A tour in the footsteps of the poets, writers and artists who have made Cervia great, ideal for those who love to explore the past of places through the figures who lived in them.
A flat route, of approx. 4 km, from the centre to the seafront, among the streets and buildings which recall great names: Grazia Deledda, Max David, Giovannino Guareschi, Tonino Guerra and many more.
An urban trek, between houses and villas, to discover the corners of the city which have hosted important figures of art and literature.
The walk continues in the centre of Milano Marittima and among the inland towns of Castiglione, Cannuzzo and Pisignano, which we recommend reaching by car.
Next to the Salt Storehouse Darsena, in Piazzale di Salinari, you can admire the picturesque Fontana del Tappeto sospeso. Devised by Tonino Guerra and created by the mosaic artist from Ravenna, Marco Bravura, the fountain represents a variegated flying carpet. On top, two heaps of salt symbolize the identity and history of the city.
Along the port canal in the direction of the sea, opposite the fish market you will reach the Sea Column, a memorial dedicated to the fishermen and to the women of the Cervia seafaring tradition, devised by the writer and poet Carlo Nava. A native of Ravenna, as a young man he had been a sailor, and this had left him with a great passion for the sea.
A column, three metres in height, with 6 sides, each features a short story of the sea written by Nava.
Returning to the centre, and going along Viale Volturno, you reach Viale Roma, one of the main streets of Cervia.
Turning left, at the crossroads with Viale Bellucci, you meet a villa with a large garden. It is the birth house of the journalist and writer Max David, correspondent of many newspapers, who came back here for short stays.
Turning into Viale Bellucci, on the left you meet the villa where the famous writer and journalist Giovanni Guareschi spent his holidays. He is famous for his stories of Don Camillo and Peppone. In Cervia, he loved to talk with the simple folk; he passed away here from a heart attack.
The route continues in Viale Cristoforo Colombo, to reach Villa Caravella, purchased by Grazia Deledda after winning the Nobel Prize. The writer loved to spend long periods of time in Cervia; she was inspired by the landscape that reminded her of Sardinia. Cervia made her an honorary citizen in 1927.
The second part of the tour starts from the heart of Milano Marittima. Giuseppe Palanti, the painter from Milan, was one of the founding fathers of the city. He drew up the masterplan for Milano Marittima inspired by the concept of a Garden City by the Englishman Ebenezer Howard and many of Palanti’s paintings portray the pine grove and the port of Cervia.
Dante Alighieri recalls Cervia and the pine grove of Ravenna in two cantos of the Divine Comedy. It is sure that he walked there when he stayed with the Da Polenta family, Lords of Ravenna.
A plaque on the façade of the Town Hall marks the 6th centenary of his death, in 1921.
To reach Castiglione di Ravenna, you can go along Via Ragazzena and see the Wood of the Duke d’Altemps, cited by Umberto Foschi in one of his studies. The Wood is now a green belt which extends for about one kilometre, with tall trees and rich undergrowth. It features majestic oaks.
Umberto Foschi, a native of Castiglione di Cervia, was a great scholar of traditions, dialect and folklore of Romagna and in particular of the population of Cervia. He conducted the first findings on Ficocle and Old Cervia and left a significant wealth of works and publications. He was also a founding member and president of Associazione Amici dell’Arte. The centre for Romagna dialect was set up in his house in Castiglione di Ravenna in 2008.
Continuing, you reach the centre of Castiglione di Cervia, where it is possible to see Palazzo Guazzi. The Oratory of San Lorenzo is part of the Palazzo, and it was one of the two side parts, added in 1794 and built by the architect Camillo Morigia from Ravenna. The Palazzo and the Oratory, severely damaged during World War II, have been restored and the Oratory is now open for public use for the occasion of events.
Tolmino Baldassari was a poet and dialect writer, born in Castiglione, who lived most of his life in Cannuzzo di Cervia. This is where his House Museum is located, which sits precisely next to the Savio river park: a green oasis crossed by a cycle lane.
The Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Cannuzzo di Cervia is a building that dates to the early 17th century and is described by Tolmino Baldassari in one of his books.
On the road back to Cervia it is worth stopping at the Romanesque St. Stephen’s church, which is found in Pisignano, a town next to Cannuzzo. It is the oldest church in Ravenna, noted in a document of 977 and also described in one of Tolmino Baldassari’s books.
The tour ends with the return to Cervia through the salt pan and with a visit to the Municipal Library, to which Tolmino Baldassari left his collection of books and where his studio was rebuilt, complete with his typewriter and spectacles.