Travel Log: San Remo Italy & Monaco

A few weeks ago at this time, I was blissfully vacationing in the French Riviera with my boyfriend.  We had such a wonderful ten day trip, and today I want to share with you one set of our vacation photos.  On this particular day, we decided to drive from our home base in Nice, France, over the Italian border to San Remo for lunch.  San Remo is a beautiful town in the Imperia province of Italy, right on the Mediterranean Sea.  Our October timing was perfect, because we enjoyed beautiful weather but very few tourists.

 Dress: Topshop (old), check out the Lucca Couture "Mesh Inset Skater Dress" in white, $49 at Nordstrom here
Belt: Nordstrom (old), similar Lauren Ralph Lauren "Stretch Belt" in natural/cream, $48 at Nordstrom here
Sandals: DV by Dolce Vita "Faroe Wedge Sandal" in natural, $39.47 (50% off!) at Amazon here
Crossbody Satchel: Dooney & Bourke (old), check out the Halogen "Colorblock Crossbody Bag" in vachetta/black (available in three other colors), $128 at Nordstrom here 
Watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs "Henry" in gold, $250 at Piperlime here
Sunglasses: Kate Spade "Lulu" in tortoise/gold, $81.99 (41% off!) at Amazon here

First, let's start with the gorgeous view that we experienced driving into San Remo.  We took the A8 highway from Nice across the border into Italy, where the A8 becomes the A10.  San Remo is not far from the border - the total drive from Nice to San Remo was less than one hour.  Once we exited the A10, this was the view that greeted us as we serpentined down toward the Mediterranean Sea.

Upon arrival in San Remo, we paid a few euros to park the car in a public parking lot.  We then started walking along the sea and after a few minutes found ourselves on a street with cafes on one side and the marina on the other.  We picked out a busy restaurant (I always prefer to choose restaurants that are busy - if there are no patrons I'm suspicious!) on the marina for a delicious lunch of prosciutto pizza, pesto gnocchi, and a carafe of white wine.  I love that the local wines are reasonably priced and very good!

After lunch on the marina, we walked back toward the car and spotted a gelateria next to a pier.  When in Italy, one must have gelato, right?  I chose the stracciatella flavor and we walked out the pier to enjoy the gelato as well as the amazing views of the sea and coast.

Isn't it gorgeous?  We were blessed with such wonderful weather - sunshine and 26 degrees celsius (80 degrees fahrenheit)  We lingered a bit, but after finishing the gelato headed back to the car because we had another destination in mind: Monaco!  The Principality of Monaco is tiny, only 0.78 square miles in size and bordered by France on three sides (the Mediterranean Sea is the fourth).  To reach Monaco, we drove about 40 minutes from San Remo using the A10/A8.  Check out the amazing views below as we drove into this compact but insanely wealthy city-state.

After arriving in Monaco, we parked the car in a parking garage next to the train station and walked down to the famous Monte Carlo Casino.  The casino itself is not huge (any of the casinos in Las Vegas are much larger) but the fact that it was opened in 1856, has beautiful architecture, and was associated several times with James Bond movies absolutely merits a visit.  There is no cost to walk through the casino, so you can take your time and explore the rooms.

The photo below is from the casino entrance looking out toward the viewpoint where the above photo was taken.

Of course, I can't forget to share views of the Monaco marina.  Fun fact about Monaco: this tiny principality is home to more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in the world.  I was not surprised to read that Monaco ranks in the top ten for most expensive mooring fees.  Apparently there are only 20 spots large enough for super-yachts in this little marina, so I'm sure the competition gets pretty fierce during peak times like the Monaco Grand Prix in May and the Monaco Yacht Show in September.  We arrived in the beginning of October, and there were still a number of super-yachts in the Riviera after attending the show.

I hope you enjoyed these photos of San Remo and Monaco, and that it inspires you to start planning your next vacation wherever that may be.  Thanks so much for reading and I hope you have a wonderful week!  More to come from our vacation this week and next.  =)

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