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- SIGHTS & LANDMARKS
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Sanremo or San Remo is a city on the Mediterranean coast of western Liguria in north-western Italy. Founded in Roman times, it has a population of 57,000, and is known as a tourist destination on the Italian Riviera. It hosts numerous cultural events, such as the Sanremo Music Festival and the Milan–San Remo cycling classic.
Once the Roman settlement of Matutia or Villa Matutiana, Sanremo expanded in the Early Middle Ages when the population moved to the high grounds. The nobility built a castle and the walled village of La Pigna to protect the town from Saracen raids.
At first subjected to the countship of Ventimiglia, the community later passed under the dominion of the Genoese bishops. In 1297 they sold it to the Doria and De Mari families. It became a free town in the second half of the 15th century, after which it expanded to the Pigna hill and at Saint Syrus Cathedral. The almost perfectly preserved old village remains.
Sanremo remained independent from Genoese Republic. In 1753, after 20 years of fierce conflicts, it rose against Genoese hegemonical attempts. At that time the latter polity built the fortress of Santa Tecla, situated on the beach near the port. The fortress was used as a prison until 2002. It is now being transformed into a museum.
After the French domination and the Savoy restoration in 1814, Sanremo was annexed to the Kingdom of Sardinia. From the middle of the 18th century the town grew rapidly, in part due to the development of tourism, which saw the first grand hotels built and the town extended along the coast. The Empress "Sissi" of Austria, Empress Maria Alexandrovna of Russia, Emperor Nicholas II of Russia vacationed in Sanremo while Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel made it his permanent home.
The San Remo conference, 19–26 April 1920, of the post-World War I Allied Supreme Council determined the allocation of Class "A" League of Nations mandates for administration of the former Ottoman-ruled lands of the Middle East by the victorious powers. The most notable of these was the British Mandate of Palestine.
Sanremo is the home of International Institute of Humanitarian Law, the most notable institute in courses about refugees and international humanitarian law.
Sanremo experiences a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa).
Climate data for Sanremo
|Average high °C (°F)||13.4|
|Average low °C (°F)||6.8|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||102|
Sanremo's Mediterranean climate and attractive seacoast setting on the Italian Riviera make it a popular tourist destination. Besides tourism, the city is active in the production of extra virgin-grade olive oil, whose regional "designation of origin" is protected (D.O.P., Denominazione di Origine Protetta). It is one of the agricultural commodities in western Liguria and in particular within the province of Imperia. Sanremo is known as the City of Flowers (la Città dei Fiori), this being another important aspect of the economy of the city. The nearby towns of Arma di Taggia, Bordighera and Ospedaletti are also involved in the cultivation of flowers for the international flower market of Sanremo.
The Municipal Casino, built in 1905, is an example of Art Nouveau building. The Ariston Theatre offers annual series of concerts, operas and theatre plays. The Symphony Orchestra is one of twelve symphony orchestras recognized by the state of Italy; it performs some 120 concerts throughout the year, most in the Municipal Casino's Opera Theatre.
Transportation - Get In
San Remo's train station and bus terminal are both located in the city center. The Italian train company Trenitalia [www] offers frequent connections to Ventimiglia to the west (on the border with France) and Turin and Genoa to the east.
Transportation - Get Around
The center of San Remo is quite small, and all places of interest can be reached on foot. Bicycles can be rented and will allow you to move along the coast.
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There is one street of major shopping lots of high end italian designers great place to shop in the center of town.
As you walk round San Remo there are loads of ice cream parlours and cafés all brilliant for watching the days go by.
Lollipop in the Piazza Columba has great gelato.
Café Renaissance in Piazza Columba adjacent to McDonalds is wonderful for home made pastries and pasta.
Nonna's on Corso Garibaldi 34 has superb homemade pasta and gnocci but beware of the €2 "tourist tax" for bread. Affordable prices at about €10-15 for a main.
Sights & Landmarks
- Villa Nobel: the house of Alfred Nobel where he lived the last year of his life; the building can be visited with a guided tour.
- Villa Hanbury: located near Sanremo is an open air botanical garden where over 5,800 tropical species grow.
Things to do
- San Remo Casino. Visit the imposing casino, an architectural masterpiece right in the centre of town that now celebrates its centenary.
- Italian Poker Tour San Remo Casino has become particularly well known for its hosting of the three times yearly Italian Poker Tour and the European Poker Tour[www]. Competitors can buy in for a range of tournaments from €300 up to €5300 or simply spectate the huge amounts of money being gambled. First place in the EPT is over €1M.
- Sanremo Rally. Watch the rally that now belongs to the IRC federation.
- Sunset walks. Do not miss a walk along the beach at Sunset or a stroll though the cobbled streets of the old town. With 400 year old walls and original parts remaining, this is not to be missed.
- San Remo music festival. Attend the now infamous annual music festival.
- Rock the Casbah in August
- Tenco in November
- San Remo has other music festivals throughout the year, a little bit less famous, but still very interesting.
Festivals and events
The Ariston Theatre hosts the celebrated annual Sanremo Music Festival, a very popular song contest held in the city since 1951. This festival inspired the Eurovision Song Contest, which started in 1956, and for years the Sanremo festival selected the Italian entry. The internationally notable song Nel blu dipinto di blu, also known as Volare, was performed at this festival for the first time by Domenico Modugno in 1958. The festival is so popular among Italians that it is often referred to simply as "Il Festival" (The Festival). Other events include the Tenco Prize (autumn), a song contest for authors dedicated to the memory of Luigi Tenco; the Flowers Parade in January/February in which every city of the Italian Riviera presents an original composition of flowers displayed on a Carnival/Mardi-Gras style moving car; and the summer Firework International Contest in the second week of August also called Ferragosto.