Old Port

Tourist ports

The historic port of San Remo, also known as the Old Port, is located at a latitude of 43° 48′ North and a longitude of 7° 43′ East; it is classified as a Category II and Class IV public port. San Remo ‘s vocation for the sea has ancient origins. An old Provençal saying recognizes that “Li gens de San Remu navigou san remu,” the people of San Remo are able to sail even without oars: meaning only with a sail. The inhabitants of San Romolo (as the town of San Remo was then called) took part in 1170 in a naval clash of neighboring Genoa against Pisa, arming a galley built entirely from wood obtained from the nearby forests of Mount Bignone. From the Middle Ages to the 19th century, the Old Port was the city’s main commercial and economic resource. Citrus fruits (oranges, tangerines, lemons, citrons) grown on the adjacent hills were shipped from the port and difficult to transport overland due to the precariousness of the few roads, little more than narrow mule tracks. In the year 1435, the statutes of the Municipality of San Remo testify to the first of a long series of interventions aimed at expanding the port, claiming loudly that “there is no beach in the whole domain of the Serenissima more numerous with boats … as of seafaring people.” A few years later, in 1667, it was stated that the harbor of San Remo was “a perpetual thicket of vessels,” where “to the many vessels that disband correspond more and more as many that land.” In the first half of the eighteenth century, just before the revolution against Genoa, four thousand Sanremese are engaged in the port, and more than 120 ships and 100 boats are reported to have docked there. Following the silting up of the Genoese in 1753, the port regained altitude around the end of the eighteenth century only to finally go into crisis a hundred years later due to competition from steamships and the railroad. The current harbor, called old to distinguish it from the adjacent modern Portosole, has a water surface of 82,500 square meters, a seabed ranging from 1 meter to 4.5 meters in depth, and has 465 tourist berths in addition to about fifty berths reserved for fishing boats. At the initial part of the pier opposite the Fort of St. Tecla, fishermen sell the day’s catch early in the morning on the harbor stalls. Obviously, you will not find fresher and more reasonably priced fish elsewhere than this, however, the advice remains to go as early in the morning as possible, lest the veteran San Remo restaurateurs, hoard all the finest fish.

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