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What to do in Sanremo if you don't go to the Sanremo Festival

Stroll, eat and enjoy the atmosphere of the Festival and the Ligurian city

What to do in Sanremo if you don't go to the Sanremo Festival Stroll, eat and enjoy the atmosphere of the Festival and the Ligurian city

Sanremo is Sanremo. But it is not only the Italian Song Festival. It is the City of Flowers. It is a charming town on the Ligurian Riviera, full of historic buildings, good food and many events that for one week a year is filled with musicians, industry insiders, fans, onlookers and eccentric characters, becoming the center of Italy. If you are there from Tuesday, Feb. 6, to Saturday, Feb. 10, and want to attend the show, but do not already clutch a ticket in your hands or are a cousin of Amadeus, forget about making it because the seats inside the Ariston Theater have been sold out since late January. So how to occupy the time? You can enjoy the atmosphere around Sanremo, discovering the streets, the architecture, the sights, the special events revolving around the event, and maybe during your wanderings you might run into some of the competing artists.

Here are some ideas on what to do in San Remo if you are not going to the Festival.

Visit the city

To paraphrase Sabrina Salerno and Jo Squillo, beyond the Ariston Theater there is more. There is an entire town overlooking the Ligurian Sea, surrounded by headlands and hills, which combines different architectural styles, including Baroque, Neoclassical and Art Nouveau giving rise to many interesting sights. The center is called La Pigna and is distinguished by its perched houses, flights of steps and maze of narrow streets that wind down to the sea or up to the top to the Madonna della Costa Sanctuary. Ideal for enjoying the temperate climate of the Ligurian Riviera? Sitting in Piazza San Siro near the Roman-Gothic cathedral of the same name, which dates back to the 13th century, or Piazza dei Dolori, surrounded by the many historic buildings, looking around and observing the architecture and, most importantly, the people. After this little break, another stroll along Corso Matteotti, the city's main street, is a must, where restaurants and artisan stores face each other and bronze plaques honoring Sanremo's conductors are present. Also here, a selfie with the statue of Mike Bongiorno is a must. Two other attractions that cannot be missed on the city tour? The Sanremo Casino, where the first editions of the Festival were held, and Corso Imperatrice, Sanremo's seafront promenade, with its distinctive red, white and black marble checkered paving and palm trees.


Tasting the specialties of Ligurian cuisine is enough sa alone as a motivation to spend a few days in SanRemo. The food marathon should include trofie with pesto; green cake made of vegetables and rice; SanRemo-style rabbit; potatoes and stockfish; Sardenaira i.e., typical Ligurian focaccia from SanRemo, topped with tomatoes, anchovies, capers and olives; Buridda; Farinata; Baci di Sanremo, i.e., two cookies made of hazelnut paste with a chocolate mousse in the center, ... are your mouths watering already? The stops on this gastronomic tour? A spritz at Bar Melody, near the Ariston Theater, a pesto pasta dish at Da Vittorio Restaurant, and a chic dinner at the tables of Restaurant de Paris, inside the Hotel de Paris, before closing the evening with a cocktail at Crikkot.

Enjoying the side events of the Festival

The Festival also continues outside the Ariston. There is the stage in Piazza Colombo where Lazza, Rosa Chemical, Paola and Chiara, Arisa, and Tananai will perform over the course of the week, but there are also many locations scattered around the city all to be discovered. Those who want to discover the history of the singing event, there is the exhibition Il Festival si Mostra at Forte Santa Tecla that recounts the 74 years of the Festival, from its beginnings in 1951 to the present day. Those who want to admire the city from above and the waterfront should take a ride on the 25-meter high Ferris wheel inaugurated by VeraLab, skincare partner Di Sanremo 2024, at Pian di Nave and open daily from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Appointment with digital creators to comment on the various evenings and performances in the competition Casa Coca-Cola, an exclusive area on the top floor of the Palafiori, which will celebrate pizza and the pairing with Coca-Cola. Pizza is also the star of Geolier's Sanremo adventure, who, together with his record company Warner Music Italia, has opened a temporary pizzeria, Pizza Geolier, at Via Gaudio 61. Dessert, on the other hand, is offered by Ciobar, present in Pian di Nave to warm passersby with its iconic hot chocolate. More personal, however, are the choices of Dargen D'Amico and Ghali. The first one has created a blue newsstand in Piazza V. Muccioli 16, a space that will remain open until next Feb. 10 and will host talks and meetings dedicated to the theme of migration, inspired by the song Onda Alta proposed by the artist. Ghali has set up Casa Ghali with IKEA on Via Palazzo, where he will welcome friends and guests for the duration of the San Remo week.