Tales of Blue Aweigh travel blog

Marina in Imperia

Common sight in Italy. Almost stumbled over this in the grocery store.

Imperia at dusk

Local boats on the beach in Ventimiglia

The coast of Ventimiglia


After a long train ride from Interlaken, Switzerland with a change in Genoa, we ultimately arrived in Imperia, Italy. Never heard of it? Nor had we. We chose this little town on the Mediterannean due to it’s close proximity to France. The austerity strikes continued in France and were beginning in the south of Italy thus we were unsure if the trains would prohibit us from returning to the South of France or continuing along throughout Italy. So we stopped here for a couple of nights to see how it would work out. Our hotel, Coral sat on a bluff and was quite nice. We got an awesome room with breakfast with an ocean view through one of the online booking sites, about ½ off. The 90 euros price was worth it.

As it turns out, the best thing going in Imperia is the new luxurious mega yacht marina there. The marina will be quite nice and has few remaining slips. We walked the docks and took in the view of both the sea and the luxury yachts with crews cleaning and polishing away. We picnicked at a nearby park after a stop at the local grocery store and just relaxed for a couple of days, sipping cappuccinos a few times a day. Next best thing in Imperia was Hobo’s, a medium sized restaurant run by the owner. True Italian fare, hospitality and wonderful food was plentiful here. This was our first experience ordering house wine, which came with gas (carbonation). Didn’t know it would have gas, wouldn’t order it again. We almost got the feeling that there was an essence of Mafioso here with tables of men about 10 at two different spots, two nights in a row. Yes, we also ate there twice as it was just too good to pass up without trying more entrees. We still think of Hobo’s when we think of great Italian food and hand tossed pizza.

As we learned that the trains were spotty into France, we hopped a train to Ventimiglia, which borders Monaco enabling us to get even closer. We stayed at the Seagull Inn. This ocean view room was old but nice and clean, run by two elderly Italian women which looked to be sisters. The hotel is situated next to another marina being renovated on the Ligurian Sea. The construction was noisy and dusty. We spent a nice day wandering the town and waterfront, eating and drinking our way back to our hotel. Most interesting thing here was the Italian shopkeeper that approached us at the farmer’s market to tell us he sells black market goods. Oh joy! We advised that we really had no interest but he insisted we needed some black market watches. Once we wandered away we just laughed and logged it up to another interesting travel experience.

Next day, there were a couple of trains that could take us into Monaco, where we could transfer and get to our last destination in France, Nice. So off we go…….



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