Discovering the monuments of the Imperatrice walk in Sanremo

Art & Culture, Sea & Land

The promenade called Imperatrice (Empress), on the seafront of Sanremo, is the calling card of the City of Flowers. The Tsarina Maria Aleksandrovna, after whom the walkway was named, donated the palms. She was the wife of Tsar Alexander II Romanov and spent the winter in San Remo between 1874 and 1875, when the town was a holiday resort for most of the European nobility. In 2010, a bust of the Tsarina by the sculptor Vladimir Gorevoy and donated by the city of St. Petersburg was placed on the promenade to renew the connection with the City of Flowers.

The symbol of Corso Imperatrice is undoubtedly the Primavera (Spring), a liberty statue sculpted by the Tuscan artist Vincenzo Pasquali between 1924 and 1926. Pasquali lived in Sanremo from 1915 until his death in 1940. A period in which he produced, for a rich bourgeois and aristocratic clientele, decorations for villas and gardens and funerary art objects. There are two other statues belonging to the same series: Ondina, in corso Mombello, and Flora, in the Civic Museum of Palazzo Nota.

The triad of monuments on the elegant Imperatrice walk ends with the one dedicated to Giuseppe Garibaldi, created by the Piedmontese artist Leonardo Bistolfi in the years between 1905-08. The bronze of Garibaldi, who was also known as the Hero of the Two Worlds, would have been fused during the Second World War but was saved thanks to the Matuzia artist Giuseppe “Pipin” Ferrari, who incredibly managed to hide it with some friends. Bistolfi portrayed Garibaldi in an unconventional way, looking towards the island of Caprera, his last dwelling. There are six liberty tiles on the base depicting the life of the Hero with the words he pronounced when he accepted the honorary citizenship of Sanremo in 1860.

Anna Maria Castellana