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San Remo, Province of IMPERIA.
Lying in a natural amphitheatre between Capo Verde and Capo Nero, Sanremo is a tourist resort of international importance.
The area was inhabited in the Palaeolithic era, in the Iron Age and in Roman times (see Villa Matruciana near the cathedral). However, during mediaeval times the population fled to the high country and built a walled town to defend themselves from Saracen invaders.
The town passed from the dominion of the Ventimiglia nobility to that of the bishops of Genoa and later to the Doria and De Mari families in 1297. From the second half of the fourteenth century, it became an independent municipality and expanded inland as far as the slopes of Monte Pigna and San Siro.
The modified cathedral of San Siro originally dates back to the thirteenth century: the original parts that remain are the central rosace and part of the lateral mullioned windows. The interior preserves a Crucifix by Maragliano and a canvas by Pancalino showing San Siro and other saints (1548). Nearby is the oratory of the Immacolata Concezione (sixteenth century), with frescoes by Merano, and the baptistery, which was built on former Roman foundations and those of an earlier church: it holds a painting by Orazio De Ferrari. The church of Santo Stefano was rebuilt by the Jesuits in the middle of the seventeenth century and preserves a painting by Piola and frescoes by Merano.
The single-nave sanctuary of the Madonna della Costa goes back to the seventeenth century: here you can admire frescoes by Giacomo Antonio Boni and a painting from the Barnaba da Modena school (late fourteenth century) as well as a painting by Domenico Fiasella.
Palazzo Borea d'Olmo is an impressive Baroque building that was partly rebuilt in the eighteenth century: it houses the Archaeology Museum (prehistoric and Roman exhibits). The late nineteenth-century buildings are also of great charm: among the most interesting are Villa Ormond, with its surrounding parkland, and Villa Alfred Nobel, the residence of the famous scientist.
The orthodox church of San Basilio dates from the twentieth century. Also dating from this century are the Municipal Casino, an art nouveau building designed by Eugenio Ferret, and Portosole, the new leisure port (800 boats), which also has a sports complex. Among the famous people who have stayed at Sanremo was Maria Alexandrovna, Empress of Russia: the seafront promenade bears her name.
The prestigious Song Festival and the vocation for floriculture have helped to increase the international reputation of Sanremo.
Note: The above is an extracts taken from the official web-site of the Regione Ligure, Agriculture and tourism department - Tourist section.
Travel Hint: Travelling along the Italian Riviera to visit Liguria's coastal towns and cities is recommended by train - they are frequent, comfortable and generally on time. They also take you into the resort centres and give you an additional perspective and 'flavour' of Italian life. The car by contrast is not quite as practical and ideal as first appears. There are basically two roads along the Riviera, the 'autostrada' and the 'Aurelia'. Italian 'autostrada' can be fairly stressed environments and the coastal road (via Aurelia) is pretty in parts but very slow, passing through every little seaside town. Additionally, parking in most Ligurian coastal towns is not in abundance and can take much longer to find a space than ever imagined - during most of the year, not just in summer. With car-hire, petrol, motorway tolls and parking charges, the car soon becomes an expensive and less than ideal way of getting around - and more often than not, slower overall than the journey by train.
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