Bordighera’s history is much more recent than the other nearby places. It originated in 1470 when about 30 families from Borghetto S. Nicolò setted in the area known as “Bordigheta” on the promontory of Sant’Ampelio. With the opening of the railway line in 1872 the new Bordighera, expanding itself the lower plains towards west. Here begins the building of stylish villas and eclectic buildings surrounded by wide roads and avenues.
Two are the villas that can be visited: Villa Garnier, its tall white form stands out high on the coast and dominates Arziglia. It was the private residence of the famous French architect Charles Garnier (1825 - 1898) designer of the Paris Opera House, Casino of Montecarlo, the Observatory of Nice, and The Villa Regina Margherita, situated in Via Romana, if as been transformed into a museum exhibiting collections of the Terruzzi Foundation, it was the private residence of Queen Margherita of Savoia (1851-1926).
Bordighera’s fame as a location for a peaceful relaxing holiday is certainly owed to the first British tourist who discovered it towards the end of the nineteenth century. Their number became so numerous to actually top, in certain periods of the year, the number of the local population.
Claude Monet, who arrived here at the end of 1883 accompanied by his friend Augusto Renoir, was deeply struck by the luxuriant vegetation and the light and therefore decided to stay and try to reproduce on canvas the brightness of the Mediterranean colours.
Bordighera is still today a renowned tourist centre, equipped with its small picturesque tourist port making it one of the most worthy destinations not only locally but in all of Liguria.