Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

10 Fun Things to Do in Sanremo, Italy Beyond the Annual Music Festival

Last Updated on October 17, 2021

Share the love

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

10 Fun Things to Do in Sanremo, Italy Beyond the Annual Music Festival

Last Updated on October 17, 2021

Share the love

Sanremo is a fascinating city located on the western coast of Liguria in northwestern Italy. It sits along the Italian Riviera, just under an hour from Nice, France by car.

Commonly associated with wealth and prestige, Sanremo is often sought out as a resort destination.

However, despite its elite status, the city still maintains plenty of old-world charm, from its fortified Old Town to its historic buildings and monuments.

While the city is popularly regarded for its annual music festival, there are plenty of lesser-known but equally interesting things to do in Sanremo.

So whether you’re seeking the excitement of city life or the refuge of a nature escape, here are ten of the best things to do in Sanremo.

In a rush? Pin this post for later!

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

10 Best Things to Do in Sanremo, Italy

1. Wander the Charming Streets of La Pigna

The charm of Sanremo is immediately apparent in the city’s Old Town, La Pigna.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

This walled neighborhood dates back to the Middle Ages and was originally built as protection against pirate attacks.

A stroll through La Pigna will have you winding down a labyrinth of alleyways, climbing numerous staircases, and stopping to marvel at the maze of terraced homes.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

FUN FACT: La Pigna, which translates to “pinecone” in Italian, was so named for the layout of its roads and walls, which resemble a pinecone.

2. Stroll through Giardini Regina Elena

Giardini Regina Elena (or the Queen Elena Gardens, in English) pays homage to the beloved Queen Jelena of Montenegro, who visited Sanremo quite frequently. She’s often referred to as Queen Elena of Italy, as she served this role from 1900 – 1946.

Although Giardini Regina Elena suffered damage from the 1887 earthquake, it was later rebuilt and vastly improved by palm trees, greenery, and flowers.

Today, visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the garden, which offers panoramic views over Old Sanremo and the gulf.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

How to Get Here:

Giardini Regina Elena is located at 18038 in Sanremo.

I recommend walking here so you don’t have to navigate the challenges of finding parking nearby.

3. Visit the Santuario della Madonna della Costa

No trip to Sanremo would be complete without a visit to the Santuario della Madonna della Costa, one of the most significant religious buildings in the city.

You’ll find this Baroque-style gem as you make your way up the hill from Giardini Regina Elena.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

This 17th-century marvel once served as a safe haven for sailors arriving to Sanremo.

In addition to its beautiful exterior and gorgeous mosaic passageway, the inside of the church is exquisitely decorated in marble.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

How to Get Here:

The Santuario della Madonna della Costa is located at Piazzale Santuario Assunta, 15, 18038 in Sanremo.

You’ll have to climb a pretty steep hill to get here, but it’s well worth the hike!

4. Take in the City’s Best Views

With its numerous climbs, Sanremo offers visitors fantastic views.

While there are a number of lookouts to be found throughout the city, in particular, the view from Via Dante Alighieri looking up to the Santuario della Madonna della Costa is spectacular.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

PHOTO TIP: Be mindful of passing cars here, as this ledge is bordering a busy (and winding) road. For the best (and safest) option, navigate to the panoramic lookout point before the road bends and winds uphill. We shot this photo just in front of that point.

Another view you won’t want to miss is actually located within Giardini Regina Elena.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

You’ll find it at the bottom of the staircase leading into the garden, to the right of the park benches.

5. Try Your Luck at the Iconic Casinò Municipale di Sanremo

One of the most famous landmarks in the city is the Casinò Municipale di Sanremo, which opened in 1905.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

Designed by French architect Eugene Ferret, the casino was originally a theater venue offering concerts, parties, and other shows in addition to gambling (which wasn’t officially authorized at the time).

You can read more about the venue’s interesting history here.

