San Remo is a town situated just over the French/Italian border (on the Italian side). It's a popular tourist destination on the beautiful Italian Riviera.
I decided to go here on a bit of a whim. I was meant to go for a long weekend with my girlfriends earlier this year but something came up that prevented me from going. So when my best friend Karen booked to come to see me, around the same time as her 30th birthday, I thought this could be a perfect gift. Karen had never been to Italy before, and I heard only good things from my friends who went several months ago.
So, I booked a night in an AirBnb (Camera nel cuore di Sanremo 2) who was fantastic. His apartment is close to the market, the town and the beach. He was great at explaining everything about the apartment, and gave us lots of restaurant & bar recommendations. We went to the gelato place he recommended and then to Flipper in the evening for dinner and as expected, they were both amazing. Flipper had fantastic fish dishes and really generous portion sizes.
The first day we were there, we were rather chilled. We relaxed on the beach, walked down to the harbour then went our for dinner. The second day we went to the markets in the morning for some breakfast. We then walked up through the old town to the church on the hill. Then down to the Casino and the Russian church.
From here, we then went to Bussana Vecchia which is a cute hippy & arty commune in the hills close to San Remo. Blog post coming soon.
Whilst in Italy, we had to try some of it's famous food. Italy is well known for its delicious pasta, pizza & gelato, so that's basically all we ate for 2 days along with tomato & mozzarella, melon & ham and some lovely sea food.
The first day we had lunch at La Canonica which was situated in a cute square with other restaurants. We shared 2 starters, the melon & ham and tomato & mozzarella, then also shared a delicious pizza and enjoyed some Italian wine. Later that day we had some Gelato at Living Garden which was deeeelicious!
Then that evening we ate at Flipper which is a small fish restaurant situated on the port. We hadn't reserved a table and it was very busy so we enjoyed a glass of wine somewhere else until a table became available and it was so worth it. The food was amazing. For starter we shared a melon & ham and a tartare of tuna. Then for main course we had a seafood pasta and calamari. We were stuffed after all this amazing food so didn't have desert, but if you ever visit San Remo, I can't recommend this place enough - but make sure you book a table as it gets busy.
San Remo Architecture
I am a sucker for great architecture whether that's a fabulous ornate church or a dilapidated building and San Remo has some beauts. San Remo is bursting with colours & bright buildings. It has a very Mediterranean feel to it and the buildings are very fitting for this area. There are lots of coloured buildings, worn colours, shutters, beautiful road signs, plazas, doors, windows and everything else! It was lovely to walk around and discover what Italian architecture is like away from the famous Venice, Rome & Florence.
San Remo Beaches
I expected a lot more from the beaches here. It's the gorgeous Italian Riviera so I was hoping for something similar to the very beautiful French Riviera. And although the beaches were beautiful, they were full to the brim of loungers & parasols. To the point where you couldn't get a towel down. We had to walk for ages along the coast looking for a section of the beach that wasn't owned by a bar or restaurant.
I wouldn't mind paying for a chair if we were going to be there all day, but it seemed a bit excessive to pay around €10 for a couple of hours at the beach. It seemed a little bit ridiculous to be honest that you couldn't just go and enjoy some beach time without having to pay for it. Maybe that's just me being a cheap skate, but I expected the beaches to be free and for everyone to be able to go and enjoy them.
San Remo Markets
Oh my gosh! The markets!
I love all markets, whether they are selling food, clothes, antiques.. you name it, I love it. So when we realised that we were staying very close to the food market, we decided that we had to go. The market was open in the mornings up until around 12 or 1pm I believe. So we went for our breakfast to get some fruit & Italian pastries.
The market was brilliant and it sold everything from willy shaped pasta to beautiful parmesan cheese. From cured ham to huge watermelons. From Italian wines to fresh fish. It was lovely to walk around and see all of the local produce available. We even saw some fruit that I had never seen before. There were these peaches that looked like large apricots that were delicious! Again, if you're in the area, you should head here and pick up some delicious fruit & veg for breakfast or lunch. You won't be disappointed.
San Remo Harbour
I love harbours and San Remo has two of them! An old harbour with fishing boats etc and a newer harbour with yachts. I preferred the older harbour as I love the rusty & battered boats with fishing lines lining the water's edge. I have always loved being by the sea and wandering around harbours & ports, so it was no surprise to me that I enjoyed visiting this part of the town.
Casinò Municipale di Sanremo
When I was looking online at what to see in San Remo, the Casino stood out to me. I'm not a gambler, but I do enjoy a good building. We went in and had to put our cameras in a locker so that we didn't take photographs inside. I guess it's to protect people's identities in there. I have been to a Casino before (for a small gig, not to bet), but it was a 'real' Casino. This one was just a building filled with slotties. It was a bit like a posh version of Skegness. The inside was a let down as there wasn't any Poker tables or Russian Roulette games, however, the outside was beautiful with the pink flowers and palm trees.
Santuario della Madonna della Costa
To get to this beautiful church on a hill, we walked up through the old town which was lovely. There were lots of windy, narrow streets which were all painted in beautiful orange & pink tones. Then at the top of this hill is a place where you can look over the whole city. The views are spectacular and it was lovely to see the harbour from this view.
The church at the top was gorgeous. I loved the decorations, the ceiling and in particular the dome. It was all so in-your-face and amazing! I much preferred this to the Russian Orthodox Church.
Russian Orthodox Church
We came to the Russian Orthodox Church as Karen had found it online. It was a shame that the outside had lots of scaffolding around it when we visited as the decoration looks wonderful. The other thing I wan't keen on, was paying €1 each to get in. It's a place of worship and should be open to everyone. But also, it was one small room.. I wouldn't mind paying for some huge church, but not for 1 room. That being said, the decorations were beautiful.
Other fun stuff
So when walking around the 1st evening, we came across these huge chairs situated outside of a castle (?) maybe.. Anyway, we gave each other a leg up and took some fun photos on these huge chairs! The other 2 pics are a couple of churches that I only saw from the outside and thought they were cute. So I took pics, but didn't include lots of info.