SANREMO: FROM A GLORIOUS PAST TO A BRIGHT PRESENT
“ I grew up as a child in a town that was peculiarly different from all the others in Italy: San Remo, then, was still the home of old Englishmen, Russian archdukes, eccentric cosmopolitan people’. These words by the great writer Italo Calvino describe his Sanremo, the town where he spent his youth and so important for him to become one protagonist character in many of his novels. The town’s vocation was and stil is flowers:hybridizing, growing and export made its reputation in the world so that it won the town the title of ‘ the Town of Flowers’. As time goes by the charm of the Town of Flowers stands as perfect as it once was. Because of its crystalline sea, Sanremo is also known as ‘ the Pearl of the Western Riviera’; its beaches along which the new cycle track stretches and the green hills and mountains rising above all make it a unique resort, admired all over the world. The mild sunny climate welcomes every season so that here it is easier to wander around the central streets in town or the old narrow alleys in the ancient part of the town. Let Sanremo On lead you to find out the secrets of this jewel town of the Western Riviera for an unforgettable holiday!
THE SANREMO FESTIVAL OF THE ITALIAN SONG
it was the year 1951 when the singer Nilla Pizzibegan to sing her “ Grazie dei Fiori” and won the first edition of the Sanremo Festival, thus sealing her presence in the history of music. Since that day the oldest and most famous music contest in Italy has gone far on, becoming the main showcase for Italian music and launching songs that have become famous all around the world. How many singers and artists have trod the boards of the Casino first and later of the Ariston Theatre, giving us memories and emotions that only music can….because ‘Sanremo is Sanremo’, as a well-known commercial used to say!
THE CASINÒ OF SANREMO
One of the symbols of the town is certainly the Casinò of Sanremo, a stately building in Art-Nouveau style first opened on 12th January 1905. It is considered the oldest and most famous gambling house in Italy, favourite destination of glamorous international jet set people such asthe Italian actor and director Vittorio De Sica, king Faruk of Egypt, king Gustav of Sweden, the Belgian king Leopold, Ranieri and Grace of Monaco and the Italian actors and directors De Filippo brothers, Eduardo and Peppino. Today there are six Slot Machines halls and five halls for the various games and Hold’hem International tournaments. The Casinò also features a prestigious Opera House Theatre that hosted the Sanremo festival until the ‘70ies. www.casinosanremo.it
Opened first in 1930, the centre is one of the oldest and most renowned sport facilities in Sanremo. Seat of famous equestrian national and international competitions, the circuit lies on the hills of Sanremo and enjoys a spectacular view of the gulf. The structure has numerous grounds fit for gallop and training, surrounding tribunes that can accomodate up to 1500 spectators. Horse therapy has been successfully introduced for many years. www.societaippicasanremo.it
The Golf Club of the Olive trees in Sanremo is situatedon the hills behind the town, between the sea a the mountains, in a gorgeous natural landscape. Founded in 1932 the facility offers an 18 holes course and is the scene of important national and international competitions. The Club has a famous golf school for adults and kids, the classes are divided according to age and level of preparation. In the structure there is also a restaurant specialized in traditional Ligurian dishes. www.golfsanremo.com
The 24 km along the coast line of the cycle track in the Coast-Park Riviera dei Fiori, is today one of the flagships of Sanremo. This unique track winds from Ospedaletti to Santo Stefano-on-the sea along the old railway line, often high up above the sea. The town part of the track is up above the beaches and surrounded by flowers and luxuriant plants typical of the Mediterranean scrub. On the track you can find some refreshment bars and bicycles and rickshaws renting stalls. There is also a lane for jogging and walking lovers. www.area24spa.it
THE YACHT CLUB
Only in such a sunny mild town like Sanremo you can go sailing all year round. The Sanremo Yacht Club and Sailing Company is just a few steps from the old port and the cycling track and it is the heart of sea and sport lovers. The glorious history of Club dates far back at the beginning of the XX century, when they organized the first sailing regattas. In time the members of the sailing school have won a number of prizes in national and international races and the Club houses imprtant regattas that attracts sportsmen and lovers of this wonderful sport from all over the world www.yachtclubsanremo.it
If you want to better understand and appreciate Sanremo, it is advisable to walk the historical ancient town centre called Pigna, from its architectural structure with the houses all gathered narrowly around up the hill, so similar to strong pine cone scales. Its first buildings date back to XI century, furtherly widened and strengthened in time to defend it from the pirates raids. A main feature of the Pigna are its narrow winding alleys called ‘carruggi’, all linked one to the others in a web-like pattern.
Sanremo is most lucky to be surrounded by both the sea and the mountains. In the near hinterland (12 km from the town centre), on the hillside of Mount Bignone lies the hamlet of San Romolo (768 m above sea level); surrounded by pine and chestnut woods, with its cool balmy air,it is the favourite destination of the inhabitants of Sanremo for trips and pic-nics in the wide green open space. The hamlet get its name from the town patron saint, who seems to have spent his last years in those woods, according to the tradition. The place is coveted by sports and enduro motorcycles and downhill lovers for its perfect paths.
VILLAS AND GARDENS
While in Sanremo, we recommend you to treat yourself to a visit to the wonderful historical Houses and Parks that are a glamorous feature of the town. One the most famous houses is Nobel Villa, a masterpiece of late XIX century architecture, surrounded by a luxuriant garden; the Villa was home to the Swedish research chemist Alfred Nobel, inventor of the dynamite and founder of the famous international Nobel Prizes. Alfred Nobel dwelled here in the last years of his life in Sanremo and inside you can still see his lab and the original furniture, together with a permanent exhibition dedicated to XIX century scientific discoveries and the first Italian Nobel prizes. Remarkable the great park surrounding the villa, rich in secular exotic plants. Nobel Villa is situated in 116 Cavallotti avenue, easy to reach from the cycling track. For guided tours. Wide and charming is Villa Ormond park, a few metres from Nobel Villa, with its characteristic stone fountain with ‘puttos’. The park houses secular and Oriental trees. Quite fascinating Queen Elena Gardens are on top of the Pigna: from there you will love the breathtaking view on the roofs of the old town and the Gulf of Sanremo. Painting lovers will love to visit Villa Luca in Coldirodi, a hamlet in Sanremo area and seat of Rambaldi Picture Gallery, which houses more than a hundred works from XV to XIX centuries. Guided tours available.