Today, the casino is open daily and offers everything from game rooms and slot machines, to tournaments, to orchestral performances.

Even if you’re not a gambler (I’m not myself), it’s still worth a visit to this famous venue, as it’s really quite impressive.

FUN FACT: A number of movies were filmed at the casino, including Lucky Night, At the Bar Sport, Infelici e contenti, and Fortunata.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

How to Get Here:

The Casinò Municipale di Sanremo is located at Corso degli Inglesi, 18, 18038 in Sanremo.

6. Relax with a Beach Day

As Sanremo is a coastal city, you should definitely take advantage of some beach time while you’re here.

Plus, there are over a dozen beaches to choose from, both within Sanremo and in its neighboring towns, so you’ll definitely have your pick!

We visited Spaggia Italo Calvino at dusk and essentially had it all to ourselves.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

However, if you’re looking for more action, you’ll definitely find plenty of it during the daytime, particularly during the high season (June – September).

7. Admire the City’s Beautiful Russian Orthodox Church

Did you know that you could experience a taste of Russia in Northern Italy?!

Sanremo’s Russian Orthodox Church – the Cathedral of Christ the Savior – resembles Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow with its beautiful domes!

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

FUN FACT: Sanremo served as a warm, welcome sanctuary for Maria Aleksandrovna, wife of Russian czar Alexander II, back in the late 1800s. She frequented the city in order to escape the harsh Russian winters back home!

The church was later built in 1913 to serve the city’s expanding Russian community.

Whether you’re looking to go inside or simply marvel at this beauty from the outside, it’s definitely worth the visit.

How to Get Here:

The Russian Orthodox Church is located at Via Nuvoloni, 2, 18038 in Sanremo.

8. Experience Royalty with a Visit to One of the City’s Impressive Villas

As a luxe destination, Sanremo is home to numerous villas. So if you’re interested in how the other half lives, going villa hopping is one of the best things to do in Sanremo.

Two of the most popular ones are Villa Ormond and Villa Nobel, located along avenue Corson Felice Cavallotti.

In addition, you’ll find Villa Bel Respiro and Villa Fiorentina along Corso degli Inglesi.

PRO TIP: If you’re looking to visit Villa Ormond or Villa Nobel, be sure to check out the website of your desired destination in advance for admission information. This will also alert you to any closures, as is currently the case with Villa Nobel.

Unfortunately, Villa Bel Respiro and Villa Fiorentina don’t have websites with visiting information, so you’ll have to wing it with those options.

Thankfully, although it’s now closed temporarily, we were able to access Villa Nobel during our visit and admire the beautiful Giardini Nobel.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

How to Get Here:

You can find the location of each of the villas below:

Villa Ormond: Corso Felice Cavallotti, 113, 18038 Sanremo

Villa Nobel: Corso Felice Cavallotti, 116, 18038 Sanremo *Please note that Villa Nobel is temporarily closed

Villa Bel Respiro: Corso degli Inglesi, 18038 Sanremo

Villa Fiorentina: Corso degli Inglesi, 450, 18038 Sanremo

9. Venture Out to the Fairytale Village of Bussana Vecchia

If you have the luxury of time while in Sanremo, I highly recommend a day trip – or a brief excursion, at the very least – to Bussana Vecchia.

Although it’s not technically one of the things to do in Sanremo directly, it’s definitely worth the brief, 20-minute drive from the city center.

This tiny village perched atop a hill in Liguria is something straight out of a storybook!

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

FUN FACT: Bussana Vecchia can quite literally be considered a “hidden” gem, as it was actually a real ghost town in the 20th century!

This was due to the fact that the village was destroyed by the 1887 earthquake, tragically taking around 2000 innocent lives along with it.

After this tragic event, the town was deemed dangerous and became completely abandoned until after World War II.

Fortunately, however, at the end of the 1960s, the village was lovingly restored and transformed into a tight-knit community of artists. In fact, it’s now considered to be an “open-air art laboratory.”

