Imperia is a lovely coastal city situated between Genoa, Italy and the French border. The city was formed by the amalgamation of Porto Maurizio, Oneglio, and some surrounding villages. The pretty, touristic side of the city is best seen around Porto Maurizio whilst Oneglio is more devoted to the production of olives and flowers. Between the two centers is the river Imperia for which the city is named. If you approach Imperia from the west, the road following the coastline suddenly opens up to a beautiful view of a large, beautiful bay of shimmering blue water surrounded by majestic hills covered with the colorful orange buildings of the city.
Read on to learn about the best things to do in the area!
1. Museo Navale del Ponente Ligure
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The museum, founded in 1980, is divided into 14 segments that conserve a priceless heritage of Ligurian and national maritime traditions from the 18th to the 20th centuries. There is a rich collection of tools related to the wooden shipbuilding tradition and its men. Careful emphasis is given to materials and memorabilia relating to oceanic sailing and those most coveted by navigators. The museum is complemented by a documentary section, a wealth of photo archives and a specialized library.
Museo Navale del Ponente Ligure
Address: Via Scarincio, 18100 Imperia IM, Italy
2. Duomo di Oneglia San Giovanni Battista
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The collegiate church of San Giovanni Battista is located in the center of Imperia and is an important part of town life. The consecration of the basilica dates to 1762 and construction took place from 1739 to 1759. The long time of accomplishment was due to the lively history of the period, which brought a lot of problems to citizenship. The building is of late Genoese Baroque architecture and includes three naves, each with a dome.
Duomo di Oneglia San Giovanni Battista
Address: Piazza S. Giovanni, 36, 18100 Imperia IM, Italy
3. Grock Villa
The Grock Villa has been transformed into a sort of museum, although it once belonged to the famous clown Grock. The architecture of the magnificent mansion is worth a visit in itself, and if you are there during the summer, check out what’s happening at the mansion, as they frequently host concerts inside the sprawling grounds.
Address: Via Fanny Roncati Carli, 18100 Imperia IM, Italy
4. The Beaches
Whether you like sandy beaches or rocky beaches, Imperia is literally one big beach. Everywhere you go, there’s a beach. A few of the best beaches you can choose from are Oneglia Beach, Borgo Prino, and Koko Beach. But, if the beaches found in Imperia are not enough for you, you can always beach hop to Diana Marina or to San Stefano al Mare via a five-minute train ride.
5. Porto Oneglia
The port of Oneglia, located in the center of the city, is a commercial port east of Porto Maurizio. The port, being in the center of town, offers convenient access to numerous bars, shops, and restaurants. Quite notable is the promenade along the seafront, with the Calata Cuneo portico on one side and the marvelous marina on the other. The port of Oneglia is reserved exclusively for commercial traffic and local fishing units. However, mooring on boats other than those listed above shall be permitted where there is no other mooring place available and subject to prior authorization by the Harbor Master’s Office.
Address: Calata Cuneo, 18100, Imperia, Italy
Website: Porto Oneglia (in Italian)
6. Museo dell'Olivo
Opened in 1992, the museum illustrates the history of the olive tree that for centuries has represented the main resource of the local economy and whose presence still characterizes the landscape of the Italian Riviera. The museum recalls six thousand years of olive history in the Mediterranean basin considering all aspects of the olives including commercial, technological, cultural, mythical, botanical, economic, historical, and symbolic.
Address: Via Garessio, 13, 18100 Imperia IM, Italy
Website: Museo dell'Olivo (in Italian)
7. Logge di Santa Chiara
Overlooking the blue waters of the Ligurian Sea, jutting up to the former walls of the Paraiso, are the Logge of the Monastery of Santa Chiara, founded in 1365. The Monastery of Santa Chiara and its Logge are an important artistic part of the local culture that deserves a leisurely visit to enjoy a spectacular, romantic sunset on the coast of the Italian Riviera.
Logge di Santa Chiara
Address: Via Santa Chiara, 9, 18100 Imperia IM, Italy
Website: Logge di Santa Chiara (in Italian)
8. Porto Maurizio
Sitting on the peninsula of Paraiso, the old town of Porto Maurizio is a complex maze of narrow streets and alleys. From the top of the hill side, the medieval village offers a vast and majestic view of the Ligurian Sea. The heart of Porto Maurizio is full of ancient monuments, palaces, and historic attractions.
Address: Imperia, Italy
Website: Porto Maurizio (in Italian)
9. Piazza Dante
Piazza Dante is a captivating square in the heart of Oneglia in Imperia. Often quite busy, it is the vivacious heart of Imperia, bordered by elegant ochre-colored neo-classic buildings and sporting a beautiful fountain in the center of the square. Surrounding the square are historical shops, some curiously fashioned, large green kiosks, from another eras, and several sidewalk cafés.
Address: Imperia, Italy
Website: Piazza Dante
In this cultural landscape, you can admire the azure blue waters of the Ligurian Sea from above, overlook the ancient terraces, galleries, and the medieval village. Experience a wonderful tour of the area as you appreciate all the architectural and historical structures of this hamlet. At nearly every step a wonder opens to the sight! Discover local traditions, hidden corners, and everlasting memories as you relax with a glass of wine or have a leisurely lunch.
Address: Imperia, Italy
Imperia, Italy - it will leave a lasting impression of the Italian Riviera
The next time you’re deciding where to go on your vacation, remember Italy! Make an effort to leave your comfort zone and explore the lesser known cities, such as Imperia, but nevertheless, equally as beautiful, or more so, than the more famous tourist destinations.
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