The park of Villa Ormond, on the east side of Sanremo, is one of the city’s precious green oasis. Before the construction of Corso Cavallotti, which cleaves it into two parts, it stretched uninterruptedly from the hill to the sea. The garden was already part of Villa Rambaldi when the property was purchased by Dr. Ormond, a wealthy Swiss businessman, and his wife, the French poet Marie Margherite Renet, who chose it as their home.
Purchased by the city in 1930, when Pietro Agosti was Podestà, the park was made public, the area by the sea enriched with the large fountain designed by Agosti himself, while in the top part the exhibition pavilion was built. Today the villa is a permanent home for the International Institute of Humanitarian Law and, occasionally, hosts flower shows and tourism events.
VILLA DEL SOLE
An example of late nineteenth century eclectic architecture, Villa del Sole was built around 1890 in the eastern area of San Remo. Its profile, with a tower with sloping ceilings, recalled the projects that the Parisian Charles Garnier designed in Riviera, so visible and recognizable in the very green environment such as the one in which it was erected. From a decorative point of view, the residence has many decorative elements that relate this building to others built in the city in the late nineteenth century by the architect Pio Soli.
Since 1973, the building is owned by the Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who have made a holiday home for those seeking regeneration both in spirit and body. The western portion of the park, however, is public.
Villa Angerer and the adjoining garden, an architectural gem within walking distance of the Casino, were included by the FAI in the National Census of Places of the Heart. The building is a triumph of Liberty decorations, well-finished in every detail: terracotta chimney pots with dragons and flowers, carved marbles, stuccoes, glasses, zoomorphic wrought iron balcony railings.
The park of Villa Angerer is, also, a real gem. The heart of the small garden houses a marvel of nature: a niche, enclosed by a fence protects the extremely rare Wollemia nobilis, a tropical plant of which the one in Sanremo is one of the few surviving examples in the world, and that was believed extinct for two million years.
The maintenance of the garden has been designed according to nature, in order to allow visitors to enjoy the pleasure of an ambiance (almost) untouched.
The Marsaglia family, to whom the park above Corso Imperatrice is dedicated, was one of the most important presences in the social context of Sanremo at the end of the nineteenth century.
In 1882, Giovanni Marsaglia built a villa, which was renamed “castle” Marsaglia because of its precious ornaments and grandeur. Once the villa was demolished after World War II, only the park of the same period remains of the entire property and passed into the hands of the municipal administration.
The remarkable vegetation, with abundant rare species, recalls the charm of a tropical forest: strolling through the garden you will easily come across a Syagrus romanzoffiana, a typical Brazilian palm, a Jubea chilensis, the giant palm of Chile, a Chamaerops humilis, or a Livistona australis, just to name a few.