Van Life #15 | Italy’s Western Riveria | Exploring in Imperia

With a heavy heart, we left Piedmont with every intention of revisiting as soon as possible. The weather was getting hotter, so it was the perfect time to head to the beach. We have been to Varigotti before but hadn’t ventured further west towards France. Our friend recommended a wild camp spot in Imperia, so we decided to head there.

The non tolls roads can be so busy on a sunny day and if you don’t enjoy dodging beach goers, cyclists and driving round a thousand roundabouts, then I recommend you take the motorway. Because it was a week day and you know, a global pandemic, we thought the beaches would be quiet, but oh no, it was the busiest we’ve ever seen.

Fiat 500’s everywhere!

After a quick dip in the crowded beach near Alassio, we found the car park our friend recommended, a stone’s throw away from Imperia’s old town. There was a stoney beach (woo, I hate sand!), flat pavements for long-boarding and far less crowds. I think it was a pretty hidden locals spot conveniently located next to a McDonald’s.

We had a chilled evening eating at the van then woke up early the next morning to try and find a mechanic to fix our side door. The night before we realised it wasn’t locking so we drove to the nearest Ford garage, luckily for us, there was one in Imperia. We spoke in broken Italian to the mechanic, showed him the issue then the door decided to lock again with no problems. The mechanic probably thought we were crazy, but he laughed it off and we spent the day back at the pebble beach. Yay van life…*eye roll emoji*

In the afternoon, we took a wander into Imperia, mainly for me to get a gelato. It’s a huge port with a really pretty old town that’s nice for checking out yachts and supping on an aperol spritz. We met out friends for dinner at Oasi La Pizza which was an awesome restaurant. It has no menu and there is only options for pizza or pasta which the waiters bring out for you to choose. Or you could pick a vegan pizza and they just keep bringing them until you’re too full to eat anymore. Each dish is €9 so it’s mega cheap and such a fun idea.

After a few drinks around the marina we said goodnight to our friends and left the car park early the next day to meet more friends in the South of France. Italy is probably my favourite country in Europe and I’m sure it won’t be long until we’re back in Big Blue.

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