Really it would be better to say to meet the three cities of Ventimiglia. The first one, archaeological, of Roman epoch is put in it oriental departs of the modern city and it is an example of museum to open sky.
Tall on the fortress the medieval Ventimiglia dominates the Right Bank of the Roia River. It is distinguished from far because of fits mighty enclosure of boundaries, his cathedral of Assunta, the baptistery to octagonal plant and the convent of the Canonichesses lateranensis.
Between these two rises modern Ventimiglia. In the center city elegant buildings with their eclectic style, furnished shops, tourist services, hotel and place for fun, beaches, promise holiday boredom.
Situated on the Mediterranean's Italian Riviera, just east of Menton and the French-Italian border, the caves are at the southern limit of the hilly massif of the Alps, which extends to the sea along the coast, separating the Italian territory of Liguria to the east from Provence and the basin of the Rhône River in France to the west. This particular topography meant that the Balzi Rossi caves were en route - as well as a convenient stopping point - for those who traveled through or lived in this region over the millennia. During the Upper Paleolithic period, the obstacle of the Alpine glaciers made a stop at the caves obligatory. The Gravettians (creators of the figurines) inhabited the caves, by their predecessors in an earlier Palaeolithic age and by their successors in more recent epochs.
Documents from the period and more recent discoveries confirm that the Balzi Rossi held traces of a long series of occupations: the caves were inhabited first by the Mousterians or Neanderthals over 35,000 years ago, during the Middle Palaeolithic period, and later by a succession of cultures - Aurignacian, Gravettian and Epigravettian, during the Upper Palaeolithic period.
The Grotta del Principe yielded a fragment of thing bone belonging to a pre-Neanderthal woman who walked erect. This is the oldest human fragment ever found in Italy. The famous 'triple burial', the skeletons of a Cro-Magnon adult male, girl and young boy, was discovered in the Barma Grande.
Between 1883 and 1895, Louis Alexandre Jullien discovered fifteen figurines at the Balzi Rossi. This is the largest series ever found in one place in Western Europe, and the pieces can be traced back to the Gravettian chronology and culture. Seven of the figurines were displayed in an exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Civilization (Ottawa) in 1995.
With the exception of The Mask, all of these carvings can be seen as variations on the Palaeolithic Venus, a model that we now recognize as fundamental to the artistic repertoire of the Eurasian Upper Palaeolithic. Research shows that this model occurs, with regional variations, in many places in Western Europe, Central Europe (the Czech Republic and Slovakia, for example), Eastern Europe (Ukraine and the Russian plain) and even in the Lake Baykal region of Siberia.
In most cases, the figurines are miniature sculptures of well-rounded female nudes, fashioned - depending on the region - from ivory, antler or soft stone, and sometimes even clay, which was later fired. The treatment seems to have followed certain rules, the most obvious being an overemphasis of the fleshy parts of the body (buttocks, stomach and chest) and, at times, an explicit portrayal of various sexual attributes.
These and other finds (including the reproduction of the beautiful real-life figure of a horse from the cavern del Caviglione) are on view in the Museo Nazionale dei Balzi Rossi open 9-13, 14,30-19,30 (closed Mondays). Guided tours of the caves every 3/4 of an hour, weather conditions permitting.
Among the numerous Italian and foreign gardens, which may be visited today, the Hanbury Botanic Gardens occupy quite a special place. The gardens that are stretched by the promontory of the Mortola between few steps from Latte, fraction of Ventimiglia. The Hanbury Botanic Gardens were created in 1867 when Sir Thomas Hanbury, holidaying on the Côte d’Azur, was struck by the beauty of Cape Mortola, near Ventimiglia, and began to purchase, piece by piece, part of the land which later amounted to eighteen hectares. A pastureland zone was involved, bounded on three sides, by mountains, which protected it from the wind, and to the southeast, washed by a flawless sea.
Thanks to the particular geographical position and the consequent microclimate, here can cohabit quietly stains of Mediterranean vegetation together with the more disparate exotic kinds. Visitors may not expect to find a garden rich with borders and regularly set flowers-beds and not even well-kept lawns: involved, rather, is an ensemble of plants living freely, which bloom, fruits and produce fertile seeds, thus completing the biological cycle they have in nature. Into the gardens, splendidly preserved by the institute of Botany of the university in Genoa, it’s possible to spend a whole afternoon to the search of botanical curiosity but also in her contemplation of an unforgettable landscape. The gardens (extended on an area from the mountains to the sea) contain about 5.000 different types of plants from the five continents. In the lower part of the gardens it is still possible to see a part of the Roman via Julia Augusta.
The sea is a basic part of Italian culture. After a day of fishing, local fishermen spend the remainder of daylight enjoying each other's company and re-living their experiences.
Students walk and travel by public transportation to school each day.
Genoa Aquarium and port area provide educational experiences for field trips.
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