The last climb of the Milano-Sanremo
When Milan-San Remo cyclists arrive here, they know they are about to face the last climb before the finish. This is Poggio, a hamlet of Sanremo, in the province of Imperia. Its founding dates to the Middle Ages, when area inhabitants created several settlements in the hills to defend themselves from pirate raids.
Legend in Poggio says that the Madonna appeared to a farmer in 1667 telling him to build a church. The Sanctuary of Nostra Signora della Guardia can still be visited today, with its marble statue of the Virgin and Child and model ship, a 19th-century votive offering donated by a sailor who survived a shipwreck. In the old town, visit the Church of Santa Margherita and the plaque in Piazza dei Martiri, commemorating the killing of only a few partisans during World War II.