Imereti encompasses an area of 6,365 sq. km (2,458 sq. miles) and has a population of 699,666. Separated from Kartli by the Likhi Range, Imereti is the first western province you’ll enter driving toward the coast from Tbilisi.
Imeretians have the reputation for being great talkers and jokers, who emphasize their effusive outpourings with an abundance of hand gestures and facial expressions. A fellow named Chichikia is the hero of all their jokes and tales, and they use him to make fun of others and themselves. They consider themselves the most hospitable and polite of Georgians. They also are known to be the most temperamental.
The history of Imereti is linked to the larger picture of the combined western provinces and throughout history portions of its territory belonged to both Abkhazia and Samegrelo. hi the sixth century BC it was the heart of the Kingdom of Colchis. The history of this province is perhaps most conveniently understood by looking at the fate of its capital, Kutaisi.