Ventimiglia is one of our favorite destinations in northern Italy as well as the fabulous sea side town Sanremo, known for the beautiful Russian Church and the Casino
The last town in the Italian Riviera before hitting the French border, Ventimiglia is one of our favorite destinations in northern Italy. With its fascinating history, beautiful beaches, open-air markets, and gorgeous gardens, it’s a gem of the Ligurian coastline.
It also couldn’t be more convenient. It takes about two hours to drive to Ventimiglia from Genoa, or two and a half hours on the train. If you go by car, here’s a tip: Keep your eye out for road signs that say “x.x. miglia”—that means “Ventimiglia”!
Fifty kilometres east of Europe’s premier gambling capital lies San Remo, Italy’s own Monte Carlo, a sun-dappled Mediterranean resort with a casino, a clutch of ostentatious villas and lashings of Riviera-style grandeur. Known colloquially as the City of Flowers for its colourful summer blooms, San Remo also stages an annual music festival (the supposed inspiration for the Eurovision Song Contest) and the world’s longest professional one-day cycling race, the 298km Milan–San Remo classic.
During the mid-19th century the city became a magnet for regal European exiles, such as Empress Elisabeth of Austria and Tsar Nicola of Russia, who favoured the town’s balmy winters. Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel maintained a villa here, and an onion-domed Russian Orthodox church reminiscent of Moscow’s St Basil’s Cathedral still turns heads down by the seafront.