The settlement's name probably derives from a local hostel (in latino Hospitalia), which in the Middle ages gave lodging to travelers and pilgrims. Town in the province of Imperia, part of the Riviera dei Fiori, situated between Caponero and Capo Sant'Ampelio, not far from the city of Sanremo, in a bay which has the form of a natural amphitheatre. Appreciated and famous residential and tourist centre, it is also famous for the flower cultivations. The Old Town centre presents the original settlement consisting of just a few houses, built by the sea, near to the church dedicated to St. John the Baptist, annexed by the ancient hospice, founded by the Knights of Rhodes. This small centre is surrounded by the new city, rich of villas, fully equipped hotels, surrounded by eucalyptus, mimosas, palm trees and gardens full of flowers. Villa Sultana, built in 1886, hosted to the first casino in Italy, but it was closed in 1924.
The centre was founded in the XIV century by the noble Provencal Fulcone de Villaret, Grand Master of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, whose ship sailing from Palestine to France, caught in a storm, shored here. In gratitude to St. John, Fulcone built, with his companions of adventure, a chapel and a hospice for pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land. Until the XIX century, the economy of Ospedaletti was devoted simply to fishing and the cultivation of olive trees and lemon trees, but since 1860, when it was discovered and appreciated for the mild climate by the Empress of Russia, it became an important tourist destination and at present it is one of the most famous seaside resorts of Liguria.
Not to miss:
The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Porrino built between 1768 and 1817.
The Church of St. Erasmus.
The Church of St. John the Baptist.
Villa Sultana, designed by architect Marcel Sebastien Biasini and decorated by the painter Rudolf Morgan, which hosted the first Casino in Italy.
The Flower Market.
The Circuit Ospedaletti, an International car and motocycle racing circuit between 1947 and 1972.
The Casino Ospedaletti
Corso Regina Margherita and the Lungomare Colombo. Two important promenades that offer a very charming view.