Dream roads: Sanremo and the Ligurian hinterland
The Sanremo Music Festival 2022 has just started and the media are already focusing on the songs, the artists and the gossip. Besides being the most long-running music event in Italy, the Festival is the most known around the world. Over the last couple of years the event became a true worldwide mediatic phenomenon: the hashtags on Twitter reach peaks of millions of interactions that go on and on for the entire length of the event (a week).
We would like to talk a bit about Sanremo too. We are not interested in the musical part of the location though. The streets of Liguria are the best every biker can dream of: hairpin bends, breathtaking climbs and descends, and overwhelming sights. Liguria has all the credentials to make dream, therefore, we are going to give you two routes: you will choose the one you like the most.
Sanremo – Arma di Taggia through the mountains
The most beautiful thing about Liguria is that the mountains embrace the see: at one point you are sunbathing at the beach and 10 minutes later you are walking surrounded by the Ponente hills. The first itinerary we would like to share with you starts in Sanremo with a first stop in San Romolo located at the south-west slopes of the Monte Bignone, between Perinaldo, Bajardo and Ceriana. Fun fact: the town is located in a treeless area of 5000 m2 known as “the yard”; a place that gathers a lot of people in the summer.
Once passed San Romolo, instead of turning right (toward Perinaldo) riders have to take the road to Bajardo, a small village – with a fascinating history – perched on the mountains. The center of the town has been existing since the 1st millennium BC. when it was a warship place for the Druids, the Celtic priests. Pearl of the Kingdom of Sardinia it was almost destroyed during the 1887 hearthquake. During WWII it became a fief of the partisan resistance.
After passing Bajardo, the road keeps climbing and the view becomes greener and greener: dense vegetation, olive trees, vineyards and the typical terraces of the coast. This is the Ligurian territory, harsh and generous at the same time. Between one hairpin bend and the other the road arrives to Molini di Triora, which is the typical village that rises at the confluence of the Argentina torrent with the Rio Capriolo and the Rio Corte. This village takes is name from the numerous mills that once allowed cereals and chestnut grinding.
Among the tourist attractions there is the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Montà which is located in the cemetery area above the town. A stone’s throw away there is a town known as “the city of witches”, its name is Trioria and has a story that cannot wait to be discovered. After Molini, the slow and inexorable return to the sea begins and, passing through Agaggio Inferiore, Montalto Ligure and Isolalunga the road gets to Badalucco: a village that on September the 25th , 1944 became the epicenter of a fierce battle between partisans and enemy forces. From Badalucco the descent begins and here and there, while riding some hairpin bends, is possible to see the Arma di Taggia’s see in the distance.
Sanremo – Ventimiglia in the hinterland
Let’s rewind for a second. We said that once in San Romolo it is possible to go toward Bajardo ( itinerary n°1) or to go toward Perinaldo, which is one of the most favorite school area in Ponente Ligure. Matter of fact, Perinaldo is the town where the Cassini Astronomical Observatory is located. The observatory has a telescope equipped with a 380mm lens, and other instruments with which is possible to observe the sun, the sun, other planets and galaxies. A place worth visiting, it is opened all year round.
Climbing even further, the road arrives in Apricale, an enchanted village with a series of restaurants and farmhouses able to express the real essence and flavors of Liguria. Among the peaks of the municipal area are Mount Gouta (1315 m), Mount Alto (1266 m), Mount Cerciai (1256 m), Mount Campi (702 m), Mount Semoigo (614 m), Mount Foa (611 m), Mount Cianela (585 m), Mount Osaggio (541 m) and Mount Curti (516 m).
After Apricale, the road descends towards Dolceacqua, considered by all to be one of the most beautiful villages in Liguria and beyond.
The Doria castle dominates the town which still bears the signs of the past (the bridge over the river from the Roman age is estonishing). After Dolceacqua, the road becomes interesting and slips away passing through Camporosso and then arrives in Ventimiglia: from here, if you are not yet satisfied with curves, you can head towards the Côte d’Azur and savor a steep area with breathtaking views to experience and photograph. A stop in Montecarlo is a must but do not get there from Aurelia: go through Mortola in order to experience an unforgettable sight …