San Remo stood out to me as the archetypal Italian town: beautifully colored coastlines, hundreds of sidewalk cafes, and locals who all seem to know each other (and think nothing of stopping traffic to lean out of their window and catch up with an old friend). The Italians are all about life satisfaction it seems. They have mastered the world/life/social balance like no single group of people I’d witnessed before. They’d probably just laugh at the stressed-out busy-bees of Manhattan as they languidly sip on their espresso or glass of wine. While this NYC mentality has become too ingrained within me to ever fully adapt to this lifestyle (and what a shame that is), it makes for the perfect vacation destination.
The small but grand Mediterranean town could accurately be described as Italy’s answer to Monte Carlo. Both are resort towns that center around their local casino. Both have acted as a safe haven for royal/wealthy exiles over the years. However, San Remo is a much less assuming city, which lends a certain charm to the area that Monte Carlo cannot claim.
Arriving via train to the modern station located just outside the town center, it was already time for a coffee. Even though Nice and San Remo are barely an hour away from one another, coffee is a whole new experience once you cross that border. In fact the coffee was so good that we ended up stopping at three different cafés along the 15-minute walk. By the time we go to the main square we were practically bouncing up and down and trying to communicate a million incoherent words per minute.
Leaving the central square and venturing towards the ‘old town’ neighborhood (it’s a tiny town so this walk takes all of five minutes), offers a completely new perspective. There were dozens of cafes and bars lining an active port that was in full swing: fisherman, captains and crew were all at work. There are few pleasures greater than drinking a glass of wine while watching other people hard at work…
Emboldened by booze, I attempted to join a number of foosball games being held by the locals. I learned the hard way (by way of some surly Italians) that this was not a game but a real sport in Italy. I managed all of one goal before being blacklisted from all future foosball games in the country. But, erm, at least I tried. Nothing a bit of Italian gelato couldn’t fix…
San Remo is famous for it’s beautiful beaches with (walk-able) rock formations extending well into the water. After enjoying a little sit-down out there, we were dismayed to find that the door we’d entered through had been locked. I ill-advisedly decided that I could (in a dress!) climb over the fence and unlock it from the other side. Well as any five-year old could tell you, the climbing bit is easy- it’s the getting back down from the top that will get you.
I was stuck up there, basically regretting every life decision I’d ever made leading up to that moment. And then out of nowhere this Italian male-model-looking boy appeared and like something out of a movie swooped me into his arms and hoisted me down to safety. And just like that he was gone again. I’d swear I imagined the whole thing if my friend (still stuck on the other side of the fence, mind you) hadn’t witnessed the whole thing. If only I’d had him around during my interning days…
bag - Louis Vuitton
dress - Asos
sneakers - Nike