Restaurants in Ventimiglia: a guide to the Italian city’s new dining and leisure scene

Ventimiglia has undergone a major transformation with the opening of Cala del Forte, and the new marina has established the coastal Italian town as a hub of culinary delights and leisure activities that complement its famous farmers markets and diverse shopping options.

The Cala del Forte marina was inaugurated by Prince Albert on 2nd July 2021. This new addition, located just a brief journey from Monaco and owned by the Principality, has been developed by Monaco Ports and is part of a major new economic strategy for Ventimiglia.

With the new marina comes new opportunity, both in the water and on land. One of the most visible is the emerging culinary scene that is steadily growing in popularity.

New culinary highlights

Just next to Cala del Forte, Margunaira stands out as a destination for Argentinian cuisine enthusiasts. Here, visitors can savour the rich flavours of dry-aged châteaubriand steak and traditional empanadas washed down with a selection of fine wines from the nation. Some of the best come from the Mendoza region.

Margunaira offers spectacular food and hearty Argentinian dishes. Photo by Monaco Life

Pasta e Basta, a long-standing favourite in the town for 30 years, recently refreshed its look alongside the marina’s development. The restaurant offers a distinctive dining experience, inviting guests to choose from a variety of homemade pastas presented on a tray and then pair them with their choice of freshly prepared sauces.

As one ventures into Cala del Forte, a range of other gastronomic experiences await. Olivia, a quaint establishment, serves up delightful gelato, pastries and coffee. It is the ideal spot for those seeking a quick refreshment.

La Tana del Porto emerges as a premier destination for those looking to unwind and socialise, especially during its live music-filled aperitivo hours. With a terrace that offers a view of the port, the ambience is perfect for a relaxed evening. Adding to the charm is their dynamic weekly cocktail menu, and among their culinary highlights, the rabbit leg alla Liguria comes highly recommended.

For a diverse culinary journey, Palosanto offers a vibrant blend of Argentinian cuisine and South American wines, complemented by the energy of live DJ music. This place caters to all dining needs, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, and remains a lively spot for after-dinner drinks. It is open from 8am to 1am.

Vibrant South American cuisine combines with excellent wines from the New World in Palosanto. Photo by Monaco Life

Marixx, a more upscale dining choice, caters to dinner crowds from Tuesday to Sunday and lunch guests from Wednesday to Sunday. It is renowned for its raw bar, seafood pasta and oyster bar. This establishment is the brainchild of Chef Riccardo Marcenaro, a prominent figure in the culinary scene of the Riviera di Ponente. His approach to cuisine is about preserving traditional Italian culinary art while infusing it with touches of elegant modernity.

More than just dining

The port area is also poised to welcome new attractions like Minimall, a collection of luxury boutiques, and already houses the Boutsen classic cars store, a gym, a café-bistro and various yachting agencies.

At just a short distance from Monaco, Ventimiglia’s Cala del Forte is well-positioned to serve the overflow of yacht owners, sailors and visitors from the Principality. Photo by Monaco Life

Cala del Forte’s strategic location and regular maritime transfers to Monaco via the high-speed shuttle Monaco One ensure seamless connectivity. This marina is a centrepiece in Ventimiglia’s evolution into a destination that offers a blend of gastronomic and leisure experiences.

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La Rocca: work starts on haute cuisine restaurant in Ventimiglia


All photos by Monaco Life