Home News news_sinistra IMPERIA, CAPITAL OF THE PROVINCE

The name of Oneglia may have its roots in the pre-Roman settlement of Pagus Unelia, on the hill of Castelvecchio, which was probably one of the sex oppida of the Liguri. This spawned Ripa Uneliae, a village down on the coast probably on the site of the modern-day Borgo Peri.

 

Imperia Porto_Maurizio_BMK

Modern Oneglia became established on its modern site around 935 AD, possibly after it was destroyed by the Saracens; in 1100 it became a fief of the Diocese of Albenga. In 1298 Oneglia became part of the fiefdom of the Doria family of Genoa; the famous admiral Andrea Doria (1466–1560) was born in the town.

The Dorias sold the town to Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy in 1576, and Oneglia essentially remained a Savoyard enclave in the Republic of Genoa until Italian unification. Nonetheless, it was on the front line in the wars of the House of Savoy - it was seized in 1614 and 1649 by the Spaniards and in 1623 and 1672 by the Genoese. In 1692 it had to repulse an attack by a French squadron; in 1744-1745 it was again occupied by the Spaniards, and in 1792 bombarded and burned by the French.

Porto Maurizio was a Roman settlement, Portus Maurici, named after Saint Maurice, leader of the Theban Legion who were martyred in 286. It became a Byzantine port in the 6th century, then passed to the Order of Saint Benedict. It was subject to the Counts of Turin in the 11th century, and then Clavesana. Boniface of Clavesana sold the town to the Republic of Genoa in 1288 in return for a yearly payment, as part of Genoa's expansion into western Liguria. In 1354 it became the seat of the Genoese vicar of the western Riviera.

The town prospered even though control of Genoa passed between the French, the Duchy of Milan, and the Spanish. At the Congress of Vienna in 1815, it was awarded to the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, before finally joining a united Italy in 1861.

Mussolini created the city of Imperia on 21 October 1923 by the union of Porto Maurizio and Oneglia and the surrounding village communes of Piani, Caramagna Ligure, Castelvecchio di Santa Maria Maggiore, Borgo Sant'Agata, Costa d'Oneglia, Poggi, Torrazza, Moltedo and Montegrazie.