Cesenatico and the surrounding area

Cesenatico is a town with many traditions: seaside, leisure, sport and culture.
It is a fascinating town at any time of the year; any time is the right time for a holiday in this lovely corner of Romagna.
As well as enjoying the beach and the sea, we invite our guests to take a stroll beside Cesenatico Harbour Canal, one of the town’s most important monuments, reputedly designed by the great Leonardo da Vinci although there is no clear documentary evidence of this.

A number of the town’s most significant spots are to be found along the Harbour Canal, such as:

  • The “Marino Moretti” Museum, in the poet’s former home
  • Piazza Pisacane
  • The indoor fish market, built in1911Piazza Ciceruacchio dove si trova inoltre il Museo della Marineria, un museo ospitato in parte all’aperto sulle acque stesse del porto-canale. Proprio in questa piazza si svolgono alcune delle manifestazioni più importanti, come la Festa del Palio della Cuccagna dell’Adriatico e il Presepe della Marineria.

The Maritime Museum

Italy’s only floating museum, it is situated in the oldest, most picturesque part of the harbour and brings together exhibits from many centuries of maritime history.

The floating section has ten historic boats typical of the vessels most commonly used in the Adriatic in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The indoor section houses objects such as anchors, sails, and ships’ accessories, and also the remains of two fifteenth-century boats. There are also information panels for visitors.

Piazzetta delle Conserve

This is one of the most characteristic corners of Cesenatico. It was saved from ruin in the 1980s and has enabled the town to safeguard to a considerable extent its original urban layout.

The square takes its name from the historic ice houses which in past times were used to preserve fish and other foodstuffs during the hot weather. These ice houses were already here in the sixteenth century, and were in continuous use until the early years of the twentieth century. Originally there were twenty of them, but only three have been restored.

The pretty little square takes you right back into the past, and today it also makes the perfect backdrop for the daily local Farmers’ Market, and for the Nativity scenes set up here at Christmas time. During the summer months it is the ideal setting for the Flea Market and Local Craft market held here every Monday evening. Classical music concerts also take place here on summer evenings; this music festival is entitled “Notturni alle Conserve”.

Spazio Pantani

For anyone who loves sport and especially cycling, a visit to the Spazio Pantani is a must: this is a Museum devoted to Marco Pantani, the cycling champion who was a native of Cesenatico.

There are three sections which show videos, photos and memorabilia illustrating the career of the man known as “Il Pirata”, The Pirate.


The “9 Colli di Cesenatico” cycling event

This is considered the queen of the Gran Fondo long-distance road cycling events; the year 2020 will see the 50th iteration. The race covers a distance of 205 kilometres, a severe test for all the participants. The race begins by the harbour in Cesenatico and follows the route where Marco Pantani trained, taking in historic locations in the hills, such as Bertinoro, Meldola, Mercato Saraceno and Borghi, before heading back to the coast.

The Beaches

Cesenatico has many beaches, offering a thousand different settings, to suit everyone.

The eastern area – which goes from Bathing Establishment 20 to 25 – is very elegant and well-equipped; there are small restaurants, gardens with benches to sit on, and swimming pools on the sands with smart accessories.

A cycle path runs beside the beach, and from the Public Gardens to the beach you will find a green space complete with children’s games, footpaths, places where you can stop and benches to sit on. In summer the space in front of the famous high-rise building known as “Il Grattacielo” (the skyscraper) is used to exhibit the works of Tonino Guerra.

Tamarisk Beach

Spiaggia delle Tamerici” (Tamarisk Beach) is a stretch of beach which has been rewilded to give low environmental and minimal anthropic impact. Simple or recovered materials have been used, to respect the environment; among these the tamarisks are very prominent, having been planted to supply shade.

This beach is a showcase for sustainable and accessible seaside tourism, and offers free access to services.

The inland

The inland towns
From Cesenatico it is easy to visit a number of places in the area, towns rich in culture, history, and tradition.

San Marino (km 26)

San Marino is the world’s oldest Republic and is only 26 kilometres from Cesenatico.

It is a beautiful place and very well preserved; its towers, walls and museums combine to create a charming magical setting.

You can visit San Marino without a passport and without having to go through customs.

Ravenna (km 30)

30 kilometres from Cesenatico is Ravenna, a historic art and culture city where you can find, among other monuments, the tomb of the poet Dante Alighieri.

Ravenna has been known throughout history as the City of Mosaics because of the perfectly preserved Byzantine mosaics from the Western Roman Empire at the time of Theodoric.

Be sure to visit the Basilicas of San Vitale and Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, dating from the sixth century A.D., the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia and that of Theodoric, built in the sixth century for King Theodoric the Great. This circular stone building is crowned with a dome built from a single piece of stone.

