Imereti – is historically one of the most significant regions of Georgia. It is situated on the south-eastern part of the country. Compared to other regions Imereti is on the third place by its size. The area of Imereti region is 6518,8 km. and covers 19,4% territory of Georgia.
Because of the diversity of relief, Imereti is divided into two parts – the upper and lower Imereti, It consists of the following Georgian administrative-territorial units: Kutaisi (city), Baghdati, Vani, Zestafoni, Terjola, Samtredia, Sachkhere, Tkibuli, Kharagauli, Khoni, Tskaltubo and Chiatura municipality. The Region includes 12 cities, 3 small towns and 529 villages. The administrative centre is Kutaisi, at the same time it is a parliamentary city.
Imereti region is rich with flora and fauna. Together with deciduous forests, there are also coniferous and mixed forests and characteristic fauna of the Caucasus - Caucasian bear, wild boar, deer, roe deer, foxes, wolves and jackals, birds. There remains clean and untouched nature, especially in the mountainous regions.
Imereti boasts a highly developed spiritual, economic and material culture. Archeological sites show that people lived in this region in the lower Paleolithic era. Imereti is developed in viticulture, agriculture, cattle-breeding, poultry farming, beekeeping, dairy products, gardening. Here are unique vine varieties.
Imeretians are amazingly hospitable people. In Imereti, guests are treated to a wide variety of dishes. In many dishes, Imeretians use walnut, which gives a wonderful taste to the local products. Special dishes and food in Imereti: khachapuri (cheese-filled bread), satsivi (chicken or turkey in walnut sauce) , ghomi, mchadi (maize bread), cheese, bread, greens, beans, phkhali (spinach), salads; various meat dishes of fish, poultry, beef and pork; vegetables, honey, fruit, dried fruit, jams etc.
Villages in Imereti region are characterized by a special charm and atmosphere. Among some incomparable Imeretian dishes are Shotis Puri (traditional bread made of white flour and shaped like a canoe) baked in Tone (a special clay oven) and mushrooms and trout fried on Ketsi (a clay pan). Wine is kept in a special clay vessel called Kvevri which is placed under the ground. It keeps wine cool in hot summer and it prolongs the storage period of wine. Also, it is handy to keep water cool in a clay vessel.
Imereti region is rich with cultural and architectural monuments with great historical values and natural sites. The most important monuments and sites are Bagrati cathedral and Gelati monastery, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, Vani archeological site of ancient times, Sataplia national reserve and Sataplia cave, Prometheus cave, Katskhi pillar, Mghvimevi Monastery, and Motsameta monastery. All of them are the unique cultural, architectural and natural monuments.