"Life is a journey, enjoy the ride"...and with great pleasure, if the goal is a simple tour, from the sea to the Romagna hinterland, passing through cultural and scenic places rich in history.
The Rubicone Bike Tour is a circular cycling route, suitable for everyone, dedicated to finding the places of historical, cultural and landscape interest in the province of Forlì-Cesena.
It starts from via Cecchini, near the Cesenatico station, right in front of the "Spazio Pantani", an area entirely dedicated to the Romagna cycling champion. Inside, it is possible to retrace the Pirate's career through the exhibition of photos, memorabilia and audiovisual materials.
It continues towards Porto Canale (Corso Garibaldi) where the floating section of the Maritime Museum lies, devoted to the life and traditions of the upper and middle Adriatic seafaring. “Trabaccoli”, “Battane”, “Bragozzi" and other typical boats that have sailed in fishing and maritime transport until the first half of the last century are preserved here, after being restored in every detail.
At the end of the main bridge in Piazza Pisacane, the monument to Giuseppe Garibaldi is located, the first erected in Italy in 1884 to commemorate the hero of the two worlds. At the beginning of the bridge there are also two beautiful pink granite columns dating back to the very brief Venetian domination.
At the corner opposite the square stands Casa Moretti, the birthplace of the writer Marino Moretti, bequeathed to the Municipality of Cesenatico so that the original furnishings, his books and autographed papers, letters and manuscripts of his works could be preserved.
Pursuing along Corso Garibaldi, we arrive in front of the characteristic fish market, behind which is the "Piazzetta delle Conserve", a real open-air museum where you can see some structures in the shape of an inverted cone immersed in the ground. These are ancient containers, dating back to the seventeenth century: real "cold rooms" of the past in which the fish, alternating with the pressed snow, could be stored for long periods.
From Piazzetta delle Conserve you return to Corso Garibaldi to reach Piazza Ciceruacchio, where some bricks indicate the perimeter of the ancient Torre Pretoria which once stood to defend the port.
Further along the Anita Garibaldi avenue, characterized by the great abundance of greenery and the beautiful Art Nouveau villas, built at the beginning of the twentieth century by the first vacationers, you then enter the heart of the seaside area. At the end of viale Anita Garibaldi you arrive at the seafront, viale Carducci.
Thanks to a modern bike path along the seafront, one can cycle from Cesenatico to the municipality of Gatteo, arriving in Piazza Romagna mia, in Gatteo Mare.
Here one will find the memorial stone dedicated to Secondo Casadei, the inventor of “Liscio” music, who plays his violin together with a verse of “Romagna Mia”, his most famous song.
This song was composed in 1954 right here in Gatteo Mare, and more precisely in the house located in Via I Maggio, on whose wall all the lyrics can be read.
The nearby San Mauro Mare can be reached by crossing the famous Rubicone River, along a wooden bridge on which the bronze bust of Julius Caesar stands, (work of the sculptor Manuela Fanelli) with the famous phrase "Alea Iacta Est - the die is cast” . You may want to stop by and rub the nose of Julius Caesar's bust, as it’s supposed to bring you good luck ! The view, from the top of the bridge to the open sea, is relaxing, while the ecosystem of the river offers ecological features in which important plant and animal communities coexist in a delicate balance: a true paradise for naturalists and birdwatchers.
Coming down from the bridge, along the riverside, you will reach San Mauro Mare, a small and peaceful seaside village. Along the path that runs on the beach, you can admire the two permanent exhibitions "Games of once" and "12 steps back": a real dive into the past, up to the Stefano Campana Park, where the bust of Giovanni Pascoli is located and the rock on which the poem "The Adriatic Puffins" is engraved, taken from the "Myricae" collection.
Our itinerary continues towards San Mauro Pascoli. Crossing the Romagna countryside, you arrive at Villa Torlonia of Pascoli's memory: here the poet's father, Ruggero Pascoli, administered the possessions of Prince Alessandro Torlonia, one of the most important and extensive landed estates in Romagna.
