Golden Day Eighty-Eight: Matteo Scandolera’s San Remo
The first image that comes to mind when I hear San Remo, is the annual Music Festival, that’s been going on in this elegant seaside town since 1951.
This grand event has launched the careers of many of my favorite Italian singers, including Andrea Bocelli who won the Newcomer’s Award there in 1994, with Il Mare Calmo della Sera. It’s always a kick to watch the videos that include international stars–such as this one from 2012 of Patti Smith singing “Because the Night”.
Matteo Scandolera was born and grew up in San Remo. He’s now the Director of LiguriaHomes, a top-notch real estate company that offers rentals and sales of beautiful properties all along the Italian Riviera.
I’m thrilled to have Matteo join in to give his insider’s advice for a Golden Day in his homeland:
There are many beautiful places in San Remo, the capital town of the Italian Riviera of the Flowers.
Not to be missed is the old town, called La Pigna, where you’ll wander through steep streets, covered archways, amidst little squares and ancient churches–a glimpse of Medieval times.
In the newer part of town, you’ll see how this fishermen’s village was turned into an elegant seaside resort, during the Belle Epoque period. Towards the latter part of it–1905–the town’s famous Casino was built.
Also, there is this very unusual Russian Church. In 1874 tsarina Maria Alexandrovna spent a winter in San Remo and raved about it so much back home, that the town became crowded with Russian visitors. This Orthodox church was completed in 1913 and is similar to the Church of of San Basilio in Moscow.
Or during summer, you can go whale watching to observe dolphins and whales in their natural environment, and enjoy the fabulous view of the coastline seen from the sea
You can eat and drink very well in San Remo.
The best cafè in town is Cafè Ducale on the glamorous Corso Matteotti (#145), the main via of San Remo.
Try the focaccia and typical West Ligurian pizza, called Sardenaira (with tomatoes, anchovies, onions or garlic and black olives), at Focacceria Maggiorino (Via Roma #183).
And believe me: The best gelato EVER is in a tiny shop, Gelateria Vecchia Matuzia (Corso Matuzia #97).
As far as where to go for lunch and dinner, skip the tourist traps on the Old Port=Porto Vecchio. Try the Mini Bar da Antonio, (across from the beach, Corso Trento 17). It’s more of a kiosk than a restaurant, where the pasta with fish is incredible and the prices are budget friendly.
For the best pizza, go to Spaccanapoli (Via Bixio 31).
For more formal, 5-star dining, head to the nearby town of Ospedaletti and reserve a table at Byblos (Lungomare C. Colombo 6, 0184 689002).
Or Acquerello (Corso Regina Margherita 25, 0184 68 2048, Closed Monday and Tuesday).
The best place to stay is the Hotel Nazionale on Corso Matteotti, with amazing views over the sea and the Casino.
Grazie mille Matteo!