Just two years ago with a title like this, I would not have attracted the attention of many: we lived in a world where we travelled transported by the desire to get closer. But what about today, when the need to distance ourselves from each other is getting stronger?
In the current panorama – a bit frightening but above all confused, made up of closed but perhaps open borders, of uncertain and anxious movements, of contacts with the outside and the stranger that is increasingly null – despite all, the desire to explore, to discover, to know, to travel is well alive.
What to do? The mind looks for solutions in the giant cauldron with the names of the most unknown destinations: “I don’t want to spend my holidays where everyone goes!”, you say.
Don’t stress yourself out! We have the right destination for you.
I will certainly not be here to talk like a journalist or a science communicator, describing every little detail of my hometown: Imperia is simply a seaside town with very recent history, having only arisen in 1923 thanks to the union of those that at the time were two villages very close but in total contrast to each other: Oneglia to the east and Porto Maurizio to the west.
Needless to say, there’s still a bit of resentment left…but maybe I’ll tell you more about this in front of a Spritz!
Imperia is surely not a choice you make due to the passion for art or history. Nor by the ardent desire for a crazy night-life or the search for pristine white beach coasts, I warn you.
However, if you too have the impression that you have already seen everything, then…that’s the reason to choose Imperia! Might it be a coincidence that when I mention it, no one ever knows where it is exactly? *laughing by myself*
Because Imperia is absolutely far from everyone: far from all the standardized ideals of vacation, far from the usual types of places that the vast majority of travellers would choose.
Imperia is a good choice, also because it contains in a few kilometres the charm of being different, with an East neighbourhood, more modern and worldly, and a West one, which still retains the magic of the past.
Oneglia, with its boutiques for all budgets, artisan shops, bakeries and pastry shops where you can taste the best delights of the city, reveals a historic centre that retains little of history: the magnificent Piazza San Giovanni with the imposing cathedral, the unforgettable old port of Calata Cuneo which has enchanted famous directors, the high arches of the arcades of the central street, and the delightful Via dell’Ospedale are certainly the strong points. Do not miss Piazza Dante and the wonderful walk that from the ancient port will lead you to the easternmost point of the city, the Galeazza beach with its stack, a symbol now in the hearts of all the citizens. In good weather, an aperitif at the kiosk overlooking the sea is a must!
Porto Maurizio, the splendid and sunny hill overlooking the sea, is divided into a lower part composed by the districts built close to the coast, namely Borgo Marina, Borgo Foce and Borgo Prino (from east to west) and a higher part, the top of the hill itself, commonly called “il Parasio”. It sounds mystical, doesn’t it? Well, I can assure you that indeed the panoramic view that you can enjoy from the balcony of the loggias of the Monastery of Santa Chiara, up there, will be heavenly. Here you will find the whole soul of our city, its history, its roots…a bit as if Imperia were a woman and Parasio a photo of her as a child. Then going down towards the sea, restaurants, ice cream parlours and bars will frame this magical place, bringing you back to the present times.
Tips from a local:
- Blengini’s focaccia in Piazza San Giovanni
- The Aperitif at Tecciu de Mà alla Galeazza
- A seafood dinner with sea view at Nero di Seppia
- The ice cream of the Pinotto ice cream parlor
- A sandwich and a beer at the Chiosco 100% at Prino
- The Lovers’ Promenade between Borgo Marina and Borgo Foce
- The Lungomare from the port of Oneglia towards Diano Marina