San Remo is the pearl of the Riviera of Flowers, a corner of paradise at the extreme west of Liguria. It boasts an ideal microclimate 12 months of the year, favored by the sea and the sun that blesses the coast all year round, and the Maritime Alps that form a protective shield around it, sheltering it from the cold winds from the north.
The City of Flowers offers a long coastline of sandy beaches, with many establishments offering every comfort for anyone who wants to spend a relaxing and pleasant holiday with family and children.
The sea that bathes San Remo forms part of the Pelagos Sanctuary of Cetaceans, and you can catch sight of these extraordinary inhabitants of the Mediterranean at any time of year. Tours are organized that go out to sea to observe the whales, a unique experience to be enjoyed by the whole family in the heart of the Ligurian Sea.
San Remo is also a city in which it is great to go shopping, with a pedestrian center that offers a huge choice of elegant clothing from boutiques and stores selling the top Italian and international brands. You can stroll along Corso Matteotti where the legendary Ariston Theater is found, take a selfie with the statue of Mike Bongiorno, and walk amongst the “plaques” placed in the pavement that record all the winners of the San Remo Song Festival from 1951 up to today.
Naturally not forgetting the nearby streets and lanes, via Palazzo, Via Roma, Via Corradi, Piazza San Siro….and as you walk along you will become aware of a tantalizing aroma emanating from some bakery or other – be sure to ask for a nice piece of Sardenara, one of the gastronomic delights of the City of Flowers – you won’t regret it!
The history of San Remo is made up of many layers and many facets; its most ancient and secret heart is undoubtedly La Pigna, the original medieval quarter that clings to a hillside, with its intricate pattern of tiny piazzas and carrugi, laneways, arrow loops, ancient ramparts, blind alleys, buttresses and stone walls that murmur the thousands of stories lived by the people who built it and resided there … culminating at the top with the Sanctuary of the Madonna of the Coast which rises up above the city to overlook and guard over the territory.
Returning down to level ground we find the cathedral of the city, the San Siro Basilica Concattedrale, an ancient religious center that together with the Baptistery of San Giovanni reveals an intense and evocative glimpse of an earlier San Remo.
Another side of San Remo to discover is without doubt that of the Liberty style, the Belle Epoque that left an intense and important impression on the City of Flowers. You only have to consider the San Remo Casino, built in the first few years of the 19th century, that has always been an undisputed symbol of the Riviera city. Other than this, San Remo boasts many villas, palaces and hotels constructed in those years that display the floral Art Nouveau style of the era, reminding us that it was exactly in this period that San Remo became one of the legendary symbols of tourism and sophistication.
The Casino of San Remo is one of four found in Italy and has been in operation for over a hundred years; apart from being famous for its games, its green tables and slot machines, its Teatro dell’Opera is an important cultural location, which over the years has hosted the great names of literature, of the theatre and of national and international music, as well as important conferences, high-level theatrical seasons, concerts by the most important orchestras, and events of many different kinds. In 1930 Luigi Pirandello became its artistic director, and in the 1930’s literary Mondays began, organized by the poet Luigi Pastonchi, which in time were transformed into literary Tuesdays. In 1951 the Italian Song Festival began in the salons of the Casino. Concerts of the San Remo Symphony Orchestra are held in the Casino Theatre.
It would be impossible to talk about San Remo without acknowleging it as a city of gardens, referred to as the City of Flowers and known around the world for its very special microclimate that rewards it with mild winters and creates the perfect environment for nurturing plants, even those of a tropical nature, that are raised and flourish in its luxuriant gardens and parks. The city is rich in palms of many species, and the main gardens to take note of are the Park of Villa Ormond and that of Villa Nobel. Both are found in Corso Cavalloti and both contain villas of great elegance and historic importance, Villa Ormond and Villa Nobel, which was the last residence of the Swedish scientist who died there in 1896. The Corso Imperatrice is also of historical relevance for its palms that were donated by the Empress of Russia, Maria Alexandrovna, in 1874. The Marsaglia Gardens with its adjoining auditorium for open-air performances is found in Corso Imperatrice and is home to old and rare tropical plants.
Sanremo City of Sport in 2018
San Remo was named City of Sport for the year 2018 and it is certainly the ideal place to practice every kind of sporting activity all year round. The sea offers countless possibilities for those who love sailing and all kinds of water sports. The cycle path that crosses the city and winds for 24 km linking all the municipalities along the coast is perfect for bike enthusiasts, or runners, or for anyone who simply wants to enjoy a walk marveling at the incredible panomamic view between sky and sea, immersed in the aromatic greenery of Mediterranean plants and flowers. A few kilometers from the coast you will find a magnificent inland area that winds around the edge of San Remo, and from the beaches you can find yourself at 800m at San Romolo and then climb further to the 1,300m of Monte Bignone, all in the same municipality! Ideal places for anyone who wants to savor the trails from the seat of a mountain bike or those who love trekking between the sea and the mountains.
San Remo is also the perfect destination for golf enthusiasts with its 18 hole Ulivi golf course where you can play 12 months of the year. The City of Flowers also offers a riding establishment in the Solaro area and an athletics track in the Pian di Roma area. The choice of where to begin to discover San Remo is up to you!