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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Challenge Sanremo

It will be a great sports party. From Friday 23 to Sunday 25 September, the Riviera dei Fiori will welcome more than 700 triathletes on the occasion of the first edition of Challenge Sanremo, an international event that is part of the Challenge Family series which includes 30 events around the world.

It starts on Friday at 5 pm with the Swimrun for which about a hundred athletes are expected, on Saturday the Triathlon Sprint (from 10:30 with over 200 athletes) and the youth triathlon (from 14:00 with 100 young triathletes engaged) ; Sunday, starting at 8:20 am, the highlight of the weekend, the Challenge Sanremo over Middle Distance (1.9 km of swimming, 90 km of cycling, 21 km of running) attended by more than 300 international athletes. We remind you that the race organised by the Riviera Triathlon 1992 will provide qualification slots for The Championship, the world final of the Challenge series of 2023.

 

ATHLETES TO FOLLOW

The middle-distance race will be of a decidedly high level thanks to the important technical qualities of the participants. Eyes on Michael Raelert, the German two-time world champion and also opportunities for William Mennesson (Fra), Pablo Dapena Gonzales (Spa), Florin Salvisberg (Svi), Thomas Bishop (Gbr) Roberto Sanchez Mantecon (Spa) and for the most representative Italian athletes on the distance like Gregory Barnaby, Alessandro Degasperi, Mattia Ceccarelli, Domenico Passuello. The level of the women’s event is also very high: Lucy Byram (Gbr), Aleksandra Jedrzejewska (Pol), Emma Bilham (Gbr), Justine Guerard (Fra), Nina Derron (Svi) stand out, who will have to contend victory with the “azzurre” Giorgia Priarone (silver medal at the World Championship in the Team event and fresh European champion in duathlon), Luisa Iogna-Prat and the local athlete, and captain of the 1992 Riviera Triathlon Vittoria Bergamini.

 

TRIATHLON SPRINT

Interesting names also in the sprint triathlon on Saturday. The double Olympian “azzurro” Davide Uccellari, Asia Mercatelli, vice world university champion, Davide Ingrillì and Kiril Polikarpenko,  will be ready to put on a show in the electrifying race characterized by the ascent and descent of the Poggio.

 

ORGANISER QUOTES

Even though we have been organizing sporting events for twenty years, it is always thrilling to welcome hundreds of triathletes from all corners of the planet – said Daniele Moraglia, president of Riviera Triathlon 1992 and chief of organizing committee – This year we have taken up a great challenge: joining the Challenge Family international circuit and organize the first edition of Challenge Sanremo, a very ambitious and demanding multi-year project, but at the same time stimulating. In a few days the rich weekend will open and will involve swimrun enthusiasts, sprint triathlon specialists, young triathletes and, finally, the hundreds of athletes ready to try their hand at the challenging medium-distance test, along the very challenging course, but that make the most of our territory, not only for the city of Sanremo, but also for the other 11 municipalities crossed by the race. In this regard, it is our duty to thank all the local administrations, always sensitive towards us and ready to welcome the triathlon along their streets, the Police, the institutions and their offices, the supporters of the event and the associations that collaborate with the Organizing Committee and the Riviera Triathlon 1992 and, finally, the volunteers: without them, such a sporting event would not be possible. The excitement is rising, the tension too: we will do everything possible to ensure the smooth running of the competitions and make sure that everyone has fun practicing or attending a great sporting event. Good luck to all participants: we will be ready to support them, from first to last, certain that there will be no lack of emotions”.

 

IN MEMORY OF ALESSIO BIANCHI

The Sanremo Swimrun Challenge on Friday 23 September, as already announced, will be named after Alessio Bianchi. Athlete of the 1992 Riviera Triathlon team, well known and appreciated in the Swimrun circuit in Italy and Europe, Alessio left us prematurely at the end of July, struck by an illness just as he was practicing the sport that he was so passionate about. As we have already had the opportunity to underline, Alessio will always swim and run next to us: he will always be one of us. Furthermore, we remind you that half an hour before the start of the race (4:30 pm), Alessio will be remembered and, in this circumstance, he will be given the last farewell

 

MEMORIAL GAVINO AND TROFEO RAMBALDI

On the occasion of the sprint and the medium distances of the Challenge Sanremo on September 24-25, two special prizes will be awarded: the Memorial Marco Gavino and the Trofeo Daniele Rambaldi.

