About the city
Imperia - Province & City
Imperia is the name of one of the four Ligurian regions and it’s also the name of the Italian seaport on the Riviera di Ponente. The provincial capital is home to 42,246 residents and is located far to the west. Imperians usually speak the Ligurian dialect. Apart from interesting sights and entertainment, Imperia offers historic intact fishing harbours, as well as a modern marina. In 1945, the area was occupied by French troupes for one month.
Oneglia vs. Porto Maurizio
The city comprises two independent districts, Oneglia and Porto Maurizio, as well as the surrounding villages. The districts are separated by the river Impero.
While the two suburbs now form a single community, their relationship used to be marked by hostility. For many centuries, their rivalry manifested itself in strong economic competitiveness. In this context, Porto Maurizio remained loyal to Genoa and Oneglia supported Savoyen.
The two districts only overcame their rivalry with the erection of a town hall in Imperia, which lies in their precise geographical centre.
Olives from Imperia
With the introduction of the olive tree cultures in the 12th century a dominating element arose in Imperia. The olive groves are very widespread. The city is even today still characterized by olive harvest and is, in addition, economically dependent on it. We recommend that you purchase your traditional olive oil from one of the many farmers in the region.
You can buy traditional olive oil on location in Imperia from Carli, Raineri and Isnardi. Furthermore, we recommend that you visit the olive oil museum in Imperia which was designed with a lot of effort and love. There you will learn some interesting facts about the background to olive cultivation, olive harvesting as well as the production of the well-known olive oil. Another important economic factor is even today still floriculture.
Since more and more people are spending their well-deserved summer vacation in holiday apartments in Liguria, it means that tourism has also become an important source of income for the region.
Imperia's culinary delights
The regional products are of course a special delicacy and specialty. The Ligurian Focaccia gets its unmistakable taste from the special olive oil. Likewise the Vessalico garlic is something very special. It is used as an ingredient in many specialties, such as the Ligurian Pesto. The unique climate influenced by the sea and the mountains gives the specialties their very special and rare taste. When you visit Imperia, make it a point to go to one of the many restaurants in the ports of Oneglia and Porto Maurizio. There is something for every taste in those places. You will find fresh fish at La Beppa in the port of Oneglia (Via Doria 24).
Amidst colored old fishermen’s houses not far from the port of Porto Maurizio is the pizzeria L`Oasi la Pizza (Piazzetta Sant Antonio 15). Be prepared for a surprise when you go there. Pizzas are served according to the random principle - you can then decide whether to take the one at hand or to wait for the next one.
Pizzeria “Giropizza” (Via de Geneys 11/13), opened in April 2014, has a similar concept. There you can try delicious pizzas and eat as much as you like. You select the pizzas you want. Your selected pizzas are then brought to your table on a big wooden tray. However, you can also order à la carte. The menu is very broad – ranging from doubled pizzas, 3D-pizzas and pizzas with cheese edging to Crepes, Focaccia and Panini. We absolutely recommend that you make a reservation, since the restaurant is quite small and has over time become very popular. The Osteria dai Pippi restaurant in Porto Maurizio (Via dei Pellegrini 9) serves traditional Ligurian cuisine.
What to do
The city lies directly by the sea, and therefore tourists who spend their vacation in Imperia have the opportunity of experiencing a relaxed vacation on the beach on the one hand, and on the other hand thrilling tours to the mountains. No matter whether you are on the move on mountain-bike or on foot, the marvelous landscape will fill you with enthusiasm. The special trails will stretch amateurs and professionals alike to the limit. Discover the pleasantly refreshing charm of the city of Imperia which developed from the versatility and beauty for the town.
You will find several shops in Imperia, all round the Piazza Dante in Oneglia, in the Via della Repubblica and in the Via Bonfante. Wednesday and Saturday morning is market day in Oneglia, as well as Thursday morning in Porto Maurizio. Apart from Italian fashion and fresh fruit and vegetables, you will definitely also find souvenirs there, for your family and friends who stayed at home. One should not miss the Villa Grock of the famous Swiss clown Adrien Wettach in Imperia. The clown museum offers games and fun for the whole family with its unique rooms. The Grock festival with a varied program takes place in Imperia in memory of the clown.
Another event which you should not miss is the “Vele de Epoca” sailing regatta that takes place every two years. Several sailing ships come to the Ligurian coast in Imperia for this purpose. The cultural program is certainly an experience even for those not taking part in the sailing race.
Beaches in Imperia
The beaches in Imperia are rich in diversity. You will find there sandy beaches as well as rock and stone beaches. The beaches in Oneglia are of the stone and rock type. You will find several parking lots and what’s more, a larger children's playground along Lungomare, in the direction of the Diano Marina. Whoever is travelling by bicycle can ride from here along the old connecting road to Diano Marina and enjoy the proximity to the sea.
There are both free beaches with service (Orange Beach) in Borgo Marina as well Bagni which are subject to payment (e.g. Bagni Oneglio). There is also a dog beach in this place (Bagni Buraxen).
From Borgo Marina, you can get to Borgo Foce through a footpath (Lungomare Domenico Moriani), underneath Aurelia. There is a free sandy beach (Foce Beach) there, as well as sections of rocky beach. From the beaches in Borgo Prino you get a fantastic view of the panorama of Porto Maurizio and that of Torre Prarola. At the beginning you will find a small sandy beach section. If you drive further on, you will get to the rocky beach. You will also find two bigger parking lots there.
Evening activities in Imperia
To wind down the evening in Imperia, we recommend that you take a walk along the port of Oneglia or Porto Maurizio. Apart from numerous restaurants, one can also find bars in both parts of Imperia city, where people meet to have an Aperitivo. The so-called “Laboratorio” in the port of Oneglia is a highly recommended spot. I you order for an Aperitivo there, you will be served various snacks as accompaniment. Next to it is the “La Conchiglia” bar. If you have greater hunger you can go to one of the numerous restaurants at the port.
There is also a wide variety of restaurants at the port of Porto Marina in Porto Maurizio. The Greenwich Café, for instance, is very popular there. People go there to eat together and/or even to dance in the evenings, most especially on weekends. The same lively atmosphere can be experienced at the “Capo Horn” bar during summer months. Whoever finds him- or herself still in the mood for a celebration can do so in the open at the Coco-Beach (formerly Afrik) in Oneglia.