Suppose there isnít a star-rating for this kind of accommodation in Italy, here in my opinion we should split the value: outdoors are 1 star, room 3 stars at least.

All-in-all I love this place, canít wait to linger on the bed again and watch the unbelievable sea view, yet it is not suitable for everybody. Those who go for luxury villas and orderly, polished exteriors and lawns are going to be disappointed, this is a paradise for genuine, pristine nature lovers only.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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