I fell madly in love with the ivy-covered buildings and medieval charm of this one-of-a-kind artists’ village! It’s truly unlike any other place I’ve been before.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

In addition, while you’re here, be sure to stop by La Casaccia Ristorante, which you’ll come across as you enter the village.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

Unfortunately, although we wanted to eat here on our first night in Sanremo, we didn’t have our rental car yet, so it was not possible.

Instead, we ended up making a brief trip to Bussana Vecchia in the early morning before heading off for the next leg of our Italy journey. Sadly, the restaurant was not serving guests at this time, so we’ll have to come back!

That said, if you’re looking to enjoy a bite here, you can visit their Facebook page for more information and to request access to their menu.

Alternatively, there are a couple of other eateries located within the center of Bussana Vecchia.

What to Know Before You Go:

Bussana Vecchia is a pedestrian-only village, so you’ll want to consider your transportation here before you arrive.

While visiting this storybook town was one of the highlights of our Italian Riviera adventure, I do not recommend it for new drivers. This is because you’ll need to navigate up a massively steep, narrow, and winding road consisting of numerous blind turns.

Parking can also be a challenge, as the entrance to the village is quite narrow and doesn’t allow for vehicles. I recommend parking along the side of the road once you come across La Casaccia Ristorante.

That said, the drive itself is part of the adventure, so if you’re up for the challenge, it’s by all means worth it!

How to Get Here:

As an alternative to driving (which is still the most convenient means of travel, all things considered), you may wish to take public transportation.

In this case, you can take Bus Line 13 from the Sanremo train station, which will drop you off at the bottom of the hill. However, once you arrive here, you’ll need to do the steep uphill climb for about 1.2 miles until reaching the village.

10. Live Like a Local in the Heart of Sanremo

While in the city, you can enjoy a comfortable stay in a modern, spacious, and newly-renovated apartment.

Sanremo Rent offers beautifully remastered spaces in the heart of the city with easy access to everyday conveniences.

My husband and I found our apartment to be in a prime location for exploring the city.

Here, we were just steps away from the grocery store and only a five to ten-minute walk to a number of beautiful beaches in the area.

My favorite part of the apartment was definitely the kitchen, which offered charming rooftop views of the city.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

This quickly became our favorite place to enjoy our morning coffee and was our main gathering space for planning the day’s activities.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

Although our apartment didn’t have a living area, it made up for it with three bedrooms, which was quite a luxury.

While we admittedly had more space than we needed for just the two of us, it was convenient having additional space to store our luggage.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

Plus, one of the bedrooms also has a laundry room off of it, which is a rare find in a city.

The multiple bedroom set-up is especially ideal for families as well as friend/family groups looking for the privacy of separate bedrooms while traveling.

In addition, we loved the convenience and privacy of having two bathrooms, which made it easy to get ready each morning.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

As an aside, we also appreciated the fast Wifi here, a true luxury compared to many of the other Italian towns we stayed in (some of which had virtually none)!

Overall, the apartment was clean, modern, and spacious, all of which we looked forward to after our long days of exploring.

Plus, the centralized location was ideal for exploring Sanremo as well as the French Riviera.

Speaking of, be sure to check out my recommendations for the best things to do in Nice, France.

In addition, stay tuned for more French Riviera guides, coming soon to the blog!

In the meantime, I hope you’ve enjoyed this first-timer’s guide to the interesting city of Sanremo. In addition, I hope that I’ve inspired you to add it to your Italy bucket list.

Have you ever been to this Italian Riviera city? What were some of your favorite things to do in Sanremo? Let me know in the comments below!

Did you find this post useful? Pin it to your boards!

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

This post was written in conjunction with sanremorent.com, who kindly hosted me and my husband during our time in Sanremo. As always, all opinions are my own.

Sanremo is a fascinating city located on the western coast of Liguria in northwestern Italy. It sits along the Italian Riviera, just under an hour from Nice, France by car.

