The main outlet to the sea for Piedmont
The most reliable hypothesis on the origin of Oneglia sees an early pre-Augustan settlement on the Castelvecchio hill, which then developed into the “pagus Unelia”, accompanied on the coast by Ripa Uneliae.
In 1298 Oneglia became part of the possessions of the Doria family who, in 1488, founded a castle nowadays almost completely disappeared.
Ceded to the Savoy in 1576 the village became, together with Nice, the main outlet to the sea for Piedmont.
With the construction of the merchant port in the late nineteenth century, it proved to be one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean in the olive oil trade.
In 1923 it was unified in Porto Maurizio and other municipalities forming today’s Imperia.
The parochial rivalry between Oneglia and Porto Maurizio still lingers among the inhabitants of the two former municipalities. It is widely believed that the former were historically called “Ciantafurche” by the fact that Oneglia managed the gallows, while the Portorini were called “Cacelotti” by the Cacello family who supplied the executioner.
Testo a cura di Nicola Ferrarese, immagini di Nicola Ferrarese