If you’re planning a romantic getaway in 2017, the Mediterranean is an unmissable destination filled with live music, cosy bars and restaurants and atmospheric streets that create unforgettable enchanted evenings. Of note at this time of the year is Sanremo, known for its music concerts and festivals and as a well established port for luxury yacht charters through the Italian Riviera.
The city of Sanremo is located between Nice and Genoa on the Italian Riviera and has a centuries old reputation as a tourist destination, visited by Austrian and Russian royalty and writers and artists from across Europe. Nowadays, Sanremo attracts tourists from worldwide and its marina Portosole has 780 berths and can cater for superyachts up to 90m/295ft in length. The soft sand beaches are a major attraction of the area but not the only reason to visit Sanremo:
February marks the start of the musical calendar with the Sanremo Music Festival (known in Italy as the ‘Festival della canzone italiana di Sanremo’), which was the inspiration for the Eurovision song contest. The home of the festival is the Ariston Theatre, which transforms to put on a dazzling show and select the artist who will represent Italy for Eurovision. Other events throughout the year include:
- June – European music festival
- July – Rock festival
- August – Jazz festival
- and from October until May the Symphonic Orchestra plays at the Sanremo casino.
The next music festival is due to take place on the 11th of Ferbuary, ensuring that Sanremo is well worth a visit during a Valentine’s charter along the French and Italian coastlines.
La Pigna (The Pinecone) is the name given to Medieval castle and walled settlement built on the hills of Sanremo. The streets are too narrow for cars drive along and this pedestrianised area is composed of picturesque churches, shops and restaurants, offering culture and entertainment throughout the day and long into the night. Of note is the Madonna Della Costa Santuary situated at the highest point of La Pigna. Built in the mid-17th Century, tourists will discover an impressive cobblestone mosaic, art and statues from the period spanning all the way up to the 19 Century.
Sanremo is also known as ‘The City of Flowers’ and hosts a floral parade at the end of January, while the approach of Valentine’s Day is marked by a burst of colour in the street markets. The Gardens of Queen Elena can be found upon the hilltop above La Pigna and parks such as Villa Zirio, Villa Ormond and Villa Nobel are scattered through the city all the way down to the Portosole marina.
Galleries and museums
Art lovers will find plenty of galleries within this ancient city, some clearly marked by tourist signs and others treasures waiting to be discovered off the beaten path. The nearby village of Bussana Vecchia was brought back to life by artists from a ghost-town state in the 1960s and an artistic community has a strong presence here, offering art for sale and organising artistic events and performances.
Visitors looking to spectate or participate in sports can expect to find sailing competitions throughout the seasons and there is an 18 hole golf course a short drive away. Cycling along the waterfront is also a favourite way for visitors to see the city and stop off at tourist attractions along the way.
The temperate climate of the Italian Riviera is a boon that makes Sanremo a year-round tourist destination. The city is busiest during spring and summer, with autumn and winter being the off-peak season.
As destination filled with cultural treasures and history both past and in the making, Sanremo is a wonder along Italy‘s coastline. As Valentine’s Day approaches, the city offers atmosphere and entertainment to any romantic charter.