It is the main town in the province of the same name and makes for a great base for a beach holiday with many potential excursion possibilities nearby. It also know for its mild climate, even in winter due to the coast being protected by hills.
Imperia was originally made up of two towns, namely Porto Maurizio and Oneglia, which are separated by the river Impero. Each side has its own railway station and even a different dialect which is more common among the older population. In addition, the districts are so different that there is not one good reason to refer to Imperia as a single city.
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Imperia is quite well populated with around 43,000 inhabitants and therefore thrives all year round, unlike many places in this region that come alive only during the summer months. The industry relies heavily on its production of high quality olive oil, and if you are curious to know more about the history and culture of the oil, you can easily do so in the city's olive museum: Museo dell 'Olivo, which is located in Via Garessio 11 - 13. Imperia is also known for the production of pasta made from durum wheat. Among many other things you can find these specialties in the city's charming food markets that are held in various locations during the mornings from 8.00 to 13.00. In summer you can also enjoy the large market every Friday that sells clothes, shoes, leather goods, bags, etc.
Porto Maurizio (Western Town) is located on a hillside and boasts a cosy holiday atmosphere, an interesting historical centre, and last but not least - fabulous and panoramic views of the sea and the rest of the city. It is easy to feel like time has stood still as you explore the ancient narrow streets, and perhaps pay 'Duomo San Maurizio' - Liguria's largest cathedral - a visit.
At the foot of the cliff is Porto Maurizio's marina, where you can enjoy the marina and Spiaggia d'Oro, which is Imperia's best beach. A small area of this sandy beach is local and free to use, but most are owned by private companies who charge for the hire of chairs and umbrellas.
The eastern part known as Oneglia is best known for its large fishing port. Here you will find a large choice of bars and restaurants overlooking the broad waterfront. This is where you will find more Italian locals than tourists and also a good choice of shops along the pedestrian street. There is also a beach here where you can use public parts or hire sun loungers and umbrellas from a lido for a fee.
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