Olivetta is a tiny village, situated some 15 kilometers from Ventimiglia at a height of about 500 meters. It has close to 300 inhabitants, native Italians for the largest part.
There is one well-equipped grocery store, owned and run by Mario. Much can be purchased there, and most of what he doesn’t have available can be ordered. On Sundays he has fresh baguettes on offer, imported directly from Sospel, a neighboring village in France. Mario’s wine is of acceptable, his olive oil of extraordinary quality. Another shop, named ‘da Bruno’ after the late owner, likewise offers good wine and olive oil, plus good WiFi services. And there is Giorgia’s room-size shop, where you can purchase tasteful clothes or have them altered or repaired, and where you can order all kinds of embroidery.
The bar is a small communal hall with a large, sunny terrace where inhabitants and tourists meet. Drinks are subsidized by the diocese and therefore cheap. At the roadside to Sospel is also a pizzeria of reasonable quality. Below, at the road through Olivetta’s twin village of San Michele, is Felice’s excellent bar with good WiFi services and delicious sandwiches and salads.
During the summer Olivetta hosts many traditional festivities with local, authentic music and food. The organization may look a little amateurish, but the atmosphere, while welcoming to all foreigners, is Italian through and through.
An Italian physician has an office hour twice a week above the bar. For curing your afflicted cat or dog there are capable vets in Ventimiglia and in Sospel.
On Saturday or Sunday the traveling priest celebrates mass in the village church.
On Fridays there is a wonderful open air market in Ventimiglia, chockful with fresh vegetables, fruits and fish.