The fastest runners on middle distance race male/ female (Pro athletes are excluded) will receive the award named after Marco Gavino, a young policeman who died during a humanitarian mission in Kosovo, a great friend of all of us and a person of great qualities. The decision to donate the Trophy to the best runner stems from Marco’s past as an athlete, which made him a valid and passionate runner.

The Trofeo Daniele Rambaldi will be awarded to the best male and female athletes Under 23 who will cross the finish line of the Sprint Triathlon. Rambaldi has left an unbridgeable void in the life of those who have known him even for just a few minutes. Availability, ¨joie de vivre¨, kindness, simplicity, sympathy, passion for sport, sincerity, loyalty are just some of the distinctive characteristics of the ¨Rambo¨ Danielone who since 1992 has been the soul and engine of the 1992 Riviera Triathlon. The Trofeo dedicated to emerging athletes was established precisely to underline his natural predisposition to work with young people.

 

MUNICIPALITIES, VOLUNTEERS AND ASSOCIATIONS

A sporting event so complicated from an organisational point of view, can only materialise by networking and taking advantage of mutual collaboration and support. First of all, the Territories crossed by our races deserve thanks: in addition to Sanremo, the municipalities of Taggia, Riva Ligure, Santo Stefano al Mare, Terzorio, Pompeiana, Castellaro, Badalucco, Bajardo, Ceriana, Cipressa and Ospedaletti to which are added those to the Police Dept.

Collaboration with schools is also fundamental, in particular with the Liceo Cassini l of Sanremo, which will make dozens of students available to support our staff, and the cooperation with the Tabya 100 scout group and the Anni Azzurri structures. Sport knows how to create “cross- ties” and it happens that Teams and Clubs of different disciplines with common philosophies meet and decide to help each other during important events: this is why the president of ASD Canottieri Sanremo Sergio Tommasini should be thanked for the help that his athletes will give us in the various swimming fractions during the race weekend. Finally, we anticipate that Challenge Sanremo will be the subject of a degree thesis in which all the sports, tourism and economic aspects related to an international event of this magnitude will be analysed.

 

CHARITY PROJECT

Fundraising for the purchase of some machineries (pulse oximeters and cardiomonitors) for the pediatric department of the Imperia Hospital is still active: in addition to donating part of the registrations to this initiative, the organizers of the Riviera Triathlon event 1992 will activated a telematic system to collect donations on the dedicated Rete del Dono platform. Strong support for this important initiative will be provided by Sabrina Schillaci, cyclist and triathlete who will give great visibility to the Charity project: in addition to competing in the medium-distance race on 25 September, Sabrina will reach the Riviera dei Fiori by bicycle retracing the route of the “Classicissima” Milan-Sanremo.

(FUND RAISING: https://www.retedeldono.it/it/progetti/riviera-triathlon-1992-asd/challenge-sanremo-charity-project)

INSTITUTIONAL QUOTES

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome the first edition of the Challenge Sanremo international triathlon, undoubtedly one of the sports disciplines that best fits into the natural environment of our territory where it becomes a fascinating outdoor competition field, combining three competitive different sports to play – said Giovanni Toti, president of Ligura Region – The great success of the past events organized by the Riviera Triathlon 92 has managed to highlight the beauty of this sport which sees its athletes involved in the disciplines of swimming, cycling and running, combining the wonders of our region in a path between blue waters. and scenarios with breathtaking views. The inclusion of the 2022 edition within the prestigious Challenge Family circuit testifies to the degree of professionalism achieved by the Riviera Triathlon Society and therefore represents the right recognition of the organizational skills demonstrated in its first 30 years of activity. The hundreds of athletes, technicians, and supporters who will be in Sanremo in the coming days will have the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of a tourist resort that, once again, will be able to guarantee an enviable welcome and hospitality. I wish them to combine the efforts of this demanding competition with a pleasant stay in the splendid Sanremo, city of flowers and sport”.

