The town of Imperia has two marinas : Porto di Imperia
, also often referred to as Porto Maurizio
, its former name ; and the smaller marina of Oneglia
, in the Eastern part of the city, on the other side of Torrente Impero
In fact, the city of Imperia is the result of the merge of the two towns of Porto Maurizio and Oneglia, which took place in 1923. As you walk or drive around Imperia, you may still notice some differences between the eastern and western parts of town.
Until 2007, the western port of Imperia, Porto Maurizio, was a relatively small marina. As in many parts of Liguria
, the authorities identified a need for more marinas and more berths to accommodate the greater numbers of boats and yachts cruising in the area, and Imperia was to have a new state-of-the-art marina which could also welcome superyachts and megayachts, in this location
which is only 23 nautical miles
or a 45 minute drive
from the popular destination of the South of France
A concession to build and manage a brand new marina was awarded to the Acqua Marcia group, headed by the Italian construction and real estate magnate Francesco Bellavista Caltagirone
. The development of this superport required major works, such as the extension of the western breakwater and the construction of a new 800 metre long breakwater to the East. The project seemed to be progressing well, supported by many private investors, who were promised the right to use a berth with a lease of 50 years, until the developer ran into trouble, with financial issues and various allegations.
As a result, Porto di Imperia, which was scheduled to be delivered in 2010 was never fully completed. Though the quays, pontoons and moorings were delivered, the buildings and various facilities promised were not, leaving the marina in a semi-completed state. In some parts, there are modern and beautiful docks, and in others, the harbour looks like an abandoned building site.
In addition, as Gruppo Aqua Marcia defaulted and ultimately lost its rights to the concession of Porto di Imperia, those who had bought berths off plan found themselves in an awkward situation with no guarantees that the contract they had with the defaulting developer would be honoured. Effectively, Aqua Marcia was no longer in a position to guarantee their rights to use the berths which they had purchased by co-financing the development project.
Porto di Imperia is now managed by “Go Imperia
”, which is an entity of the town of Imperia, initially destined to manage and maintain the city’s public property, infrastructure, transportation, economic and cultural development, as well as tourism. Many of the disappointed berth investors have gathered in an association, APPI
(Associazione titolari Posti barca Porto di Imperia), in order to uphold and defend their rights to berths in the marina, as well as to provide more information and transparency to this complex and confusing situation.
This unfinished marina still has much to offer and we hope that solutions will be found so that its development be continued and that Porto di Imperia shines as it was meant to be.
It is particularly important when purchasing a lease on a berth
to use extreme caution and diligence
. Make sure that whoever is selling you a lease has a valid contract with Go Imperia and no other entity. Should you need guidance, contact the port administration or APPI to make sure the rights on the mooring you are acquiring will be guaranteed.