Balzi Rossi cliff, beach and museum
Ventimiglia, on the border between Italy and France
The Balzi Rossi cliff is a great place in Ventimiglia, just next the border between Italy and France. The Caviglione Cave has an unbelievable history, it was a prehistorical burial place and it is still possible to see some solidified remains: deposits of flints, shells, food, burial signs and remains of fires. There is also a graffito in which you can make out a horse.
In the XIX century, archaeologists investigated and they dated the site to the upper Palaeolithic, also testified to by some graffiti that look like the ones found in Akakus. There are some common elements among prehistoric men, even if they lived far from each other. For example, they used to choose for worship places with a view of a lowland, protected by the sea. Just like the Balzi Rossi cliff.
The little egg beach
The little Balzi Rossi beach of Ventimiglia is formed by unusual egg-shaped pebbles. Here, apart from eating, swimming and having some quality rest, you can catch a small electric boat and go visiting the museum. Don’t miss it!
The Prehistorical Museum
At the Balzi Rossi Museum there are important prehistoric items found in the caves in the area. They all belong to the same era, i.e. to the Gravettiano period of the Palaeolithic, about 25,000 years ago. The most important item here is the sculpture called Venus Pulcinella. Then take a look to the mold of a dead body found in the Balzi Rossi area, an example of Caviglione man. Actually it is a woman, according to the shape of the pelvis, and she lied down wearing an headgear made of shells, like the Venus of Willendorf. Women at that time could play important roles in their community!
Some other flints found here at Balzi Rossi, coming from a layer of French rock, 200 kilometres far, proves that men at that time were great travellers. What do we understand about the men and women that lived in the Balzi Rossi area 25,000 years ago? They were hunters and collectors and they had deep knowledge of the surrounding territory within hundreds of kilometres!
The Balzi Rossi Restaurant by Ms Pina
In Ventimiglia you should try the famous Balzi Rossi restaurant. The success of this restaurant is in the chef, Giuseppina Beglia, aka Ms Pina! What is the secret of her culinary talent? Just love, nothing more!
Let’s try a “simple” dish: Trenette allo scoglio (Trenette are some long and flat spaghetti, typical from Liguria, cooked with seafood). The chef explains her recipe: you just need a frying pan, some extra virgin oil, some seafood, some white wine, minced parsley and Trenette to sauté, slightly undercooked… Even a child could do it, right?! Are we sure?
Visit the official Balzi Rossi beach website
Visit the official Balzi Rossi restaurant website