Commonly associated with wealth and prestige, Sanremo is often sought out as a resort destination.

However, despite its elite status, the city still maintains plenty of old-world charm, from its fortified Old Town to its historic buildings and monuments.

While the city is popularly regarded for its annual music festival, there are plenty of lesser-known but equally interesting things to do in Sanremo.

So whether you’re seeking the excitement of city life or the refuge of a nature escape, here are ten of the best things to do in Sanremo.

In a rush? Pin this post for later!

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

10 Best Things to Do in Sanremo, Italy

1. Wander the Charming Streets of La Pigna

The charm of Sanremo is immediately apparent in the city’s Old Town, La Pigna.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

This walled neighborhood dates back to the Middle Ages and was originally built as protection against pirate attacks.

A stroll through La Pigna will have you winding down a labyrinth of alleyways, climbing numerous staircases, and stopping to marvel at the maze of terraced homes.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

FUN FACT: La Pigna, which translates to “pinecone” in Italian, was so named for the layout of its roads and walls, which resemble a pinecone.

2. Stroll through Giardini Regina Elena

Giardini Regina Elena (or the Queen Elena Gardens, in English) pays homage to the beloved Queen Jelena of Montenegro, who visited Sanremo quite frequently. She’s often referred to as Queen Elena of Italy, as she served this role from 1900 – 1946.

Although Giardini Regina Elena suffered damage from the 1887 earthquake, it was later rebuilt and vastly improved by palm trees, greenery, and flowers.

Today, visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the garden, which offers panoramic views over Old Sanremo and the gulf.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

How to Get Here:

Giardini Regina Elena is located at 18038 in Sanremo.

I recommend walking here so you don’t have to navigate the challenges of finding parking nearby.

3. Visit the Santuario della Madonna della Costa

No trip to Sanremo would be complete without a visit to the Santuario della Madonna della Costa, one of the most significant religious buildings in the city.

You’ll find this Baroque-style gem as you make your way up the hill from Giardini Regina Elena.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

This 17th-century marvel once served as a safe haven for sailors arriving to Sanremo.

In addition to its beautiful exterior and gorgeous mosaic passageway, the inside of the church is exquisitely decorated in marble.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

How to Get Here:

The Santuario della Madonna della Costa is located at Piazzale Santuario Assunta, 15, 18038 in Sanremo.

You’ll have to climb a pretty steep hill to get here, but it’s well worth the hike!

4. Take in the City’s Best Views

With its numerous climbs, Sanremo offers visitors fantastic views.

While there are a number of lookouts to be found throughout the city, in particular, the view from Via Dante Alighieri looking up to the Santuario della Madonna della Costa is spectacular.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

PHOTO TIP: Be mindful of passing cars here, as this ledge is bordering a busy (and winding) road. For the best (and safest) option, navigate to the panoramic lookout point before the road bends and winds uphill. We shot this photo just in front of that point.

Another view you won’t want to miss is actually located within Giardini Regina Elena.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

You’ll find it at the bottom of the staircase leading into the garden, to the right of the park benches.

5. Try Your Luck at the Iconic Casinò Municipale di Sanremo

One of the most famous landmarks in the city is the Casinò Municipale di Sanremo, which opened in 1905.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

Designed by French architect Eugene Ferret, the casino was originally a theater venue offering concerts, parties, and other shows in addition to gambling (which wasn’t officially authorized at the time).

You can read more about the venue’s interesting history here.

Today, the casino is open daily and offers everything from game rooms and slot machines, to tournaments, to orchestral performances.

Even if you’re not a gambler (I’m not myself), it’s still worth a visit to this famous venue, as it’s really quite impressive.

FUN FACT: A number of movies were filmed at the casino, including Lucky Night, At the Bar Sport, Infelici e contenti, and Fortunata.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

How to Get Here:

The Casinò Municipale di Sanremo is located at Corso degli Inglesi, 18, 18038 in Sanremo.

