On-line Guide: Cote d’Azur Day Trips – San Remo Market
Posted May 2018 in Go & Do
An easy daytrip pairs scintillating scenery with panoramic sea views. Best of all, this lovely train ride transports visitors to the amazingly chic San Remo in the heart of Bella Italia.
The Trip: Two train alternatives meander along the same gorgeous tracks that link Nice to Genoa via Monaco, Menton and San Remo. The easy option is private rail operator Thello’s thrice daily trip. Comfy seats and a speedy 75-minute direct service costs around €35 return.
The combined SNCF/Trenitalia option involves buying a fresh ticket from the multi-lingual machine when you change trains in bustling border town Ventimiglia. San Remo is 20km further down the tracks.
Why Go: Until the 1960s the Italian Riviera rivalled the French in terms of elegance and sophistication. Towns like Bordighera, Alassio and – chicest of all – San Remo were the summer playground of Clark Gable, Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren.
Kings, queens and maharajas hung out at one of Europe’s first swimming pools (in Le Royal hotel). Shoppers would simply stroll down to Via Matteotti where you can still purchase anything from a Stella McCartney dress to a Patek Philippe watch. Imagine Cannes with a touch of Prosecco and gelato.
The food is fabulous. San Remo’s own fishing fleet furnishes the restaurants that surround the Porto Vecchio old harbour. For risotto frutti di mare and spaghetti alla vongole there are few better places. Don’t forget to order a bottle of local Ligurian Vermentino white.
What's new:San Remo markets itself on a century of glamour, not on new activities. The best city offering is the magnificent lungomare, or seafront promenade, that courses a full 5km through the seafront settlement.
The Souvenir: San Remo is a shopping mecca. Arrive for the market on Tuesday or Saturday and you’ll hear as much French spoken as Italian. Baci di Sanremo (which translates as ‘San Remo kisses’) are unctuous little chocolate bites tailor-made for the train home.