Here's Why You Have To Visit San Remo
By: Aleksandra Udovenko
San Remo is the glamorous highlight of Italy’s Riviera. This sun-washed Mediterranean resort lies on the western coast of Liguria, Northern Italy and is known colloquially as the City of Flowers for the stunning blooms that fill the old-town during the summer months. With a population of 57,000, San Remo (or Sanremo) has drawn comparisons with Monte Carlo for its grandeur, gardens and climate. Here are 5 reasons why you should visit this magical city.
The weather in Italy very rarely disappoints, particularly in San Remo. The climate in western Liguria is mild throughout the year, even during the winter season. San Remo is situated on a gulf in the Ligurian Sea, and is surrounded by hills that are rich with sub-tropical flora and vegetation, all of which have helped to make the town one of the best regions for a friendly climate in Europe. In addition to enjoying the mild and pleasant heat, San Remo’s clear seawater and exquisite beaches are an attraction to local species of wildlife meaning that visitors can experience the beauty of seeing animals in their natural habitat.
The Cycle Race
The world’s longest amateur cycling event takes place during the city – the 298km Granfondo Milan – San Remo, which follows the same route as the professional one-day cycle race, the Spring Classic. Starting at the outskirts of Milan the route crosses the Lombardy and Piedmont Plains, through the Turchino and arriving at Genoa before ascending the Cipressa and the Poggio of San Remo.
The World-Renowned Music Festival
Every year San Remo stages a week-long music festival that legend has it is the inspiration behind the Eurovision Song Contest. The Festival della Canzone Italiana di Sanremo is Italy’s most popular song contest and award ceremony, and consists of a competition between new, unreleased songs. First established in 1950, the Festival of the Italian Song of San Remo has become one of the most significant events in Italian culture, drawing audiences throughout the country via televised and internet broadcasts. Tickets can be purchased to attend each day of the competition, and during the week the city is full of the buzz and atmosphere of an exciting cultural event making it the ideal time to visit.
The Art Nouveau Casino
The Casino Municipale di Sanremo is a stunning example of the Belle Epoque, being one of the signature designs of the renowned Parisian architect, Eugene Ferret. Originally intended to be a theatre, the building was converted in 1928 into a licensed casino, its two floors now filled with slot machines and its main hall transformed into an elegant salon with a formal dress coat at sunset. As well as a building rich in history, the casino is an important part of the city’s modern culture. Each year the annual Italian Music Festival takes place in the hall, and the casino has played host to a number of high-profile European poker events like the PokerStars Italian Tour (now renamed as the European Poker Tour). Once you’ve had your fill of the glamour and splendour inside, the casino is just as enticing outside with its palm tree-lined promenade and stunning views of the marina and the sunset.
The Historical Old Town
San Remo has attracted the most regal of Europe’s exiles since the mid 1800’s; Russia’s Tsar Nicola and Austria’s Empress Elisabeth were known to enjoy the balmy and serene atmosphere of its Old Town. Overlooking the sea, the entire length of the town can be walked, whilst never losing the aquatic views, finishing up at the centuries-old seaport and the newly created Portosole marina. There are many architectural highlights along the way including the Villa Ormond and the Villa Zirio. Walk a little bit further along the Riviera and you’ll find the refuge and final home of Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel and the original domed Russian Orthodox Church.