6. Relax with a Beach Day

As Sanremo is a coastal city, you should definitely take advantage of some beach time while you’re here.

Plus, there are over a dozen beaches to choose from, both within Sanremo and in its neighboring towns, so you’ll definitely have your pick!

We visited Spaggia Italo Calvino at dusk and essentially had it all to ourselves.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

However, if you’re looking for more action, you’ll definitely find plenty of it during the daytime, particularly during the high season (June – September).

7. Admire the City’s Beautiful Russian Orthodox Church

Did you know that you could experience a taste of Russia in Northern Italy?!

Sanremo’s Russian Orthodox Church – the Cathedral of Christ the Savior – resembles Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow with its beautiful domes!

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

FUN FACT: Sanremo served as a warm, welcome sanctuary for Maria Aleksandrovna, wife of Russian czar Alexander II, back in the late 1800s. She frequented the city in order to escape the harsh Russian winters back home!

The church was later built in 1913 to serve the city’s expanding Russian community.

Whether you’re looking to go inside or simply marvel at this beauty from the outside, it’s definitely worth the visit.

How to Get Here:

The Russian Orthodox Church is located at Via Nuvoloni, 2, 18038 in Sanremo.

8. Experience Royalty with a Visit to One of the City’s Impressive Villas

As a luxe destination, Sanremo is home to numerous villas. So if you’re interested in how the other half lives, going villa hopping is one of the best things to do in Sanremo.

Two of the most popular ones are Villa Ormond and Villa Nobel, located along avenue Corson Felice Cavallotti.

In addition, you’ll find Villa Bel Respiro and Villa Fiorentina along Corso degli Inglesi.

PRO TIP: If you’re looking to visit Villa Ormond or Villa Nobel, be sure to check out the website of your desired destination in advance for admission information. This will also alert you to any closures, as is currently the case with Villa Nobel.

Unfortunately, Villa Bel Respiro and Villa Fiorentina don’t have websites with visiting information, so you’ll have to wing it with those options.

Thankfully, although it’s now closed temporarily, we were able to access Villa Nobel during our visit and admire the beautiful Giardini Nobel.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

How to Get Here:

You can find the location of each of the villas below:

Villa Ormond: Corso Felice Cavallotti, 113, 18038 Sanremo

Villa Nobel: Corso Felice Cavallotti, 116, 18038 Sanremo *Please note that Villa Nobel is temporarily closed

Villa Bel Respiro: Corso degli Inglesi, 18038 Sanremo

Villa Fiorentina: Corso degli Inglesi, 450, 18038 Sanremo

9. Venture Out to the Fairytale Village of Bussana Vecchia

If you have the luxury of time while in Sanremo, I highly recommend a day trip – or a brief excursion, at the very least – to Bussana Vecchia.

Although it’s not technically one of the things to do in Sanremo directly, it’s definitely worth the brief, 20-minute drive from the city center.

This tiny village perched atop a hill in Liguria is something straight out of a storybook!

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

FUN FACT: Bussana Vecchia can quite literally be considered a “hidden” gem, as it was actually a real ghost town in the 20th century!

This was due to the fact that the village was destroyed by the 1887 earthquake, tragically taking around 2000 innocent lives along with it.

After this tragic event, the town was deemed dangerous and became completely abandoned until after World War II.

Fortunately, however, at the end of the 1960s, the village was lovingly restored and transformed into a tight-knit community of artists. In fact, it’s now considered to be an “open-air art laboratory.”

I fell madly in love with the ivy-covered buildings and medieval charm of this one-of-a-kind artists’ village! It’s truly unlike any other place I’ve been before.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

In addition, while you’re here, be sure to stop by La Casaccia Ristorante, which you’ll come across as you enter the village.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

Unfortunately, although we wanted to eat here on our first night in Sanremo, we didn’t have our rental car yet, so it was not possible.

