Tuesday, May 21, 2013

SAN REMO, ITALY


Sanremo's Russian Orthodox Church
Outdoor market
Flower market
Into each life a little rain must fall and for us, it fell the week we were in Sanremo, Italy.   But, as you can see we had sunny days as well.


Food market
Not far from the French border,  Sanremo is part of the Italian Riviera.  It overlooks the Ligurian Sea, an arm of the Mediterranean that extends from the southeast coast of France along the northwest coast of Italy and down to the island of Corsica.   Sanremo was once the winter retreat for high society Russians including the mother of the last tsar (Nicholas II) who held court here.  In the last few  years, the city has seen a resurgence of Russian visitors.

Fortunately, the sun was shining the day the weekly street market is held in nearby Ventimiglia.  We took the local bus there and spent well over an hour wandering what is reputed to be the largest knock off market in Europe.  However, we thought the weekly outdoor market in Sanremo was just as good.  It is next to the Central Mercado where you can find  everything imaginable to make a wonderful, fresh Italian meal -- fish, meat, cheese, wine, pasta, vegetables and fruit.  Being homeless, we rarely have reason to buy anything but we enjoy the festive air of the markets and observing the local people. 
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View from roof top terrace of our apartment building
Our little apartment was right across the street from the beach, but it was quite cool even on sunny days.  Fortunately, we were able to take advantage of the beautiful 'rails to trails' walking and biking path that runs along the waterfront.   


Biking the rails to trails path




Narrow alleys lead up to high point
View from the high point overlooking the city 
We also hiked up to the highest point in Sanremo.  The beautiful views overlooking the city and port made the strenuous climb through narrow alleyways worthwhile.  

Lunch at our favorite restaurant
On rainy days, we read and watched TED talks.  These are short talks by world renowned experts on everything from technology and science to psychology and global issues. They are entertaining and enlightening. 

Fortunately, Ron is very creative in the kitchen.  On rainy days, we would trek to the market with our umbrellas and bring home the makings for appetizers and dinner.  Early on, we learned – or I should say re-learned – that we must bring our own carry bag to the supermarket or be charged for plastic bags.

Overall,  we have found the prices a bit high as we always have to add about 1/3 as the euro runs close to $1.30 against the US dollar.  Gas is very expensive.  They sell it by the litre and 3.79 litres = 1 gallon.  It comes to about $7.00 a gallon to fill our Citroen with diesel. So far we have not needed to use the car except to get from lodging to lodging. The local transportation has been excellent and easy to use.  

On Wedneday, May 22 we will follow the coast around to Rapallo, Italy.