“With great pleasure I present the institutional greetings of the Liguria Region as Councillor for Sport at this first edition of the Sanremo Challenge – said Simona Ferro, councillor for sport of Liguria RegionWe are proud to host this historic race for the Riviera di Ponente which today is renewed with the partnership and entry into the large and international family of the Challenge Family. The course is truly exciting and will give those who travel it breathtaking images of our coast, but above all a high-level technical race that will set a new standard of difficulty for the many triathletes who, with its steep climbs and treacherous descents. participate. Liguria is investing heavily in sport, considering it as an extraordinary vehicle for the promotion of the territory and tourism capable of enhancing and growing the national economy and with the candidacy of Liguria as the European Region of Sport 2025 we want to this intention to be clear. Thanks to those who have organized and made this race grow over time to bring it today to the heights of internationality and major competitions. Liguria awaits you for future great sporting opportunities”.

“I am happy that Liguria and Sanremo are hosting the first edition of the Challenge Sanremo with the most important triathletes from all over the world – underlined Giovanni Berrino, councillor of Tourism of Liguria Region – This prestigious event will be a great promotional opportunity for Sanremo and for our Riviera. A showcase attended by hundreds of people who love sport and our territory, multiplying the visibility of a land like ours welcoming and hospitable. The event to be held at the end of the summer season emphasises the fact that in Liguria you can do outdoor sports at any time of the year in a beautiful territory that embraces the coast and the hinterland. The combination of sport and tourism is very tight and the investments that the Liguria Region makes to support this type of sporting events have a very important return on the tourism economy”.

“A spectacular and fascinating discipline like triathlon, in an equally spectacular and fascinating environment – said Claudio Scajola, president of Imperia province – our territory is the ideal stage for a sporting competition of international value such as the Challenge Sanremo, which crosses the typical suggestive views of the West Liguria between land and water. I wish the participants from many countries, lots of fun and a pleasant stay.

“The most cordial welcome to all those who have arrived in our city on the occasion of this important event – said Alberto Biancheri, mayor of Sanremo – The Sanremo Triathlon has become part of the Challenge Family international circuit which includes races  in the most renowned locations in the world related to tourism and triathlon: a prestigious milestone for an event in our area that has enjoyed so much success and participation over the years. Sanremo welcomes this new edition with enthusiasm, once again offering truly exclusive routes. A sincere thanks to the organisers for the work done”.

“Sanremo is ready to host this great event, once again establishing itself as the stage for important sporting events – said Giuseppe Faraldi, councilor for sport of municipality of Sanremo – Triathlon manages to combine tourism and sport, relying on some attractive factors of our territory which presents itself as a real ‘open-air gym’. I am sure that this event will offer all participants the opportunity to experience intense days of sport and in Sanremo the opportunity to strengthen their image as a sports destination.

“A praise to Riviera Triathlon 1992 for the important work done in 30 years of activity, which has allowed them to achieve increasingly flattering results – said Massimo Rossano, budget councillor of municipality of Sanremo – As an enthusiast I can say that triathlon and the new swimrun discipline are fascinating and vigorous sports, capable of combining variety and intensity of effort. And the Sanremo Triathlon allows you to achieve all this, with a very special scenario: the beauties of our city, capable of attracting for its peculiarities”.

“A great sports event dedicated to the passion for triathlon. Liguria is preparing to host the first edition of the Challenge Sanremo: it will be an opportunity to celebrate the entry of the event into the prestigious international circuit ‘Challenge Family’, deserved recognition for an appointment that in the past season recorded the participation of over 1600 athletes from 25 countries – said Giovanni Malagò, president of Italian National Olympic Committee – Numbers that summarise the importance and depth of the event, a great opportunity to promote the territory – with a great sporting vocation – and at the same time the Olympic discipline that manages to involve more and more fans, with a special appeal. On my own behalf, and on behalf of the Italian National Olympic Committee, I extend my sincere thanks to the ASD Riviera Triathlon ’92 and to anyone who contributed to the organisation of the Challenge, addressing heartfelt encouragement to all participants, with the certainty that they will be able to give us a page special, full of emotions”.

