TravelGuide Imperia: Guide Imperia: Italy - Nozio 0%

Author: Ricc HB74

Imperia, Italy

Tourist arriving in the Riviera dei Fiori have a hard time making up their mind. Should they seek out beaches, sun and surf? Or coastal towns bustling both day and night? They are right here. Or perhaps the mountains, refreshing hikes in the woods, and fresh air? Or medieval villages nestled on the slopes with towers, historical dwelling and old churches? They are here too. And then the old-fashioned cooking with garden vegetables and freshly caught fish. The famous extra virgin olive oil and special wines Riviera is a mountain diving into the sea.

From Cape Cervo to the French border, the Riviera includes important towns like Imperia, San Remo, Ventimiglia, Bordighera. The coast, with its mild and sunny climate, is a continuous series of bays, ports and coves. Inland, the conformation of the land gives rise to a variation in the climatic conditions, so much so that above 500-770m, the climate is decidedly a mountain climate. Such differences affect the rainfall, the vegetation, the landscapes and consequently the possibility of developing the area for tourism.

As a counterpoint to the noisy vivaciousness of the coast, on a hill smoothly sloping down towards the sea, we find Cervo. The scenic and majestic parish church of San Giovanni Battista dominates the village. It is one of the most important examples of Baroque architecture in Liguria. This church turns into a magnificent background for the concerts of the Festival Internazionale di Musica da Camera, which takes place on its splendid parvis during the summer.

San Bartolomeo al Mare is undoubtedly one of the most equipped tourism centers. Originated by the merger of the two small medieval nuclei of San Bartolomeo and Rovere, very lively during the summer months thanks to its comfortable hotels, residences and camping, the town owes its fame to the sanctuary of the Madonna della Rovere, where on its parvis, during the summer, the very renowned Concorso Internazionale di Esecuzione Vocale e Strumentale per Giovani Talenti takes place.

At the mouth of the stream Impero, on a small flatland, there is Oneglia, the site of important industries in the field of the Mediterranean diet. The most attractive part of the city is the one that extends on the slopes of cape Berta, a promontory in the sea that hides the Casa Rossa (Red House), formerly the residence of the poet Angiolo Silvio Novaro, in a vegetation of palm, cypress and olive trees.

Located in a magnificient position, Imperia owes its name to river Impero, that separates Oneglia from Porto Maurizio, which once were rival villages but are today merged in a sole municipality. Porto Maurizio, clung to the Parasio promontory, already in the Middle Ages a vital economic and trade center, owned by the Benedectine monks, wa in the past a free commune. Oneglia, instead, founded after the year 1000, feud of the bishop of Albenga, subsequently sold to the Genovese family of the Dorias, in 1576 was assigned to the Savoias. Through the centuries, the rivalry between these two centers was expressed through a highly commercial competition, the rights of feud between the families, the different administrative organization, due to the loyalty of Porto Maurizio to the Genoese and Oneglia to the Savoias.

At the mouth of the stream, lies the coastal village of San Lorenzo al Mare, relaxing oasis of tranquillity. The beach and the eastern and western historical centers (completely restored and closed to the traffic) characterize a typical bathing and seafaring vacation. From the historical center a suggestive promenade at a sheer drop to the sea leads as far as the bordering town of Santo Stefano al Mare.

Sanremo lies in the middle of the Riviera dei Fiori. Its name was originally Matuzia, "gift of Matuta", a godness of the sea. In fact, the climate is divine. The flowers know it. You've never seen so many and so beautiful ones in the gardens, on terraces, in greenhouses, along the streets. The tourists who love this vacation capital know it - a place that was already famous at the end of the 1800s when it was discovered by Russian princesses, English barons, musicians like Ciakovsky, scientists like Alfred Nobel and so on.

Furthermore, San Remo's popularity is also linked to the Italian Song Festival held every year in February. The famous Casino, dating back to 1905, is also a major touris attraction.

Other important towns of the Riviera are Ospedaletti, Bordighera and Ventimiglia. Not far from Ventimiglia, at Cape Mortola, are located the Harbury Botanic Gardens. They were created in 1867 when Sir Thomas Hanbury, holidaying on the Cote d'Azur, was struck by the beauty of Cape Mortola, near Ventimiglia, and began to purchase, piece by piece, part of the land which later amounted to eighteen hectares. Sir Thomas, who was very rich, had travelled particularly in the Far East and thought of transforming this small area into a complex to receive exotic plants from diverse countries, aided by his brother Daniel, a pharmacologist who came from England for this purpose.

Part of the Contents and the photos are courtesy of APT Riviera dei Fiori


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