Situated on a sweeping bay that lays between twin headlands, San Remo is a showy and attractive town along the illustrious Italian Riviera. Aptly nicknamed the City of Flowers, San Remo is the lesser-known sister of Portofino, yet retains just as much charm with her golden beaches, classic good looks and old-world grandeur. Sailing is an important part of the city’s heritage, having played host to several important and high-profile regattas since the beginning of the 20th century.
Today the Yacht Club still celebrates a rich tradition of seamanship with some of the world’s most beautiful boats taking up residence year-round, in part due to its balmy winter climate. From the colorful buildings to the sun-kissed atmosphere, San Remo is one of the most dazzling resort towns in the Mediterranean.
Where to Stay
Dating back to the late 19th century, Royal Hotel Sanremo evokes a feeling of traditional classic European elegance which is due to its imperial past as it was first used as a winter retreat for the Russian aristocracy. Housed in an opulent Belle Époque residence, the hotel seamlessly blends its beautifully gracious appearance with the charm of Italian Riviera. The lush gardens complete with palm and lemon trees surround the property, which overlooks the shimmering Mediterranean waters and makes for an idyllic royal oasis that welcomes those seeking absolute comfort and luxury with open arms.
Don’t expect subtlety here – it’s all about chandeliers, reading rooms, lush gardens, and heavy brocade. The well-appointed luxury rooms and suites feel authentic and truly welcoming – freshly cut flowers included. The interiors are bright, elegant and spacious, with each floor of the hotel characterized by a dominant color palette, while the suites are uniquely designed to commemorate artists connected to the local area.
Don’t forget to check out our Luxury Hotel Guide to Italian Riviera for an expanded list of nearby accommodation.
Where to Dine
With dozens of fancy restaurants and trattorias at your disposal, San Remo is a gastronome’s delight. Paolo e Barbara is amongst the most polished, conveniently located a few steps from the famed casino in the center of the town. The chef, Paolo Masieri’s cooking style is regional, rich and flavorsome. Try one of his Ligurian specialties, prawns flamed in San Remo or baby squid with green peas cream and chanterelles.
The small, family-run trattoria, Piccolo Mondo is more humble in appearance and a favorite with the locals, serving generous plates of exquisite pasta slathered in pesto (the local specialty) and a particularly outstanding octopus stew amongst other hearty delights. Else return to your yacht for onboard dining under the stars or take a picnic hamper filled with delicacies from a local deli – warm bread, cured meats and wine – to one of the hidden coves nestled along the coastline.
Take a look at our Restaurant Guide to the Italian Riviera for the town’s top culinary experiences.
What to Do
During the day wander around the maze-like streets of the old town, fill your arms with carnations, roses and daffodils from the flower market and visit the ancient, dome-topped Russian Orthodox church before climbing to Piazza Castello for splendid views of the ocean dotted with yacht sails gently blowing in the warm Mediterranean breeze. There are plenty of opportunities for golfing too with two stunning courses located close by the town. Circolo Golf degli Ulivi is the most breath-taking, nestled amidst the olive and mimosa trees on a hilltop above San Remo, whilst Golf Club Garlenda (a 40-minute drive away) enjoys the backdrop of the Maritime Alps.
All evenings in San Remo end (and begin) in the impressive Art Nouveau building of Casino Sanremo. While roulette is what the casino is best known for, the ancient walls also house the Teatro dell’Opera, where music events and festivals are held, a restaurant, cocktail bar and rooftop garden. The dress code is strictly sophisticated, with jackets and ties requested at the gaming tables and serving to preserve the enchanting atmosphere of nostalgic glamour.
What to Pack
Whether you like to play bowls with the locals or simply watch the ‘action’, the Prada Camp Collar Poplin Shirt is the perfect way to dress for the occasion. Made from pure breathable striped cotton, it’s a mix of tailored and boxy that can be worn with shorts or pants for an evening appetizer. A trusty, well-made pair of shades never go out of style, so pick up a pair of these Thom Browne Square-Frame Sunglasses. Crafted from lightweight gold-tone metal, the pair breathes new life into the classic aviator look and makes for a top-notch holiday look. These Givenchy Leather Low-Top Sneakers are minimal in feel and look, making for an effortless warm-weather option that will serve you well across all activities.