A tour to get to know maritime Cervia better, suitable for those who like to walk and want to discover the other soul of the city: not only The Salt City, but also the sailors’ village.
A 6km flat route, from San Michele’s tower, through the fishermen's village with its characteristic low houses, the lighthouse and the harbour, up to the beach of Pinarella and Tagliata, bordered by the pine forest.
The starting point is the San Michele’s Tower, built between 1689 and 1691, near the Salt Warehouse Tower, to defend the city and its White Gold from the pirate assaults.
It was erected on the order of the Count Michelangelo Maffei, Treasurer of Romagna, and it is dedicated to the archangel San Michele, as evidenced by the relief tile above the entrance door.
It seems it was built according to an ancient Michelangelo design, like other coastal towers in the Papal States.
At the moment of construction, the shoreline ran a few hundred metres further back than it runs today, so that the Tower was overlooking the sea and very close to the harbour entrance.
People cannot visit the Tower, but on the ground floor there is the Tourist Information Office.
Along the canal harbour in the direction of the sea, there is Borgo Marina, the fishermen’s neighbourhood. First housing cluster outside the Cervia Nuova quadrilateral, in the past its inhabitants were considered like foreigners and therefore excluded. As a matter of fact, it hosted sailors and fishermen mainly from Chioggia, Comacchio and Goro.
On the facades of the typical low houses there are ceramic tiles representing the coloured sails of the different fishing families.
Borgo Marina was recently requalified and it is a very characteristic and lively part of Cervia, animated by bars, restaurants and street markets. Every Thursday, from May to September, Borgomarina - Vetrina di Romagna takes place, with an exhibition of typical products and artistic handicrafts.
The current Cervia lighthouse was built in 1875, to replace an old lighthouse, too far and hidden in regard to the sea.
The first certain news about the existence of a lighthouse in Cervia dates back to 1708, but before that time, it seems that a long iron pole was walled up in the northern corner of San Michele’s Tower to support the lantern that was exposed at night to signal the landing place to sailors.
While preserving its overall appearance, the lighthouse that we can observe today is the result of several changes over time; its function is currently replaced by two electronic lights at the head of the jetties.
The harbour of Cervia develops around an artificial canal, the Canale delle Saline, which connects the white gold production tanks to the sea. As a matter of fact it was used to board and export the salt by sea.
During the last decades, the port's touristic vocation has been strongly accentuated, leading to the development of recreational boat and shipbuilding activities.
Walking along the seafront, on foot or by bicycle, you can reach the beach of Pinarella, which, like that of Tagliata, is bordered by a pine forest. Particularly useful on summer days for taking a break in the cooler air, you can spend some time there all year thanks to the presence of children's playgrounds, benches and tables.
Recently, in the Pinewood was born the Children’s Natural Rights Park, divided in six thematic areas with recreational equipment inspired by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.