Longiano (14 km)

For those who like small picturesque villages, we suggest a trip to Longiano – just 14 kilometres from Cesenatico – a village surrounded by vineyards, orchards and historic places. A “must-see” is the Malatesta fortress, and don’t miss Longiano’s four unusual museums: Museo Italiano della Ghisa (Cast Iron), Museo del Territorio (Local History), Museo d’Arte Sacra (Religious Art) and Galleria delle Maschere della Commedia dell’Arte (Commedia dell’Arte Masks and Characters).

Santarcangelo (13 km)

There are many good reasons for visiting Santarcangelo, beginning with its Romagna identity and traditions and the atmosphere of a large village where life moves at an ideal pace. New buildings put up in recent years have given new charm to this town where you can find friendly characteristic bars and restaurants where you can enjoy an aperitif or sample typical Romagna food. Don’t miss the Button Museum, a real pearl of a museum where history is illustrated through this accessory, and the Tonino Guerra Museum which houses some of this artist’s most significant works.

Bertinoro (23 km)

Bertinoro is only 23 kilometres from Cesenatico. It is known also as “La Città dell’ospitalità” (the hospitable town) because of the tall column with twelve rings named “La Colonna dell’Ospitalità”. This column was put up in the main square of the village in 1247 by Guido del Duca and Arrigo Mainarde. Each of its twelve rings bore the name of one of the noble families who resided in Bertinoro, and any visitor who tied his horse to one of the twelve rings would be welcomed as a guest in the home of the family whose name was on the ring chosen.

Bertinoro is also known as “Città del Vino” because of the excellent local wines, and its cuisine is rich in dishes created by the hands of “le sfogline”, women who still make traditional local egg pastry by hand, using an old-fashioned rolling pin, not a food mixer!

Bagno di Romagna (50 km)

For the more adventurous visitor who is happy to drive a little further even while on holiday, we recommend Bagno di Romagna, 50 kilometres from Cesenatico, already famous as a thermal spa in 266 B.C. The water from the natural hot spring has a temperature of 47 °C. at source.

This attractive small town is situated in the Foreste Casentinesi, Monte Falterona and Campigna National Park, where you can also find the Sasso Fratino Integral Nature Reserve. This is an ideal spot for fine walks where you can immerse yourself in greenery.

San Leo (32 km)

If you love castles, don’t miss San Leo. This amazing village, rich in art and history, is the heart of the Montefeltro region and was mentioned by Dante Alighieri in his Divine Comedy.

The fortress, lovingly preserved, tells a tale of magic and alchemy, through Count Cagliostro, the historic personage who was convicted of heresy and imprisoned within these walls until his death.

Well-known for its historic and political vicissitudes, San Leo is an outstanding tourist attraction and a popular location for films and documentaries. It is the pearl at the heart of the Province of Rimini.

Cervia (12 km)

Just 12 kilometres from Cesenatico you can find Cervia, known for its beach, its pine wood, its coast and … for salt!

The history of Cervia is closely interwoven with salt production; its salt flats were already in use in Roman times.

Visit the fascinating salt workers’ quarter and discover the charm of this town, completely rebuilt in the late seventeenth century, whose ancient origins can still be discerned.

Visit “ Magazzini del Sale”, the original salt warehouse, now a venue for exhibitions and the home of MUSA, the Salt Museum; see San Michele Tower and the Cathedral, the most important monuments of Cervia. Close to the town you can also visit a number of natural beauties: Parco della Salina (the salt flats park), Parco delle Farfalle (the butterfly house), and Parco Naturale, the nature reserve and wildlife park.

And don’t miss the spa, Terme di Cervia, deep in the heart of the ancient pinewood, a place of peaceful wellbeing.

Theme Parks

Cesenatico is close to the many theme parks of Romagna, making it ideal for families and young people.

Mirabilandia is an absolute “must”, a huge open-air funfair with something for everyone.

Safari Adventure is a trip to the wonderful world of exotic animals, where you can see giraffes, lions, tigers, elephants and hippopotami!

And this is not the end of the wonders of Romagna!

If you head south along the Riviera towards Rimini you can see Italia in Miniatura and also Fiabilandia – the magic world of fairy tales to delight the little ones.

In Riccione you can find Aquafan, the water amusement park with slides and the largest artificial wave pool in Europe, and Oltremare, a journey of discovery into the world of the sea, including the lagoon where the lovable dolphins live.

And lastly there is Cattolica, where you can visit the largest Aquarium on the Adriatic coast, home to over 10.000 sea animals, and also otters, penguins and bull sharks.