On the way, we stopped at this small medieval church. This is the back of the church, its most interesting aspect.
There were some really beautiful old frescoes inside this simple place of worship.
They covered the walls and the dome of the altar.
Behind the church was a graveyard, where both Riccardo's and Marina's parents are buried.
Dolceacqua is a charming medieval town with narrow cobblestone streets and buildings that are as high as six stories and a fortress at the top of the hill to defend the town.
The Nevia River divides the old town from the newer part.
And this old Roman bridge connects the two.
This was the way up. My mountain goat muscles got a workout. I love all the arches in these Italian towns. Riccardo explained to me that they actually have an architectural function of holding things together.
And this is the old fortress at the pinnacle. Dolceacqua is a pretty peaceful town that draws a few tourists who prefer to be off the beaten path.
That fortress doesn't look like much of a climb from this perspective.
After a delicious Ligurian lunch prepared by Marina, the three of us set off for Menton--my first step into FRANCIA! I was really excited to be in another country.
It seems that every 10 steps you take in Italy or France, there's a photo op. This coastline is stunningly beautiful.
Me and Riccardo with a background of seascape.
Down at sea level, there was a beautiful beach with white sand and this really interesting tree.
You might think Marina and I are in Florida, but we're in FRANCE!
Menton has a population of about 26,000 and is nicknamed "The Pearl of the Sea".
This is the baroque basilica of Saint-Michel-Archange.
And this is a view of the backdrop against which this town sits. Either way you look there's stunning beauty.
The Bastion Museum features decoration by Jean Cocteau, a French artist who spent several years in Menton.
It was a really pleasant afternoon, strolling along the promenade, enjoying the fine weather, lovely beaches, town scenery, and each other's company.
And the day was topped off with another delicious meal ala Marina.