The Spiaggia d’Oro (The Golden Beach) of Imperia

At the beginning of seaside tourism in Riviera, when liberty was the fashion, Porto Maurizio discovered holidays.

One name which evokes fine and brilliant sands and for those who know it calls to mind the outline of Porto Maurizio’s headland with the cathedral on top and the liberty building on the sea, is the Spiaggia d’Oro, one of the oldest beach resorts in Imperia, a happy bond between style and local entrepreneurship which leaves its mark on the Liberty Building, still existent, location of balls and parties for the bathers, the unforgettable symbol of an age.

The information regarding the therapeutic properties of sea water bathing at the end of the 1800s, awoke the interest of the town of Porto Maurizio which began to look favourably at a possible seasonal tourism committed to bathing and to exploit it as an effective economic resource.

The idea of the Spiaggia d’Oro came to the municipality administration and to various private citizens after the closing of the large beach resort of San Lazzaro. The new structure would be equipped with every comfort and tourist attraction: a modern building with a ballroom, a restaurant, a coffee shop, small changing rooms to bathe in sea and fresh water, hot and cold, and showers. Rows of changing stalls neatly arranged, a pleasant walk on the pier and terraces from which to admire the sunset completed the great design of the Milanese architect Alfredo Campanini, who had already been involved in the projects for the summer camps of Porto Maurizio and who is recognized today as a representative of the Liberty movement.

After the war gap, the 20s sees the explosion of seaside tourism and of the Spiaggia d’Oro, in a period of relative wealth, of compulsory holidays and functional railway connections, new newspapers are born with gossip and cartoons, there are lots of balls and parties and the great trends of the 20s: jazz music and sea bathing arrive in Porto Maurizio.

The Liberty Building, an essential part of the Spiaggia d’Oro, remains today as an architectural witness to the spirit of that age, a unique and precious example in all the Riviera and the nearby Côte d’Azur.

[Alessandra Chiappori]

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