PORTO MAURIZIO, a city of Liguria, Italy, the capital of the province of Porto Maurizio, on the coast of the Ligurian Sea, 46 m. by rail E. of Nice and 70 m. S.W. of Genoa, 115 ft. above sea-level. Pop. (1001), 7207. It consists of a picturesque old town on the heights and a modern town of villas on the lower slopes. The principal church, designed by Gaetano Cantone, is a large structure of 1780 with a dome rebuilt in 1821. A few remains of the old city walls may be seen. About 2 m. northeast of Porto Maurizio is the town of Oneglia, with a fine church, S. Giovanni Battista, designed by Gaetano Amoretti, a hospital (1785) and a large prison. It suffered considerably from the earthquake of 1887. Maurizio and Oneglia lie on the same bay and both have small but safe harbours, both are frequented for sea-bathing, and both are embowered amid olive groves; and the district is famous for the quality of its oil. The two towns together form one commune, called imperia, which had a population of 15,459 in 1907.
Porto Maurizio appears as Portus Maurici in the Maritime Itinerary. After being subject to the marquises of Turin (nth century) and of Clavesana, it was sold by Boniface of Clavesana in 1288 to Genoa in return for a yearly payment; in 1354 it became the seat of the Genoese vicar of the western Riviera, and remained in the possession of the republic till it was merged in the kingdom of Sardinia. Oneglia, formerly situated inland at the place called Castelvecchio (old castle), has occupied its present site Irom about 935- The bishops of Albenga sold it in 1298 to the Dorias of Genoa, who in their turn disposed of it in 1576 to Emanuel Philibert of Savoy. In the wars of the house of Savoy Oneglia often changed hands. In 1614 and 1649 the Spaniards and in 1623 and 1672 the Genoese obtained possession; in 1692 it had to repulse an attack by a French squadron; in 1744-1745 it was again occupied by the Spaniards, and in 1792 bombarded and burned by the French. Pellegrino Amoretti, assistant secretary to Charles V., and Andrea Doria, the famous admiral, were natives of Oneglia.
See G. Donaudi, Storia di Porto Maurizio (1889).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)