As you continue on your bike ride, you will reach the historic center of San Mauro Pascoli. The heart of the town encases the eighteenth-century municipal palace, in front of which is the former oratory of San Sebastiano. The visit keeps on with the chapel of the Madonna dell' Acqua, built in 1616 and the Museum of Casa Pascoli, a national monument since 1924.
Here, the poet Giovanni Pascoli was born on December 31, 1855, and spent his early childhood.
From San Mauro Pascoli, in just over 3Km, one gets to Gatteo, where, crossing the small but well-kept historic centre, one can admire many small treasures, starting from the memorial stone of the “Leone di Caprera” (The Lion of Caprera), dedicated to Giuseppe Garibaldi, who during one of his missions passed through Gatteo.
A real jewel of religious architecture is the Oratory of San Rocco, whose interior is decorated with frescoes that recall the plague experienced in several periods (NB: the frescoes are visible only by guided tours or in conjunction with events).
Continuing to ride towards the heart of the town, one meets the parish church of San Lorenzo Martire, which preserves paintings by the eighteenth-century local painter Don Stefano Montanari. In front of the church, a stone bridge gives access to the Malatesta Castle. The remains of the castle include two bastions, the entrance tower and a portion of the walls, on which one can take a walk.
The city of Cesena wonderfully welcomes riders from a distance with the millennial Abbazia di Santa Maria del Monte, standing on the Spaziano hill. From via Fiorenzuola, which is the ancient Roman Consular road, we are approaching the old town with its distinctive scorpion-shaped perimeter walls: the access is… from the tail of the scorpion, that is one of the ancient city gates, Porta Santi. Going down corso Ubaldo Comandini, we can admire the 18th Century Palazzo Guidi.
Continuing along the scorpion’s “spinal cord”, down to corso Garibaldi, with the Public Gardens and the Theatre “Alessandro Bonci”, on the left, and then corso Mazzini, we turn right into piazza Giovanni Paolo II, where the Duomo di San Giovanni Battista – St. John’s Cathedral sits. After a few meters in corso Sozzi, turning left onto contrada Masini, we can admire the Biblioteca Malatestiana – Malatestan ancient library, UNESCO Memory of the World, the only humanistic library perfectly preserved as far as the building, furnishings and library collection are concerned.
Turning left in piazza Fabbri, leaving on the left Palazzo del Ridotto and going down via Zeffirino Re, we arrive at the splendid piazza del Popolo, with Fontana Masini, the Townhall Palazzo Albornoz, Nuti’s Tower and Rocchetta di Piazza, at the feet of Garampo hill on which the imposing Fortress, the majestic Rocca Malatestiana stands out.
From the square we turn into via Fra’ Michelino, ending in via Carbonari, and we take via Chiaramonti: towards the end of the street stands the Church of Santa Cristina; from there, we turn right in via Uberti, reaching the Barriera, formerly known as Porta Cervese, therefore leaving the walls towards viale Carducci. From here, we turn left in via Turchi, then right in via Tito Maccio Plauto, continue on via de Mare and then via Cesenatico, then we turn right in via Provinciale Sala and immediately turn left in via Pisciatello: now we’re on the Rubicon pedestrian and cycle path towards Cesenatico.
Riding through Via Cesenatico, Via Cecchini, Viale Roma and Viale Carducci, you will reach Piazza Marconi in Cesenatico. Here you can appreciate the sculpture forged by the artist Emanuela Pierantozzi and realized in life size in bronze that shows the great cycling champion Marco Pantani approaching the uphill.
The base is a rock, to remind us of the mountains, that were so loved by the famous climber. A commemorative plaque recalls the man and the sports champion who was Marco.
Our itinerary ends here... After all this cycling effort you have earned rest and relaxation in a kiosk of piadina...Choose between the various proposals for all tastes!