Province of Imperia
Sanremo or San Remo (Sanrœmu in Ligurian) is a city on the Mediterranean coast of western Liguria in north-western Italy. Founded in Roman times, it has a population of 57,000, and is best known as a tourist destination on the Italian Riviera. It hosts numerous cultural events, such as the Sanremo Music Festival and the Milan – San Remo cycling classic. The city is widely accepted as the origin of the five-card stud variant telesina.
The name of the city is a phonetic contraction of SantEremo di San Romolo, which refers to Romulus of Genoa, the successor to Syrus of Genoa. It is often stated in modern folk stories that Sanremo is a translation of "Saint Remo", a deceased Saint. In Ligurian, his name is San Rœmu. The spelling San Remo is on all ancient maps of Liguria, the ancient Republic of Genoa, Italy in the Middle Ages, the Kingdom of Sardinia, and the Kingdom of Italy. It was used in 1924 in official documents under Mussolini. This form of the name appears still on some road signs and, more rarely, in unofficial tourist information. It has been the most widely used form of the name in English at least since the 19th century.
Once the Roman settlement of Matutiaor Villa Matutiana, Sanremo expanded in the Early Middle Ages when the population moved to the high grounds. The nobility built a castle and the walled village of La Pigna to protect the town from Saracen raids.
At first subjected to the countship of Ventimiglia, the community later passed under the dominion of the Genoese bishops. In 1297 they sold it to the Doria and De Mari families. It became a free town in the second half of the 15th century, after which it expanded to the Pigna hill and at Saint Syrus Cathedral. The almost perfectly preserved old village remains.
Sanremo remained independent from Genoese Republic. In 1753, after 20 years of fierce conflicts, it rose against Genoese hegemonical attempts. At that time the latter polity built the fortress of Santa Tecla, situated on the beach near the port. The fortress was used as a prison until 2002. It is now being transformed into a museum.
After the French domination and the Savoy restoration in 1814, Sanremo was annexed to the Kingdom of Sardinia. From the middle of the 18th century the town grew rapidly, in part due to the development of tourism, which saw the first grand hotels built and the town extended along the coast. Such notables as the Empress "Sissi" of Austria, Empress Maria Alexandrovna of Russia, Emperor Nicholas II of Russia, Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, and the writer Italo Calvino stayed here.
The San Remo conference, 19–26 April 1920, of the post-World War I Allied Supreme Council determined the allocation of Class "A" League of Nations mandates for administration of the former Ottoman-ruled lands of the Middle East by the victorious powers. The most notable of these was the British Mandate of Palestine.
Sanremo is the home of International Institute of Humanitarian Law, the most notable institute in courses about refugees and international humanitarian law.
Sanremos Mediterranean climate and attractive seacoast setting on the make it a popular tourist destination. Besides tourism, the city is active in the production of extra virgin-grade olive oil, whose regional "designation of origin" is protected (D.O.P., Denominazione di Origine Protetta). It is one of the agricultural commodities in western Liguria and in particular within the province of Imperia. Sanremo is known as the City of Flowers (la Citta dei Fiori), this being another important aspect of the economy of the city. The nearby towns of Arma di Taggia, Bordighera and Ospedaletti are also involved in the cultivation of flowers for the international flower market of Sanremo.
Sanremo hosts an annual poker tournament as part of the European Poker Tour.
The Ariston Theatre hosts the celebrated annual Sanremo Music Festival, a very popular song contest held in the city since 1951. This festival inspired the Eurovision Song Contest, which started in 1956, and for years the Sanremo festival selected the Italian entry. The internationally notable song Nel blu dipinto di blu, also known as Volare, was performed at this festival for the first time by Domenico Modugno in 1958. The festival is so popular among Italians that it is often referred to simply as "Il Festival" (The Festival). Other events include the Tenco Prize (autumn), a song contest for authors dedicated to the memory of Luigi Tenco; the Flowers Parade in January/February in which every city of the Italian Riviera presents an original composition of flowers displayed on a Carnival/Mardi-Gras style moving car; and the summer Firework International Contest in the second week of August also called Ferragosto.
The culinary specialities of Sanremo and environs include Sardenara, Focaccia, Focaccia alle Cipolle, Torta Verde, Farinata and Tallesca olives.