A Weekend in Cesenatico

By Rick

May 14, 2014

alogoA blog tour within my blog tour…how fun!  Last weekend I had a chance to meet and collaborate with fellow bloggers at the breezy seaside town of Cesenatico, on the Adriatic Coast of Emilia-Romagna, in association with #cesenaticobellavita.

Arriving in town on Friday afternoon, something struck me as vaguely familiar.  The smell of the sea, bikers and joggers along the sunny boulevard, and buildings in the Liberty style of architecture…very similar to what we call Art Deco back in Florida.  An odd variety of déjà vu that I wasn’t expecting.  For me, there is something reminiscent of home in Cesenatico.

At the Hotel Lungomare, I was greeted warmly by the owner, Silvia, who showed me around the premises, which have been in her family for 25 years.  The elegant property sits directly on the beach and my room had an expansive view of both the pool and the entire coast, full of colorful umbrellas and beach chairs awaiting the arrival of the summer vacationers.  Every off-season, Silvia and her family restore/renovate/redecorate their hotel, keeping the environment fresh and inviting.  The hotel also features a gym, bicycle rentals, two spas, and a restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Guests can choose whether they want a full board package, half board, or just bed and breakfast.

Hotel Lungomare Cesentatico
View from my room.

These days, Cesenatico is a perfect place for a relaxing family holiday, or to indulge your passion for outdoor sports—the town is known for attracting bicycle racers, in particular.  Historically, it was (and still is) a working fishing village.  In fact, there’s a museum dedicated to the special type of sailboats used for fishing the local waters by employing two sailboats in tandem to drag nets along the sea floor.  The best part of this museum is that half of it is actually floating in the canal just two steps from the entrance.  The traditional vessels with their colorful sails dominate the view from all sides.

Museo della Marineria Cesenatico
Museo della Marineria

The canal is an important part of the local commerce. Goods arriving by sea are transported inland through this waterway.  However, there is a geological issue regarding the topography of the harbor that causes an accumulation of sediment at the inlet.  Around the year 1500, an architect was brought in to solve the problem.  The man tapped for the job was none other than Leonardo Da Vinci who, of course, quickly formulated a solution.  Unfortunately, the materials and engineering skill to realize Leonardo’s project were lacking—until about 20 years ago, when it was at last completed from Da Vinci’s original design.

Cesenatico and the Surrounding Region

About 15 kilometers up the canal from Cesenatico is the town of Cesena.  We spent a pleasant afternoon strolling through the historic center and visiting the important sites.  It was market day, and the atmosphere was energetic and festive.  For lunch, we enjoyed a specialty of the Romagna area, piandina; a type of bread, similar to a flour tortilla, stuffed with local salami and cheese.  Nearby, there was a booth set up by a local brewery, and we sampled some of their artisanal beers.  And there’s nothing better than cool gelato on a hot day to finish off a great lunch.piadina

Worth seeing in Cesena is the ancient library, Biblioteca Malatestiana, built from 1447 to 1452.  It is notable for being the first civic library in Europe—in other words, open to the public, and not just for clerics and scholars.  Unesco included it in its “Memory of the World” register.  The highlight of this visit is the reading room, which still contains ancient books chained to the shelves beneath the desk.  Even today, researchers come to this library (by special appointment, I assume) to study the ancient manuscripts at their original location, using only the natural light.  Their massive collection contains over 3,200 volumes from the 16th century.

Biblioteca Malatestiana in Cesena
Photo Credit: Biblioteca Malatestiana

This little beach town, still very quiet in mid-May, is a wonderful place to just relax by the sea, ideal for both couples and families, as well as cycling enthusiasts.  The seafood is fresh and there are just enough distractions to keep you as busy as you’d like to be.  Or not busy at all, if you’d prefer.  Of course, there are other more famous seaside destinations in Italy.  But that is exactly Cesenatico’s charm.  Despite some newer hotels and modern restorations, it has remained true to itself.  It is still a fishing village with a nice beach, mostly free from cheesy t-shirt shops, panhandlers, and busloads of daytrippers.  Relax and enjoy!

A big “GRAZIE” to:

Our Hosts: Hotel Lungomare, Hotel Leonardo Da Vinci, Cesentaticobellavita, La Trattoria

Our fearless leader, Alessandra from 21grammy

My fellow bloggers, Christina from Fleeting Life, and Gudrun from Reisebloggerin.

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About the author

Living in the Caput Mundi and trying to decipher Italian culture for the English speaking world.

  • My husband, Eneo Carlo Moroni, was born on the other side of Adriatic coast in a seaport called Riejka.
    It was Fiume before World War II. It was occupied by the Germans when my husband was in university at Padova. He fled to Milan to live with an uncle when the Germans were rounding up the young men for work camps. He had no papers and the Germans occupied Milan so he stayed inside for a year and a half and studied chemistry, his uncle was a chemist. After the war he moved with his family to Como and received his PHD in chemistry from the University of Milan. They gave Fiume to Yugoslavia after the war and my husband was eligible to immigrate to the United States. He came over on the ship, US Constitution, that took Grace Kelly to marry her Prince. It went on from Monaco to Genoa , where he boarded. He was naturalized 5 years later and made 100% on his test. He was proud of that. I met him in 1970 in a singing group in Pittsburgh. He was a tenor, played the piano & the accordian, I was a soprano. Luckiest day of my life. He was a handsome 6′ 3″ with green eyes and a wonderful disposition. We visited Riejka and had the jumbo shrimp it was noted for. He took me all over Italy for years. We had a wonderful life for 41 years. He died two years ago.

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