“We are really happy that a Challenge event will land again in Italy in a particularly evocative scenario like Sanremo – said Riccardo Giubilei, president of Italian Triathlon Federation – Athletes, Italian and from abroad, will be able to compete on legendary routes and in which the Giro d’Italia has made history, between incomparable views and the blue sea of ​​Liguria. I want to congratulate the organisers who, thanks to the close relationship with the local administrations and in the path traced by the Federation, which is to be closer to the territories that host us, have been able to keep faith with their commitment and set up an event like this even in a challenging circumstance like a concurring National Election day. This is the demonstration that the Italian organisers know how to overcome all difficulties and that they are able to offer races of the highest level. My good luck and my sincere wishes for good fun go to all the athletes who will compete for the victory in a race that I am sure will be spectacular”.

“We are very much looking forward to the inaugural edition of Challenge Sanremo and would like to thank Daniele Moraglia and his team, as well as the local community, for the opportunity to bring Challenge Family to the Italian Riviera – said Jort Vlam, CEO Challenge FamilyThe course is spectacular and we have no doubt it will become a classic on the international triathlon circuit as word gets out after this first edition what an honest course and stunning destination this is. Good luck to all the athletes racing and I hope you have a great day on Sunday as you make history at this first Challenge Sanremo. See you at the finish line!”.

 

LIVE STREAMING

Challenge Sanremo – middle distance race, scheduled for Sunday 25 September will be fully live streamed on YouTube channels of Challenge Sanremo and Challenge Family with Italian and English commentary.

 

RACE COURSES

Challenge Sanremo – Middle distance

 Swim. 1 lap of 1,9km. Single lap starting from the Bagni Paradiso beach and exiting the water at Lido Imperatrice.

Bike. 1 lap of 90 km. Single lap. Exiting the first transition area, the participants will ride along the Cycle and Pedestrian Path of the ¨Coastal Park¨ of Ponente Ligure, heading east, up to Riva Ligure, before transiting onto the Aurelia. A few hundred meters in the town of Santo Stefano al Mare separate the triathletes from the first climb: turn left and climb towards Terzorio, Pompeiana and Castellaro. The slopes are not prohibitive and make this first ascent very easy to pedal: only in the last part, 10% is reached. Afterward, we descend towards Taggia, before starting to gain altitude again. A slight slope follows the course of the Argentina torrent, crossing the town of Taggia before begin a long climb of 17 km that leads to the Ghimbegna pass (1030 m altitude), after having crossed Argallo, Zerni and Vignai. The positive difference in height, which touches 1500 meters, is over: now we descend towards sea level from Bajardo, Ceriana and Poggio di Sanremo, facing the famous descent of the Classicissima Milano-Sanremo in the final.

Run. 3 laps of 7 km. The run part is flat and flowing, which will take place in the section of the cycle / pedestrian path between Sanremo and Ospedaletti which involves crossing the Capo Nero tunnel and offers a wonderful sea view.

 

SANREMO AND ITS SURROUNDINGS

The history and tips about the municipalities crossed during Challenge Sanremo 2022.

SANREMO

The most populous town in the province of Imperia (about 54,000 inhabitants) is located along the Riviera dei Fiori. Famous tourist resort, renowned for the cultivation of flowers, hence the nickname of “Citta dei Fiori” (City of Flowers), hosts the arrival of the Milan-Sanremo cycling race (one of the classic monuments of world cycling), the Italian Song Festival, the Prize Tenco, the rally motor racing and, for two decades, international triathlon events. It is also the home of one of the four casinos in Italy.

