Set on a broad sweeping bay between twin headlands, SAN REMO had its heyday as a classy resort in the sixty years or so up to the outbreak of World War II, when the Empress Maria Alexandrovna headed a substantial Russian community in the town (Tchaikovsky completed Eugene Onegin and wrote his Fourth Symphony in San Remo in 1878). Some of the grand hotels overlooking the sea, especially those near the train station, are now grimy and crumbling, but others in the ritzier western parts of town are still in pristine condition, opening their doors to Europe's remaining aristocrats season after season. San Remo is blessed with the Italian Riviera's most famous casino, and remains a showy and attractive town, with a good beach and a labyrinthine old town standing guard over the palm-laden walkways below.
The town has its fair share of events too. Every January the Festival dei Fiori (Festival of Flowers) sees flora-bedecked floats make their way through the town, displaying products by the area's horticulturists, while July's Campionato Mondiale di Fuochi d'Artificio, or World Fireworks Championship, is not for the jittery.