In the heart of the Riviera of Flowers, a modern and old city, among the hills where appreciated olive oil and the quaint harbour are born

With the atmosphere typical of a coastal place, Imperia has a particular history because it came into being through a royal decree in 1923, merging together Oneglia and Porto Maurizio. The best way to explore the city is on foot, walking along the many pebbled avenues in the shade of porticos or losing oneself among the alleys.

Oneglia is the more modern soul of Imperia; the part on the sea is very quaint, with old fishermen’s houses and Palazzo Doria. It is the pulsating heart of olive oil production, and so it was only here that the Olive Museum could come into being, at the behest of the Carli brothers.

It is a very interesting display space divided into theme itineraries to let visitors know the millennial history of olive trees and the production of the nectar that is extracted from olives. A must is a visit to Villa Grock, surrounded by a fairytale and scenographic garden, the residence of the famous Swiss clown and the home of the Clown Museum. Porto Maurizio is the oldest soul of Imperia: a labyrinth of little streets, lanes, caruggi and creuze almost vertical on the rock and very charming. A very beautiful view is that of the gulf from Parasio, an old medieval village.

Going down towards the sea, you reach the Porto Maurizio harbour, today a tourist harbour that every two years attracts thousands of visitors on the occasion of the event Period Sails. Porto Maurizio contains the biggest church in Liguria, the San Maurizio Basilica Cathedral, where frescos, paintings and sculptures by some of the greatest nineteenth-century artists can be admired.