I’ve been in Sanremo since the start of October 2018. Here are my impressions so far.
Sanremo is a great place to live, the local people are very friendly and lovely to deal with.
I do find siesta a tad frustrating but I’m sure that’s only because I can’t take siesta myself. You do get used to it - It’d be even easier if you’re taking it.
Day drinking is a thing but the Italians consider it poor form to get out of shape.
The town is really pretty and the surrounding mountains and villages are gorgeous. Sanremo is large enough to have plenty to do and small enough not to be impersonal. There’s a good local fresh produce market with another close by in Imperia. Sanremo is located in easy day or weekend away distance to some of the most stunning places I’ve seen.
The climate is moderate.
You can ski in the morning and swim in the afternoon if that’s your thing. There’s plenty of great local restaurants and some pretty cool bars. The coffee is great and the wine is cheap and drinkable.
The parking in town is a challenge but not expensive if you park in the underground stations. Small cars are almost a necessity if you want to drive and park in the old part of town.
Sanremo is well serviced by public transport trains and buses. Taxis are expensive in Italy.
There is a really active community here with events and festivals to suit all tastes all year round. Recent events include the music festival, flower festival and the KTM Motorcycle enduro - starting and finishing at the port. Plenty of choice.
Italian drivers at first seem crazy but at some point there’s a realisation that it’s organised chaos, surprisingly they are very courteous to cyclists.
There’s a really good cycle path with a pedestrian walkway that tracks along the coast for about 25 kms. Plenty of coffee shops , bars and restaurants to stop at to rest the dogs along the way. It’s easy walking as it uses the old railway that’s been converted so gradients are gentle. There’s lots of parks and access to some beaches along the way (expect small roundish stones underfoot and not golden sands between you toes) and there’s lots of dogs (also dog poo - Italians are not quite as bad as the French at picking up after their fur children). There’s plenty of mountains to climb if that’s your thing.
It’s an easy run to the Nice Airport with highway/ tollway most of the way. Less than an hour most times. Traffic on the coast can be a challenge but the only times I’ve found the highway a problem has been due to accidents and also the time I decided driving in and out of Monaco was a good idea - my advice there is don’t. Train is the only way to arrive at Monaco with any semblance of sanity.
There is an influx of French people into Sanremo on weekends and who could blame them - the majority of Italians are joyous, must be a pleasant change, and as a bonus it’s relatively cheap.
I’m told it can get pretty crazy in high season but it’s nothing like the French Riviera and as it’s so much smaller it’s more personal. It’s prettier too as it retains most of its old buildings.
Having said that Nice has a nice old town, good restaurants, good markets and Monaco is worth visiting for the museums. Wouldn’t live there though.
The highways are amazing when you first encounter them as they go through lengthy tunnels through the mountains. If you move here it’s better to live over a tunnel/ on top of a mountain than in the valley near a high road bridge.
Finding a home to house five fur children and there servants may mean you have to move up or down the coast a little or towards the heights but property doesn’t sell quickly here and long term rentals are cheap in comparison to purchase. There’s some real gems close to everything but as with all of us its expectations divided by available funds multipled by urgency mixed with anticipation with a fair modicum of luck thrown in. Then of course that X factor is different for us all.
Having said all that - I hope you and your husband are happy wherever you move to.