Instead, we ended up making a brief trip to Bussana Vecchia in the early morning before heading off for the next leg of our Italy journey. Sadly, the restaurant was not serving guests at this time, so we’ll have to come back!

That said, if you’re looking to enjoy a bite here, you can visit their Facebook page for more information and to request access to their menu.

Alternatively, there are a couple of other eateries located within the center of Bussana Vecchia.

What to Know Before You Go:

Bussana Vecchia is a pedestrian-only village, so you’ll want to consider your transportation here before you arrive.

While visiting this storybook town was one of the highlights of our Italian Riviera adventure, I do not recommend it for new drivers. This is because you’ll need to navigate up a massively steep, narrow, and winding road consisting of numerous blind turns.

Parking can also be a challenge, as the entrance to the village is quite narrow and doesn’t allow for vehicles. I recommend parking along the side of the road once you come across La Casaccia Ristorante.

That said, the drive itself is part of the adventure, so if you’re up for the challenge, it’s by all means worth it!

How to Get Here:

As an alternative to driving (which is still the most convenient means of travel, all things considered), you may wish to take public transportation.

In this case, you can take Bus Line 13 from the Sanremo train station, which will drop you off at the bottom of the hill. However, once you arrive here, you’ll need to do the steep uphill climb for about 1.2 miles until reaching the village.

10. Live Like a Local in the Heart of Sanremo

While in the city, you can enjoy a comfortable stay in a modern, spacious, and newly-renovated apartment.

Sanremo Rent offers beautifully remastered spaces in the heart of the city with easy access to everyday conveniences.

My husband and I found our apartment to be in a prime location for exploring the city.

Here, we were just steps away from the grocery store and only a five to ten-minute walk to a number of beautiful beaches in the area.

My favorite part of the apartment was definitely the kitchen, which offered charming rooftop views of the city.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

This quickly became our favorite place to enjoy our morning coffee and was our main gathering space for planning the day’s activities.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

Although our apartment didn’t have a living area, it made up for it with three bedrooms, which was quite a luxury.

While we admittedly had more space than we needed for just the two of us, it was convenient having additional space to store our luggage.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

Plus, one of the bedrooms also has a laundry room off of it, which is a rare find in a city.

The multiple bedroom set-up is especially ideal for families as well as friend/family groups looking for the privacy of separate bedrooms while traveling.

In addition, we loved the convenience and privacy of having two bathrooms, which made it easy to get ready each morning.

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

As an aside, we also appreciated the fast Wifi here, a true luxury compared to many of the other Italian towns we stayed in (some of which had virtually none)!

Overall, the apartment was clean, modern, and spacious, all of which we looked forward to after our long days of exploring.

Plus, the centralized location was ideal for exploring Sanremo as well as the French Riviera.

Speaking of, be sure to check out my recommendations for the best things to do in Nice, France.

In addition, stay tuned for more French Riviera guides, coming soon to the blog!

In the meantime, I hope you’ve enjoyed this first-timer’s guide to the interesting city of Sanremo. In addition, I hope that I’ve inspired you to add it to your Italy bucket list.

Have you ever been to this Italian Riviera city? What were some of your favorite things to do in Sanremo? Let me know in the comments below!

Did you find this post useful? Pin it to your boards!

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

Sanremo, Italy is a desirable resort destination infused with old-world charm. The “City of Flowers” is situated along the Italian Riviera, offering travelers everything from the excitement of city life to the solitude of a nature escape. From its iconic casino, to its beautiful beaches and gardens, to its breathtaking scenery, there’s something to enjoy year-round. Come discover the best things to do in Sanremo for a fun-filled Italy itinerary! #italybucketlist #italytravel #italyvacation

This post was written in conjunction with sanremorent.com, who kindly hosted me and my husband during our time in Sanremo. As always, all opinions are my own.