The origins. Its ancient name, Villa Matuciana, apparently derives from a Roman deity, Mater Matuta, goddess of the dawn, who gave beauty to this stretch of Ligurian coast by overturning the contents of its cornucopia. Located in a large inlet between Cape Verde or Punta d’Arma and Capo Nero, Sanremo is considered the “pearl” of the Riviera dei Fiori and has the reputation of being one of the most famous climatic-seaside resorts in Italy and in the world. accompanied by fantastic hotels. Protected from the north winds by the surrounding hills that stretch out like an amphitheater behind it, it could become, as well as one of the capitals of tourism, an important centre for floriculture. Loved by foreigners since the last century, a meeting place for the beautiful world, Sanremo is also its Casino, an Art Nouveau building (1906), a symbol of the Belle Époque, known not only for its gambling halls, but for its theatre and Salone delle Feste, where concerts, conferences, literary meetings, magazine shows, gala evenings and other artistic and social events take place. By now the whole world knows the Ariston, where the Italian Song Festival takes place, which with its whirlwind of singers, presenters, cinema and theater stars and journalists glues the beautiful country in front of the TV. And what about one of the historical events of sport, the Milan-Sanremo cycling race, which sees a nice stretch of our Liguria flow under the wheels of the champions? Since the past centuries, Sanremo has been a destination for prestigious foreign tourists who have chosen the city as their new residence: Tsarina Maria Alexandrovna arrived in Sanremo in 1874 by train, having inaugurated the Genoa-Ventimiglia line a year earlier, like the scientist Alfred Nobel . In 1860 Pietro Bogge di Rivoli had opened the first large hotel, the Grand Hotel Londra, while in 1871 the Gran Hotel Royal had been inaugurated. In 1878 the guest list gave Sanremo 167 English, 171 Germans and a smaller number of subjects from other countries. In 1901 there were 21410 tourists with an average daily stay in the winter high season of 4153 people. Sanremo then had 22,440 inhabitants and in the last 20 years 25 new hotels had been opened and about 200 private villas built.

The new Sanremo. The modern Sanremo extends over the plain, along the coast; the old city, the Pigna, is grouped in the interior. From Corso Matteotti, near the railway station, which overlooks the Casino, you enter Corso Imperatrice, dedicated to the Tsarina Maria Alexandrovna who gave her palm trees in 1885 and flanked by the Marsaglia Park (with an auditorium for concerts and shows at the ‘open). Next to it stands the Russian Orthodox church of San Basilio, a small model of the Moscow churches with onion domes built at the end of the 19th century. From there the Corso degli Inglesi winds its way through the green, climbing the hill from which you can enjoy the panorama of the city. On Corso Matteotti overlooks the Palazzo Borea d’Olmo (from the 16th-17th centuries) which houses the Civic Archaeological Museum, which includes a prehistoric section with finds from the Paleolithic, Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages and Roman finds. of local villas and necropolis, and a picture gallery, as well as a collection of Garibaldi relics. In Corso Garibaldi there is the seventeenth-century church of Santa Maria degli Angeli and, behind it, the square of the flower market. Along Corso Cavallotti there are the Gardens of the Villa Comunale. Corso Trento e Trieste represents the seaside promenade that reaches the harbor inlet. At the beginning of the pier stands the fort of Santa Tecla, built in 1755 by the Genoese. Not far from the square dedicated to the Heroes of San Remo (Piazza Eroi Sanremesi) stands the Cathedral of San Siro, a Roman-Gothic building from the 13th century on the remains of an early Christian parish church and a proto-Romanesque church; the adjacent baptistery, modified in 1668, is based on Roman and early medieval remains, the rectory is a 12th century Romanesque building. Inside, on the main altar, a large wooden crucifix by Maragliano. On the back wall of the choir, the SS. Siro, Pietro, Paolo, G.Battista and Romolo in a panel (1548) by Pancalino. In front of the cathedral there is the sixteenth-century Oratory of the Immaculate Conception which houses eight paintings depicting episodes from the life of the Madonna. From there you go up to the oldest heart of Sanremo, the Pigna. Through the Porta di Santo Stefano, formed by a Gothic arch of 1321, you enter a maze of alleys, stairways, houses with arches and pointed windows, stone columns and carved architraves, covered alleys or crossed by counterthrust arches. Beyond Piazza Castello stands the sanctuary of the Madonna della Costa (16th century). On the eastern end of the city extends the park of Villa Ormond and, towards the sea, Villa Nobel with its gardens, home to cultural events and an exhibition on the activity of the Swedish scientist who died in Sanremo in 1896. In search of more ancient monuments, at the Foce (2km from the centre) there is the Roman villa of the same name, divided into nine rooms and including a small spa complex. In the aforementioned Civic Museum it is possible to appreciate the finds collected in the Grotto of the Madonna dell’Arma in Bussana. A short distance from Piazza Colombo in Sanremo, along the escarpment that descends from the Pigna hill, at the last bend of the underlying San Francesco stream, in 1960 an emergency intervention was carried out to preserve an important prehistoric site. The finds from this site are also in the Civic Museum.

