Milano Marittima, a journey through history between youth camps and bunkers

Between the sea and a pine grove to discover the evidence of a recent past

Logo CC

A day-long tour to become acquainted with its past through the events and places that recall its history. From war remnants found during the construction works along the seafront of Milano Marittima, brought to light and restored, to conclude with two imposing youth camps, examples of Futurist architecture, now abandoned.

The route is flat: in the first part (approx. 1.5 km) it is possible to travel on foot; for the second and third part we recommend the use of a bicycle.

  • Length
    24 hours
  • Interests
    Art & Culture
  • Target
  • First stop – Seafront of Milano Marittima Milano Marittima

    There are numerous Second World War bunkers between Cervia and Milano Marittima, different according to their functions. Set off from the Yacht Club, in Via Leoncavallo, where it is possible to see a well-preserved Tobruk Bunker in the garden. The Tobruk were underground bunkers with an emergency exit and a circular opening in the roof from where it was possible to use a machine gun or a mortar. 

    In both cases the openings of the bunker have been walled.

    There are other bunkers along the Seafront, including a Regelbau 668 with annexed Tobruk, connected by a semiunderground corridor. Inside the Regelbau there are furnishings and objects which allow visitors to imagine the life of a soldier. On one wall, there is a mural with a phrase of the German poet Schiller. 

    The interior is open for organized guided tours

    Along the Seafront, there are special constructions of reinforced concrete, the so-called Denti di drago (Dragon’s teeth). Together with the bunkers they had the function of stopping attacks from the sea. 

  • Second stop – Northern part of Milano Marittima Milano Marittima

    Setting off from the centre of Milano Marittima and strolling along Viale Matteotti there are two youth camps, with an imposing structure, which form an example of futurist and rationalist architecture typical of the years which precede the Second World War. Situated between a pine grove and the sea, they were intended for the children of the workers of the time, as part of the health programme to guarantee healthy children and teenagers.

    The first, Colonia Varese, is located between the 19th and 22nd Traversa. The monumental building includes two lateral bodies and a central section which supports the original staircase; from above it looks like a seaplane. Through the skeletal-like structure, it is possible to catch a glimpse of the horizon over the sea. It is abandoned and has been used as a cinema set.

    The second, Colonia Montecatini, is located between the 24th and the 25th Traversa. The structure was designed to be functional for the life of the camp: it offered suitable spaces for the moments of life according to a strict routine: marching, flag-raising, salute, gym, physical and political education.

    There were pavilions for medical assistance, kitchens, a dining hall, a laundry, guest rooms, classrooms, libraries, a large recreational space, and the church.

    It featured an impressive 50-meter-high staircase, a large entrance arch and imposing architectural elements, in line with the ideology of the time. Closed since the 1980s, it is now in slow decline.

  • Third stop – Via Oriani Milano Marittima

    Returning to the departure point of the tour and continuing along Viale Vittorio Veneto, there are several bunkers along the canal, some are inside private gardens, in some cases incorporated into the local constructions.

    At the crossroads with Via Oriani, there is a visible Tobruk bunker. It can only be observed from the outside, the inside is not open to the public. 

Last update 30/12/2022

For more information

Editorial board Cervia

Information offices

UIT Milano Marittima
Piazzale Napoli, 30 - Cervia (RA)
+ 39 0544 993435 + 39 0544 993226 Opening: seasonal

You may also like...

OFFICIAL TOURIST INFORMATION SITE © 2022 Emilia-Romagna Region Tourism and Commerce Department