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Car hire desks at both Genoa and Nice airports are comprehensive with many of the major names represented.
The drive is relatively easy as the drive section will set out. When travelling to Imperia by rail please remember to plan the journey to Genoa and Nice's main train stations. Also remember when travelling from Nice to account for the change at Ventimiglia.
Imperia is on the main rail line from Ventimiglia in the west to Genoa in the east. It is perfectly possible to travel to Imperia from France via Ventimiglia.
When travelling in from France, remember that you'll have to change at Ventimiglia on the Franco-Italian border onto a TrenItalia service in order to continue to Imperia.
Remember that there are two train stations in Imperia: Imperia Porto Maurizio and Imperia Oneglia. Imperia Porto Maurizio is closer to the port of the same name but is a far smaller station with only a taxi rank. Imperia Oneglia has a dedicated bus station but is better suited to serving Oneglia and destinations east of the river Impero.
It is very easy to drive to Imperia from both Genoa and Nice.
Once you're on, its a pretty straight drive that hugs the coast and takes in some of Liguria's beautiful and stunning scenery. Naturally, there are plenty of coastal towns to stop off en route to Imperia. For more information on them, go check out the Liguria section.
A car is probably the easier option for getting around Imperia and the surrounding hinterland but remember that, being Italy, the streets will be narrow with plenty of tight turns compounded by lax parking controls. Be sure to get fully briefed on the local area and car parks. Porto Maurizio for example has an excellent public car park at the top of the hill by the city walls.
When driving inland from Imperia, be sure to take care where driving on the tight and winding country roads. Plenty of farm traffic and other heavy vehicles also use these roads.
By public transport
Imperia and the surrounding region has an excellent bus network with termini at Imperia Oneglia station and Dante Square in Oneglia. Buses cover most areas and are frequent.
There is also the two train stations connecting Oneglia with Porto Maurizio but these are less frequent.
It is easy to get about Oneglia and Porto Maurizio individually on their own by foot but think twice before considering walking between one part of Imperia to the other. There is quite a distance which separates Oneglia with Porto Maurizio so it may be wiser to consider the bus, taxi, train or your own car first.
Imperia is a very recent creation, having been formed by Mussolini from the costal ports of Oneglia and Porto Maurizio. Other smaller settlements such as Montegrazie were also included.
The name Imperia comes from the River Impero splits Oneglia and Porto Maurizio.
Oneglia has a smaller, more industrial harbour than Porto Maurizio, yet it has the longer beach and a more developed town centre and square. Some excellent gelato and restaurants can be found near the small harbour.
Has the benefit of being on a hill which has commanding views of the surrounding countryside. It also has an excellent self-service walking tour of the town's rennaissance houses and other landmarks located on Parasio hill. Just look for the signs, starting point ist in front of the biggest church in Liguria, the neoclassical Basilica San Maurizio.
Also, if you want to pretend to be part of the jet set, head to the harbour and enjoy a coffee in one of the cafes that dot the harbour front.
The surrounding villages nearby offer excellent sightseeing, bars and restaurants. All are well served by an excellent bus network. Be sure to check out Dolchedo, Piani, Caramagna Ligure, Castelvecchio di Santa Maria Maggiore, Borgo Sant'Agata, Costa d'Oneglia, Poggi, Torrazza, Moltedo and Montegrazie!
Hike , Bike and generlly discover the still largely untouched entroterra Imperiese.