A journey through the places and relics of a unique town, deeply linked to the fishermen and salt-workers activities since generations.
From the sea to the salt pan to discover the white gold history at every step, a history that is renewed each year during the Sapore di Sale event.
From the sea to the town center
The journey starts with a walk on Cervia's promenade, next to the adorned roundabouts of the open-air flower show Cervia Garden City and fashionable beach resorts.
Once you reach the canal, a passage on the right between the harbor office and the lifeguards' cooperative allows to enter the harbor.
Among the other ships, you can see the ancient fishermen's boats with their typical lugsails ("vele al terzo") and iconic designs used to distinguish the different Cervia's families.
By going back the same way, next to a trait of rocky beach and the sound of the rolling waves, you'll reach Borgomarina along the canal. It's an old-fashioned colorful fishermen village, lively with street markets during the long summer evenings.
Before reaching the Pantofla, the charming fishermen club, you should turn to the right and see the old Cervia's lighthouse, built in 1875 during a time when it faced the coast directly.
The canal is illuminated by streetlights decorated with the typical designs of the historical sails that are often docked nearby. Two of the most noticeable boats among them are the Santa Maria and Tre Fratelli, they're the perfect examples of what the fishermen used in Cervia at the beginning of the 10th century.
From here you can see the Torre San Michele from a perfect angle, it's an impressive building that watches over the canal harbor and Andrea Costa square, a location for many interesting events like the European Market during the beginning of autumn, or the Thursday morning market, one of the greatest of Romagna. At the base of the tower a little garden features the Thalàtta statue, a symbol of union between man and sea made by Gino Guerra.
The next stop is the Salt Storehouse. In the past the salt-workers sailed upriver to preserve their salt inside it, nowadays the Storehouse is the location of MUSA, the salt museum and keeper of an important part of Cervia's history.
Thanks to the work and dedication of the Civiltà Salinara cultural group enthusiasts you can admire documents, tools and photos that let you experience the history of the salt pan.
Cervia's salt pan
After exploring MUSA the journey continues in the same fashion just outside the city, to discover the salt pan and its beautiful natural heritage: a place full of opportunities to admire a unique landscape in a variety of ways.
First you have to reach the Visitors Center, accessible by car from the Strada Statale Adriatica or by bike from the Via Bova underpass. A wide range of itineraries start from here, they can be toured by walking, bike or electric boat depending on the season, each one of them can be completed in about half an hour.
There are many possibilities to discover all the salt production locations throughout summer. One of the most remarkable is the Camillone salt pan, the only salt pan where its workers still use the traditional methods and tools for salt harvesting. It's here that the famous Sweet Salt of Cervia is gathered, a Slow Food presidium since 2004.
To reach the Camillone salt pan you start from the Visitors Center with a guide then walk past the effluent canal and turn right at a small pumping station to reach the access to the ancient traditional salt pan.
Cervia's salt pan can be visited even in spring thanks to the "nest path", where unusual birds native of the salt pan and their nesting sites can be admired. At the end of the route you can access a birdwatching tower, the perfect place to take a picture of the specimens or the wonderful light effects reflected on the water surface.
After the visit you can move towards the hinterland to reach the place where the Old Cervia used to be.
Along the path you can see the industrial salt production sites, in operation since 1959. Next to them there are a few columns placed in a square that stand out against the landscape: they mark the place of the old thermal establishment, used until the opening of the one in Milano Marittima in 1960.
The exact place where the Old Cervia resided until 1697 can be found at the end of the road by taking a left turn. The only building still standing from that time period is the former church Madonna della Neve, today a private residence.