Sanremo, or San Remo, is the largest town in Liguria west of Genoa. It is one of the best known resorts in the Italian Riviera, located a short distance from the French border. It is famous for its casino and the annual music festival, il Festival della Canzone Italiana di Sanremo, which takes place in February.
Much like many of the resorts along this coast on either side of today's France-Italy border, Sanremo became popular during the 19th century as a winter destination for the bourgeoisie coming in from colder climates, particularly Russia. This brought wealth to Sanremo, which subsequently led to the construction of numerous Belle Époque villas, hotels and residential buildings to accommodate the visitors. It transformed the tiny walled mediaeval village into a larger and fancier resort town. Since then, some of this past glamour has remained in Sanremo, but with tourism reverting to Summer rather than Winter.