San Remo is a convenient stopover point if you're driving between France & Italy.
The town not too far off the motorway and has the faded glamour of an early 20th c. resort that attracted European and Russian aristocrats until WWII. Villa Sapienza is a converted monastery steps away from the Mediterranean beach (we could hear the surf from our room at night). An order of nuns
still lives in a modern building on the grounds. Our first visit we heard their distant soprano voices singing hymns, which was delightful. Their old convent has been converted into a slightly fusty hotel that is not too expensive (we paid 90 euros for a night including breakfast & parking). It is relatively quiet with locked parking on the premises--so you don't have to empty the car. Free wifi.
From our room on the top floor we could see the Med. The rooms have high ceilings and are furnished modestly, though acceptably. The building looked recently redecorated (except for the tiny, creaky elevator). Some nun apparently spends her time making dry floral arrangements out
of sticks which decorate every surface, but apart from that it has a faded charm.
The reception is welcoming, though we were given wrong information about a local restaurant. (It was closed when we got there.) There is a pleasant small garden in the courtyard.
They also have an annex where we stayed on our first visit. That room was cramped, charmless and angular, so we made a point of requesting a room in the main building this time.
The dining room where breakfast is served (and sometimes dinner) is clearly the old commissary for the nuns and pleasant in an old-fashioned way. However the breakfast spread is disappointing with terrible coffee dispensed from a machine. If breakfast is not included in the quoted price, have breakfast elsewhere.
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