One of the most beloved places of Bordighera is the Argentina Promenade. Known as the longest seaside promenade on the Riviera, it is part of a route of over six kilometres where you can never take your eyes off the splendid sea of the Cetacean Sanctuary and the Mediterranean-coloured horizon. A spectacle of nature recognised by the privileged guests who spend their holidays here. In Bordighera you will find other walks such as the Via Romana, the central commercial street, the Monet path along the Béodo and the pine forest with the various possibilities of connection between them.
Bordighera is also known as the city of palm trees thanks to the patron Saint Ampelio who brought the seeds of dactyliferous palms from Egypt, and where the northernmost palm grove in the world is present.
Flowers and lights inspired Monet so much during his stays that we find both elements among the thirty-eight canvases painted by the artist in the Riviera. In his letters to her partner Alice, Monet wrote “… As for the blue of the sea and the sky, reproducing it is impossible. However, every day I add and discover something that I had not been able to see before. These places seem to be made especially for painting en plein air. ”
Bordighera became so much known to the British thanks to the publication of the novel “Doctor Antonio”, written in English by Giovanni Ruffini in 1855, that as Edmondo De Amicis said, “… they were all looking for the renovated Osteria del Mattone, where the sweet Miss Lucy with a broken leg was brought.” A tourism that is witnessed by the elegant nineteenth-century buildings, villas and wonderful gardens as the Pallanca Exotic Garden.
Many characters stayed in Bordighera – the original botanist and mathematician Clarence Bicknell, who built the current Bicknell Museum and the first cataloguer of the rock engravings of the Valley of Wonders; Charles Garnier, famous French architect; the composer Franco Alfano who finished the Puccini’s Turandot in Bordighera; the botanist Lodovico Winter; the banker Raphael Louis Bischoffsheim and also Claude Monet with Auguste Renoir, Pompeo Mariani, Hermann Nestel, Lovis Corinth, Ennio Morlotti, Giuseppe Piana. Unforgettable the presence of the Queen Margherita of Savoy, first Queen of Italy, who stayed here for long time and then died in 1926, remembered with a beautiful statue at the foot of the pine forest with her gaze turned towards the sea she loved so much.
Today Bordighera is a tourist town where you can take long walks, baths and a lot of sports and where, in 1878, the first Italian tennis club was built – the Bordighera Lawn Tennis Club – with Club House and nine playing fields, which became fifteen after the First World War. In 1918, the SIRT (Italian Tennis Racket Society) was the first Italian racket factory. We cannot even forget that today, besides the historical club of 1878, there is the Piatti Tennis Center that is famous throughout the world for the preparation of many professionals. The two-wheel tourism is also important with different inland itineraries, different degrees of difficulty even on mountain bikes with paths to Monte Nero and many other activities able to meet the most varied interests.
The most important appointments during the year are: the feast of St. Ampelio with the fireworks (May 14); the food and wine events (June and July) like Paese di Sapori and Mare di Sapori, where different restaurants serve their specialties along the alleys of the upper town or along the Promenade; the Commercial Discount Day with buying opportunities for all budgets (August) and BeerinBo, the excellence of the local gastronomy with some among the best Italian craft breweries; the musical winter, a review of classical music concerts; the New Year’s Eve in the town hall.
In short, Bordighera is a holiday all year round.