What to see in Imperia
Imperia is a town on the western coast, also called the flower coast, where, according to a recent study, one would live well thanks to the optimal mild climate that characterizes this portion of the Ligurian coast. If you stay at our hotel and residence Ai Pozzi Village you cannot miss a trip to this tourist resort, which is about 50 km from Loano.
A bit of history
Imperia owes its name to the stream Impero, which divided the two rival towns Oneglia and Porto Maurizio. A royal decree of 21 October 1923 united the two inhabited centers in a single city, which also included another nine municipalities.
Porto Maurizio was an important economic and commercial center from the Middle Ages, while Oneglia was founded after the year 1000. Initially it was a fief of the bishop of Albenga, but then passed under the command of the Doria family and was subsequently sold to the Savoys.
The centers of Oneglia and Porto Maurizio have always been rivals; this is due to commercial competition reasons and to a different administrative affiliation: Oneglia was faithful to Genoa, while Porto to the Savoy family.
In 1842 a bridge was built to join the two centers but this did not serve to mitigate mutual distrust. In 1923 the antagonism was put aside and the “cacelotti” – or the porchini – and the “ciantafurche” – that is the onegliesi – began a peaceful cohabitation. To agree on both sides, the town hall was built halfway.
What to see in Imperia
As we have seen, from the union of two inhabited centers a third was born that has incorporated them both. For this reason in Imperia there are two ports, two historical centers, two different stretches of beaches. Wanting to remain faithful to the ancient division, we will see in detail what is worth seeing in Oneglia and Porto Maurizio.
The port of Oneglia is undoubtedly one of the most characteristic areas. The colorful houses leaning against each other, the long quay where fishing boats are moored and luxurious yachts – mainly in the summer months – make the view very picturesque: the port looks like an oil-painted square, especially if you look at it from the dock. From here you can also see the bell tower of the church of San Giovanni Battista, built in the ‘700 in Baroque style. In the center of Oneglia, not far from the port and from Piazza San Giovanni, there are arcades, where shops and boutiques are concentrated, ending in Piazza Dante, the central square of the city, with a fountain in the center.
An absolutely unmissable gem is Villa Grock. In this article we took a tour of the most beautiful gardens in all of Liguria including this beautiful villa.
The historic center of Porto is located on a promontory called Parasio. This is one of the most ancient and characteristic areas of the whole city: narrow streets, caruggi and ancient buildings, where everything oozes history. We recommend arriving at the loggias of Santa Chiara where you can enjoy a splendid view of the sea; especially at sunset the atmosphere becomes magical. In the main square we find the imposing cathedral of San Maurizio, built between 1781 and 1832 in a neoclassical style. Sometimes on weekends it is possible to climb the dome to have a magnificent view of the surrounding landscape.
The most beautiful view of the Parasio is visible from Oneglia. In fact, once – but still today – the porches say that the most beautiful thing about Oneglia is the view of Porto.
We then recommend making the “walk of lovers” that from the port – through a charming and romantic road that directly overlooks the sea – leads to the mouth, a very busy and lively tourist area during the summer thanks to restaurants and clubs.
A trip to the top of Mount Calvario is a must. You can arrive by car, but also on foot, which is undoubtedly the best option. Starting from the church of San Benedetto Revelli, take a creuza, a typical sea alley that winds through the hills. The route is accompanied by a rich Mediterranean vegetation, among olive trees and shrubs, where there are small aedicules that represent all the stages of the Via Crucis. Once on the hill, you can enjoy the breathtaking scenery offered. On a sunny spring day you can then relax on the green lawn to sunbathe.
Finally, in the summer you can’t miss a day at the beach. The beaches of Imperia all agree, in fact in Oneglia we find beaches with stones while in Porto a long sandy coastline.