Imperia is a hidden gem on the Italian Riviera. Known for its beaches, historic sites and rich culinary heritage, this fascinating city is full of untold stories just waiting to be discovered.
Imperia offers irresistible charm for sun and water lovers as does its entire province overlooking the limpid Ligurian Sea. Imperia’s history has left a tangible legacy in the form of the extraordinary architectural gems that dot the city, such as the Parasio and Villa Grock.
Imperia’s gastronomic scene is a reflection of its coastal and country life, between the fresh fish of its seas and extra virgin olive oil.
The Olive Oil Festival, celebrated in March, marks the end of the olive harvest season with music, dancing and, of course, olive oil tastings. Imperia, rich in charm, history and delicious cuisine, is waiting to offer you a truly unique Italian experience.
Whether it is the fascinating coastline, historical sites or culinary adventures, there is something magical here for every traveler.
What to see in Imperia
All it takes to discover the best of Imperia is a day and some good advice on what to visit.
Villa Grock is not only a dazzling architectural edifice, but a living tribute to Adrien Wettach, better known as Grock, the legendary Swiss clown. This splendid mansion serves as an emblem of his talent, humor and unceasing cheerfulness.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Grock’s charming talent enchanted the world. His enchanting interpretations were echoed at Villa Grock, a corner of paradise he created in the heart of Imperia. As vivid as its creator, the mansion portrays elements of Grock’s fascinating life and illustrious career.
The influence of Eastern pagodas is palpable in its facade, while the interior decorated with vivid frescoes beautifully encapsulates Grock’s life and comic adventures.
The Clown Museum set up inside the villa is a fascinating journey through time, tracing the evolution and significance of clowning. Multimedia presentations and engaging interactive displays bring the fascinating world of clowns to life, with a special spotlight on Grock’s undisputed mastery.
Immerse yourself in the horticultural splendor of the park surrounding Villa Grock. Amid fascinating sculptures that echo Grock’s humor, they wind along walkways edged by towering palm trees.
Villa Grock in Imperia is an extraordinary beacon of the entertainment world. It beautifully interweaves narratives of art, history and humor, providing an enigmatic reminder to every curious traveler. Whether your interests lie in learning more about a brilliant entertainer or unveiling unique cultural vistas, Villa Grock will undoubtedly satiate your quest.
Carlo Carli Olive Tree Museum
Ospitato in un affascinante edificio del XVIII secolo, questo straordinario museo ripercorre la ricca storia della produzione di olio d’oliva e i suoi profondi legami con il patrimonio italiano. Per cogliere veramente l’essenza di Imperia e immergersi nel suo tessuto culturale, un tour attraverso questo affascinante museo dovrebbe completare l’itinerario di ogni viaggiatore.
Entrando nel museo, la tua curiosità sarà stuzzicata da una straordinaria collezione di antichi manufatti, ceramiche e aggeggi che riflettono l’evoluzione della produzione di olio d’oliva. Con vivide rappresentazioni di tecniche storiche, il Museo dell’Olivo Carlo Carli offre una finestra impareggiabile sul processo laborioso ma gratificante della produzione artigianale di olio d’oliva.
Da agricoltori appassionati ad abili artigiani, la storia dell’olio d’oliva trascende le generazioni. Serpeggiando tra le esposizioni, incontrerai facsimili di storici frantoi, utilizzati dagli artigiani locali per creare l’elisir d’oro che è alla base delle tradizioni gastronomiche italiane.
Avventurarsi nel Museo dell’Olivo Carlo Carli è un invito a vivere la passione, i trionfi e le tradizioni che definiscono l’anima stessa di Imperia. Celebra il nettare d’oro che ha plasmato la storia della regione e parti armato di storie di perseveranza, maestria artigianale e lo spirito indomabile delle generazioni passate.
Atop the hill of Porto Maurizio stands the Parasio, a treasure chest of medieval treasures, is an ode to the city’s rich past. The maze of cobblestone alleys and flights of stairs forms a picturesque realm that transports visitors back in time, offering breathtaking views of Imperia and the vibrant blue waters of the Ligurian Sea.
The heart of Parasio rests in the architectural splendor of the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption. As the spiritual and cultural essence of the neighborhood, this extraordinary building wrapped in centuries of history enchants with its fascinating blend of Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque embellishments.
Nestled at the foot of Santa Maria Assunta, the beautiful Piazza Duomo retains the charm of a space that has been a gathering place for locals and travelers for centuries.
Giovanni Battista Casoni, the home of Imperia’s patron saint, is a historic gem that displays 18th-century frescoes and intricate architectural details.
While the majestic landmarks command attention, Parasio’s picturesque streets reveal some of its best-kept secrets: artisanal boutiques, charming cafes and exceptional culinary gems.
Located in the center of town, Borgo Peri is just a short walk from Piazza Dante, which leads to the Spianata, a square that extends to the quiet pebble beaches. The view toward the sea is a delightful painted contrast with the turquoise canvas of the sea against the green palm tree-lined waterfront.
The Esplanade is dotted with recreational play areas for children. It transforms into a lively neighborhood during the summer and St. John’s celebrations, hosting festivals, stalls and dance floors.
As you stroll along the ancient streets of Imperia, a fascinating surprise awaits you on the beautiful Ligurian Riviera: Calata Cuneo. Known for its vibrant waterfront and lively atmosphere, this coastal gem of Imperia is not only a breathtaking destination but also a historical wonder.
Shrouded in seafaring tradition, Calata Cuneo has been an indispensable staple for Imperia since the early days of the Oneglia Fishing Company. As a port and meeting point for sailors, merchants and locals, it refreshed weary travelers with its picturesque charm and fueled dreams of new adventures.
Embodying the vivid spirit of the Mediterranean, Calata Cuneo offers a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, and gelaterias, each boasting a delicious selection of Italian and Ligurian culinary dishes.
When the sun sets, Calata Cuneo is transformed: bars and music venues come alive as locals and tourists gather for convivial moments.
Beaches of Imperia
Probably the most magnetic of all, Galeazza Beach paints a picture of unspoiled beauty with its characteristic steep formations overlooking the sea. These natural sculptures provide a playground for those seeking snorkeling adventures, spearfishing or the sheer beauty of sunlit rocks caressing the waves of the sea.
Perfectly attuned to youthful energy, Borgo Prino Beach is a sports paradise. Embracing high waves and breezy days, this beach becomes a platform for surfers, windsurfers and kitesurfers who challenge the power of the sea with their liveliness.
If you are looking for other beaches nearby in a few minutes you can reach the beaches of the other nearby seaside resorts, some mentioned among the best beaches in Liguria: Sanremo, Bordighera, Arma di Taggia and Diano Marina.
Where to sleep in Imperia
In Imperia, the choice of hotels, many B&Bs, room rentals, vacation homes and apartments for tourists is concentrated in the beach area.
Here too, as in many places in Liguria, it is definitely advisable to book early to have the best possible choice.
How to get to Imperia
Reaching Imperia is very easy.
Along the A10, the Genoa-Ventimiglia highway, there are just the Imperia Ovest (Porto Maurizio) and Imperia Est (Oneglia) exits. From the tollbooth, both souls of Imperia and its hinterland can be reached within minutes.
The train is just as comfortable. Virtually all trains on the Genoa-Ventimiglia Line stop at Imperia.
The nearest airport is Genoa airport.
What to see in the Province of Imperia
ACCOMMODATIONS IN IMPERIA
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