Fourteen Months Abroad – San Remo, Italy

April 23.-At 10:05 we bade Nice an affectionate and regretful farewell. We arrived here about 1:30 this afternoon and find San Remo picturesquely situated on the slope of a hill at the foot of which lies the Mediterranean.

Again we were tormented at Ventimiglia, where our baggage was examined. Not by the examination, but in the difficulty of getting our hand baggage back to the train—we feared we should be left. On our way here we saw Ville-franche and its harbor for the fourth time. The British man-of-war and another smaller vessel with it (on which the Queen’s second son, the Duke of Edinburg, has been ill) have become familiar sights. They are waiting there during the Queen’s stay in Nice. The ex-Empress Eugenie’s villa was pointed out to us on Cape Martin. We are more and more charmed with the scenery of the Riviera. Not only with the rocky shore of the Mediterranean, with all its beautiful curves, on one side, but with the great, high, jagged cliffs which towered above us on the other. The flowers also—both wild and cultivated—delighted us all the way. We took a last look at the little principality of Monaco and Monte Carlo as we passed through. I shall not soon forget our visit here. A flag was waving on the palace of the Prince of Monaco.

We are at Hotel Metropole. No English is spoken. One of the Swedish guests kindly interprets for us.

April 24.-This morning we have taken what L. says is “the greatest walk he ever took.” There was much to see, including the principal park in San Remo, the villas and flowers, the hills and the open sea, the old town, the glimpses into the country, the lemon orchards, a tree of green almonds and the promenade by the sea. We climbed a hill by many steps. All the way up were flowers. A heliotrope was trained on a house and was an astonishing plant with great clusters of blossoms. It was at least twelve feet high. There was a grove of huge, gnarled, aged olive trees filled with flower buds. In the garden where we were taken to see the green almonds we saw on a medlar tree the fruit almost ripe. In the promenade there was a pear cactus in blossom with the prickly fruit almost formed, another kind of cactus of enormous size—snake cactus, perhaps-and ` beautiful grove of young, graceful pepper trees. Roses blossom here all winter, but not in summer on account of the heat. Heliotropes also thrive here through the winter.

We step out upon a balcony from our room and see the Mediterranean and the mountains. This afternoon we have taken a ride in the country in the direction of Genoa. We saw a world of roses. There were fields, even, of lovely, full blown roses. It seemed painful, L. thought, “to think of so much beauty going to waste,” but we have since learned that many roses are used here in making perfumery. There was a view of San Remo from the east. On our ride we passed the villa occupied by the Emperor Frederick of Germany during his last illness. On the way home in the omnibûs we were annoyed by drunken fellows. One of them suspended himself by all fours from the ceiling of the omnibus. After the ride we attended a service in a church close by our hotel. The sermon I could not understand, but the closing music was sweet. The audience seemed to be made up of English people.

The great masses of oxeye daisies (not rudbeckias) on the Riviera have been a wonder to me,-some pure white, some straw color, and some deep yellow. Now if I could only see the pink (or mauve) ones in Sorrento !

There are pink roses in the top of a tree opposite our hotel. In an olive grove we found wild gladiolus blossoms and other wild flowers. L. thinks “San Remo is no humbug.”

The dreadful war between Spain and America has begun.

A bird sings here from early morning until after six at night.

April 25.-We walked about the place this morning, going into various stores, and bought postals of San Remo. At lunch we ate ripe medlars. The Italian name is nespola. They are yellow now and have an acid taste. In Florence they were on our table in November and were dead ripe and dark brown. This afternoon we walked up a narrow, crooked alley with arches overhead, high walls on both sides and filled with poor people, into a street from which we had fine views of the old town, the sea and the lemon filled valley. L. took two pictures, one of a large olive tree.

The owner was very angry with us because we were on his premises.

The beauty of San Remo has surprised us. L. calls it the “first paradise we have seen in Italy.” He calls it a “picture-garden.” He says they “hang their clothes on roses here.” We can see snow on the distant mountains, yet it is warm, like summer. But we must say goodbye to this lovely flower city by the sea. Goodbyes must and will come!