Hearing the name San Remo, I’m reminded of my teens. Not that I was ever there then; what I remember is reading about it in the weekly mags, specifically about the glamorous princesses of Monaco going to San Remo for shopping.

Sometimes I’m surprised how the impressions from childhood – or, I suppose, teenage-hood – remain with you through the years. Even such insignificant ones.

A few months ago, I was in Nice. Hopping across the border to Italy for a quick peek at this mythical shopping mecca of Monegasque royalty seemed a good idea.

San Remo by Instagram

My sojourn in San Remo was a short one, just about an hour. But what did I find?

Not so much shopping. That is probably just me. Shopping might have held my interest once, these days not so much. The only shopping I engaged in was buying a few of these tempting mele. And gelato, of course. (Too busy eating the delectables (coconut by the way) to capture it on iPhone. Sorry.)

Instead I discovered a pleasant beachside town with pastel houses and a harbour with yachts prow to prow. It’s the Riviera, after all.

San Remo has about 57 000 inhabitants. Despite the relatively small size, the town had a surprisingly impressive railway station. These are the walkways from the trains to the entrance/exit. Miles and miles of walkways. At least it felt like miles and miles.

The rail route from Nice to San Remo is very scenic for much of the way, especially where the tracks hugs the Mediterranean coast. Choppy waves on this October afternoon made for dramatic views.

For a more in-depth look at San Remo – or indeed anywhere along the Riviera – hop over to the excellent Easy Hikers. If La Bella Italia is what your heart desires, the equally excellent and very comprehensive Italian Notes has all you need, including tons of recipes for easy-to-make Italian treats (even I can manage this super delicious spaghetti al limone).