Sanremo or San Remo?
After being in the mountains, this beautiful springtime air makes me want to take you to the seaside... what do you say?
Actually, I already had the inspiration last week, thanks to the Sanremo Festival! Wait, what was that? A festival? San... where???
Well, if you live in Europe you might already know what I’m talking about. But if you’re reading these words from America or Australia, Canada or the Emirates, well, I’m afraid an explanation may be needed...
You should know that, in Italy, San Remo is not a figure who’s worshipped in Christianity (the saint doesn’t actually exist), but rather a place: it’s spelled all together as one word, and it’s a small city in Liguria – not too far from the border with France and the Côte d’Azur.
And you should also know that, since the 1950s, Sanremo has hosted a music festival that is incredibly famous for us Italians: for almost an entire week, (practically) all of us are glued to the TV, engrossed in this event which dominates the country’s viewing figures...
But since this is a travel newsletter (it is called #awalkwithMarco after all...), since this is a computer keyboard and not a piano, let’s leave festivals and songs aside and focus on the location.
[Obviously, I can’t think about Sanremo (the festival, not the saint) without imagining “my” own shoes walking out on that stage! Yes, I know, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself... but never say never.] ;)
OK now, that’s enough: for the time being, let’s flit through the streets of Sanremo. I’ve been recommended to check out the Passeggiata Imperatrice, [the Empress Walk], and then head up to the Giardini Regina Elena [Queen Elena Gardens].
Here we are on the promenade. Paved with marble and dotted with centuries-old palm trees, the Passeggiata Imperatrice is dedicated to the Empress of Russia, Maria Alexandrovna. It was the tsarina herself who donated these palm trees as a thank you for the hospitality she received. Even though this was in 1874, some of them are still in excellent health: we can admire them, alive and well, as we stroll lazily along. It’s clear that the climate of the Riviera is perfect, and not just for royalty on holiday...
Behind the promenade, I catch a glimpse of the distinctive carruggi in the historic town centre – those little alleys, a characteristic of Liguria, that we saw previously in Genoa, remember?
The carruggi climb up the hill and the view opens out over the rooftops of Sanremo. We arrive at the Giardini Regina Elena – oh look, another royal... ;) Here too, the palm trees stand out, playing a game of verticals with the bell towers in the city below us. As always, I’m enchanted by this view, stretching out over the port and, naturally, across the sea and then the sky.
Well! We’ve had our fill of blue again today. How should we round off the day in style?! Easy! With a nice slice of Sardenaria – a kind of pizza topped with tomato, garlic, anchovies, capers, olives and oregano. But don’t call it a pizza! For the people of Sanremo, it’s a pie, strictly to be served in square pieces – no triangular slices. Pizza or pie, regardless, it’s delicious!
Refreshed and happy as always, we’re now ready to go home. In the car, we’ll be humming along to the latest tunes from Sanremo – the festival, obviously.
Have a great week, everyone! Lots of love,