Sanremo – a city intimately linked to Russian history and culture. In the 19th century, it was a popular holiday destination for the Russian aristocracy. Alexandra Fedorovna, wife of Emperor Nicholas I, frequented. Likewise there lived and worked many Russian and European practitioners of the arts. In this period, P.I. Tchaikovsky came more than once; he composed his Fourth Symphony there, as well as the opera ″Eugene Onegin”.
A special role in the history of Sanremo’s Italo-Russian relations was played by the Empress Maria Alexandrovna, consort of the Russian Emperor Alexander II. Having gone to Sanremo already several times, in December 1874, wishing to express her gratitude to the mayor and citizens of the city, she provided for the planting of a thousand beautiful palms which still adorn the city’s embankment. From that moment, the Russian aristocracy, including members of the royal family, and wealthy merchants began to spend their winters in Sanremo. In 1912, along the Corso Imperatrice, the Christ the Saviour Orthodox church was erected. Built by the Italian architect Antonio Agossi after the design of the Russian architect Alexei Shusev, it was intended for Russians who had come to Sanremo for treatment.