Between bells and bell towers in Cervia and surroundings

Itinerary to discover the sounds that once regulated everyday life

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A day tour of Cervia and its surroundings to become acquainted with its past through the symbolic places and sounds which regulated its days, moments of work and rest, celebration, and danger.

The tour starts from the bell of St. Michael’s Tower, crosses Piazza Garibaldi to stop at the Church of Sant’Antonio da Padova and finally moves to Pisignano to visit St. Stephen’s Church.

  • Length
    24 hours
  • Interests
    Art & Culture
  • Target
  • First stop – St. Michael’s Tower Cervia

    St. Michael’s Tower of Cervia is a coastal tower of the late 17th century, built to defend the port and the salt stored in the nearby warehouse.

    The current structure only partly reflects the original project. At one time, there was a parade ground in the place of the roof and on the side facing the Salt storehouse a small bell tower with a bell, probably chimed both extended and hammered to raise the alarms of war and other events (robbery, fires, floods, and storms). 

    Nothing remains of the bell, but it is picturesque to imagine it immersed in the beauty of the canal port of Cervia.

  • Second stop – Town hall Cervia

    Since the Middle Ages, the two bells of the Town Hall of Cervia solemnized festivities, the various moments of civilian life and raised the alarm in case of fire. It was from that time that the new forms of urban life and above all the mercantile activity required more accurate times.

    The clock tower of the town hall was built in 1732 and rebuilt in the early 19th century.

    The original bells, from old Cervia, were split and sent as bronze for the homeland on 26 March 1942. The current ones were returned to the tower in 1950.

  • Third stop – Cathedral Cervia

    The Cathedral bell tower of Cervia was built half a century after the completion of the Cathedral, in approx. 1760. Originally, there were three bells; the five in use today date from 1847. Aside from the moments of worship, these bells communicated if a faithful person had received the holy anointment and was at death’s door – which differed for men and women - or the arrival of a threatening thunderstorm because it was believed that the sound waves could drive it away.

  • Fourth stop – Convent of Sant’Antonio da Padova Cervia

    The current Church, dating to 1741, was built over a small church previously annexed to the convent, built in 1702. The building, commissioned by the Friars Minor of the Observance when they had to leave the premises of Old Cervia, was built in part with the bricks from the demolition of that of the Carmelites of Madonna del Pino, now abandoned, while for the church, those of the “Osteria del Pino” were used which was part of the same complex. The bell tower, with three bells to this day, probably dates to the post-Napoleonic period. Thanks to the monks, the chiming of the bell, aside from the time of the liturgical hours, also marked the moments of the working day; in this way prayer and human toil were closely related.

  • Fifth stop – St. Stephen’s Church in Pisignano Cervia

    The church of Pisignano probably dates to the 10th century and is one of the oldest in the province of Ravenna. Built in the form of a basilica and second-Byzantine or proto-Romanesque style, it is a site of historic-artistic interest, for its interior and exterior. The sound of its bells, as is customary in the countryside, marked the working shifts in the fields, and communicated the various moments of ecclesiastical rites, such as masses, baptisms, and weddings.

Last update 30/12/2022

For more information

Editorial board Cervia

Information offices

IAT Cervia
Via Evangelisti, 4 - Cervia (RA)
+ 39 0544 974400 + 39 0544 977194 Opening: all year round

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