Villa Ormond, located along corso Cavallotti on the east side of the city, is one of the “green lungs” of San Remo. The park, once stretching from the Villa on the top of the hill down to the sea, has recently been split in two by a main road. The estate once belonged to a Swiss family. Indeed, as the poet Pastonchi wrote: “Madame Ormond, who was rarely seen, had bought the solitary Villa Rambaldi: a white rectangular home plunged into a wide olive grove. She had it demolished and rebuilt with arcades and porches, and had the olive trees uprooted to make an English garden.”
In 1930, it was bought by the town administration of San Remo for 300,000 lira and is nowadays the seat of a branch of the International Institute for Human Rights. The park surrounding the Villa was laid out in a Japanese style to remember the link between San Remo and the town of Atami.
The section of the park south of Corso Cavallotti is decorated by statues portraying two of the most famous inhabitants of San Remo: the Mexican “poet, historian, politician, orator” Ignacio Altamirano (who died in San Remo in 1893) and Nicola I, King of Montenegro.
At the end of last summer, the town council decided to restore Villa Ormond and make it accessible to the tourists. With an investment of 2.3 billion lira, the entire park was cleaned up and redrawn, the old cast-iron lamp-posts dating back to the 1930’s were restored, and new ones were placed along the Magnolia promenade. The other tree arrangements are illuminated up by special floodlights, in order to create remarkable stage effects and an ideal walk from Corso Cavallotti to the Villa. In this way, after a sunny day, and even at night, everyone may enjoy the coolness of the park with a romantic walk.