Outside Sanremo. Behind Sanremo, as mentioned, the Bignone peak (with the remains of the ancient pre-Roman fortification) rises, touching 1300 meters, and at an altitude of 786 meters along the homonymous stream, is the village of San Romolo. The nearest valley to visit is the Armea Valley which is located east of the city. From the Poggio di Sanremo you go up to Bussana Vecchia, which has become famous as the “artists’ village” and is full of artisan shops. It was once surrounded by walls and the urban layout is annular, developed around the baroque church, on whose walls spared from the earthquake of 1887 you can still see some frescoes; the bell tower is almost intact.

Agriculture. Since the twelfth century there is news of the cultivation of citrus fruits (first the cedars and then, brought by the Crusaders, lemons, bitter oranges and sweet oranges). There is ample documentation on the long history of these crops and of the fruit trade in the municipal statutes. The Municipality of Sanremo regulated the collection, production and sale with an uninterrupted series of measures, allowing producers to form a consortium (1843) that will remain alive until 1930, issuing numerous regulations and decrees that met the needs of the most important citrus wholesale market in northern Italy. Already at the beginning of the last century the fruits were divided and rigorously selected for size and quality. Sanremo is characterised by palm trees: tradition has it that the first seeds were brought by either Sant’ Ampelio anacoreta who came from Thebaid in 411 or the Crusaders returning from the Holy Land (1096). Already in the fifteenth century the cultivation of the date palm was already widespread in the Sanremo area and its leaves were sold for Roman and Jewish religious ceremonies (processed differently depending on the destination). A maritime captain from Sanremo, Benedetto Brasca (died in 1603), obtained the privilege of supplying the palms to the Holy See and the privilege has passed from heir to heir up to the present day. The olive trees complete the agricultural landscape and the image of the Sanremo of other times. The trees of Sanremo were strong and centuries-old specimens that survived the great frost of 1709. In the mid-19th century there was the first olive growing crisis, a crisis which in the first decades of the 20th century worsened in coincidence with the conversion to floriculture and tourism. The history of floriculture in Sanremo and throughout the province has a starting date: 1856, when the Parisian writer Alphonse Karr, who, in exile, had found refuge in the still Italian Nice in 1951, started his business of flowers by train, sending baskets of violets, daffodils and buttercups to Paris. In 1868 a perfume shop was opened on the current Corso Matteotti: it was managed by GioBatta Aicardi, the distiller and creator of the famous “essence of San Remo violet”. The first real company for exporting cut flowers (Bessi-Julien) dates back to 1874 and by 1880 it was already shipping about a hundred baskets of roses a day. Meanwhile, the Lyon gardener Guillard introduced the carnation and its reproduction by cutting to Nice and Lodovico Winter, creator of the Hanbury Garden, founded his first establishment. Starting from 1910, floriculture was practiced on a scientific basis with the establishment of the Experimental Station of Floriculture headed by Professor Mario Calvino. The Flower Market had a permanent seat in Sanremo from 1914.

Website: https://www.comunedisanremo.it

 

TAGGIA

Taggia is located just six kilometers from Sanremo and about twenty from Imperia, roughly in the center of the Riviera dei Fiori, boasts the mild climate typical of this corner of Liguria, a vast and sandy beach and hotel facilities for all tastes and all pockets. Arma di Taggia, the seaside village, owes its name to the cave inhabited in prehistoric times, which was transformed into a chapel containing the altar of the Madonna dell’Arma. The cave opens towards the rock of the Annunciata, near a quadrangular tower of sighting and defence of the sixteenth century. Behind the bay of Arma di Taggia, the Argentina Valley rises, crossed by the stream of the same name. From Arma you go up, along state road 548 for three kilometers, to Taggia, one of the oldest and most illustrious centers of the Riviera di Ponente. Rich in history and popular traditions, Taggia has a characteristic medieval structure, with towers and walls, and boasts numerous works of art preserved in its churches. Entirely built vertically, with steep stairways and abrupt changes in level that create suggestive glimpses, it has three types of walls, and its heart is reached by crossing the Porta dell’Orso. This locality gives its name to the most famous variety of Ligurian olive, the “taggiasca”, as tradition has it that the Benedictine monks introduced the cultivation of the olive here in the distant 12th century. Going up along the path of the streams starting from the coastal towns is perhaps the best way to proceed to discover the Ligurian hinterland.

Website: https://comune.taggia.im.it

 

RIVA LIGURE

Riva Ligure, a seaside village of 2,800 inhabitants with the houses of the historic core built almost on the beach, is part of the so-called fief of Villaregia, which includes the territory of the eastern Argentina Valley, that of the San Lorenzo Valley and arrives, to the north, to Monte Faudo (1149 m). The Santa Caterina stream separates Riva from Santo Stefano al Mare; the locality extends over a coast of just over 2km and the new part was built towards the interior and therefore Pompeiana. The city core, as is typical of the Ponentini villages, is arranged around a long and narrow road axis parallel to the beach. The promenade is full of palm trees, also present in the beaches. To admire Borgo Torre and Piazza Ughetto, with the sixteenth-century tower. The Town Hall (former palace of the Marquises Carrega), the oratory of San Giovanni Battista and the Parish of San Maurizio (with the characteristic parvis of sea pebbles) are located along via Nino Bixio. San Maurizio has a single nave and eight chapels. The remains of the Benedictine convent of the Grange are visible north of the Aurelia at the foot of the homonymous mountain. The church, which, over time, was incorporated into the town, is today the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Buon Consiglio. It may have already existed since 1049, but the nave, the apse and the external buttresses date back to the fifteenth century. On the outer wall on the right there is the tomb of the poet resold Francesco Pastonchi, also mentioned in an inscription on the town hall. This town has been awarded the Blue Flag, testifying to the quality of its sea.

Website: http://www.comunedirivaligure.it

 

SANTO STEFANO AL MARE

Arriving in Santo Stefano al Mare, by car or train, the first impression you get is that of immersing yourself in a sea of ​​flowers, as the communication routes pass through the flower crops. In fact, of the approximately 2200 inhabitants of this municipality, many are engaged in the agricultural sector, which, together with the tertiary sector and tourism, constitutes the backbone of the local economy. Santo Stefano al Mare is separated from Riva Ligure only by the Santa Caterina stream. In Marina degli Aregai, a well-equipped tourist port (completed in 1992), which is located just over half a kilometre from Santo Stefano towards the border with Cipressa, pleasure boating enthusiasts can find a comfortable welcome. The widest beach is that of the Torre, while along the other stretch of coast the beaches become increasingly narrow; for bathers, however, there are artificial reefs (created to defend the coast from storm surges) and a shallow sandy bottom suitable for less experienced swimmers or those who like to enjoy a little relaxation.

Website: http://www.comune.santostefanoalmare.im.it

 

TERZORIO

The first houses of Terzorio were built along the road that connected the centres of the immediate Imperia hinterland: in fact, from the Late Antiquity period, we witnessed the progressive abandonment of the Via Julia Augusta, which ran too close to the coast and which for this reason it was not safe enough, in favour of itineraries that wound through the countryside. The mild climate of the area and its favourable position for crops have meant that, in times closer to us, Terzorio has experienced considerable economic development, especially in the direction of floriculture and greenhouse cultivation, which has resulted in an urban expansion that fortunately, it did not compromise the conservation of the original nucleus of the village.

Website: http://www.comune.terzorio.im.it

 

POMPEIANA

The village of Pompeiana stands on the Roman rustic villa of the fundus Pompeianum, hence the name of the locality, connected to the mansio of Costa Balenae, the stopping station for goods which was located on the coastal road via Julia Augusta and connected to the nearby road for the Gaul. The upper part of the town, equipped with fortifications of which important architectural testimonies remain. In the lower part of Pompeiana there is an example of a military structure in the Panei tower, in Costa Panera, a bastion built in the sixteenth century to spot the enemy and which now houses a museum. In the heart of the town, on an open space that opens up panoramic on the sea and on the Panei tower, stands the parish church of Santa Maria Assunta flanked by the high bell tower erected in 1726. In the area adjacent to San Bernardo, there is an area of particular naturalistic value, in which live the very rare “Ocellated Lizard” and the dotted Pelodite (another very rare animal in Italy) as well as the spontaneous presence of some precious species of Mediterranean orchid.

Website: http://www.comunedipompeiana.net

 

CASTELLARO

The origin of the name of the locality of Castellaro, in all likelihood, refers to a fortified settlement of the pre-Roman era, the existence of which is evidenced by the finds found on the nearby Grange hill. The inhabited area has the houses arranged one next to the other, on the sides of the road, forming two curtains that open into arches and open spaces on which the secondary lanes converge. Of the castle that stood in the heart of the village, in a raised position, there remains only a semicircular tower equipped with machicolations. In the Baroque period, the parish church of San Pietro in Vincoli and the oratory of the Assumption were built on the raised open space that the demolition of the castle had left free. The Sanctuary of Nostra Signora di Lampedusa is located in a beautiful panoramic position over the lower Argentina valley and the hills of the Riviera covered with olive groves. In the summer, the stairways and walls surrounding the building are decorated with cascades of colorful geraniums of great effect.

Website: http://www.comunedicastellaro.it

 

BADALUCCO

Here we see the moment of the passage between the coastal dimension and the one that goes towards the mountain: in Badalucco the meeting of water and stone is celebrated, with aerial and powerful bridges. Badalucco, a painted village, is an open-air museum of ceramics and murals, which blossoms from street to square, inviting visitors to discover.

Website: http://www.comune.badalucco.im.it

 

BAJARDO

Bajardo is a town that has 340 inhabitants and is located at an altitude of 910 meters, the highest municipality in the province of Imperia. Mountain village of the Armea valley located, as the crow flies, 10 km from Sanremo and positioned on one of the mountain ridges of the Maritime Alps in the hinterland at the apex of the Nervia valley. The territory of the municipality lies between 332 and 1627 meters above sea level. The territory is mainly composed of olive groves, mountain Taggiasca quality, by now uncultivated arable land, vineyards, chestnut groves and mixed woods. Today part of the uncultivated land has been used for floriculture. The village has a typically rural character, with both linear and annular structure, and has many environmental and architectural aspects typical of Ligurian villages: stone, narrow alleys, with tall houses connected to each other by counterthrust arches.

Website: http://www.comunebajardo.it

 

CERIANA

Ceriana, just over 1000 inhabitants, located in the Armea Valley in the hinterland of Sanremo, is a perched, hanging village in which the houses push each other around the bulk of a parish church. The character of the Cerianaschi is full of passion for their ancient city, for their traditions and for the values ​​in which everyone recognises themselves: in Ceriana Liguria shows one of its most genuine sides. Ceriana is a real monument town.

Website: https://www.comune.ceriana.im.it/

 

OSPEDALETTI

Situated in a small cove between Capo Nero and Capo Sant’ Ampelio, just 5km from Sanremo, Ospedaletti is a renowned summer and winter resort. Endowed with an extraordinarily mild climate, protected as it is from the winds of the north, it sees the growth of a luxuriant vegetation of a sub tropical character with palms, eucalyptus, ficus, cactaceae. Its ancient inhabited nucleus is all grouped together on the seashore. The new city, with its villas, gardens, hotels and other accommodation facilities and then the cultivation of flowers, extends on the slopes of the surrounding hills. In addition to the beauty of the places and the hospitality of its inhabitants, Ospedaletti offers visitors one of the cleanest seas in Italy, awarded several times with the Blue Flag.

Institutional website: https://www.comune.ospedaletti.im.it

CIPRESSA

The municipal area of ​​Cipressa, which has about 1200 inhabitants, is located in a panoramic position, overlooking the sea, between the coast of the tip of Santo Stefano and the cape of San Lorenzo. The town is located along the sublittoral road, a little set back and therefore less dangerous than the coastal one: high on the Costa hill, facing the splendid panorama of the sea, the oldest houses arranged in a semicircle tell of the hard times of the pirate raids to which in every way they tried to cope. The baroque façade of the parish church dedicated to Our Lady of the Visitation rises on the large square.

Website: http://www.comune.cipressa.im.it