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Home The Via dei Romei The journey from Cervia to Rimini

The journey from Cervia to Rimini

Today’s journey on the SS16 Adriatica goes along some parts of the ancient road that from Ravenna went to Cervia and then down to Rimini. From there, the route continued on across the hinterland towards the Marecchia Valley or along the coast, allowing the devoted to reach the embarkations in Puglia leaving for the Holy Land or the Sanctuary of Saint Michael on Monte Gargano.

 

Around Cervia at the beginning of the 12th century, a “hospice” for welcoming the pilgrims traveling to Rome was built upon the request of Matilde Traversari. According to legend, in the place where the hospice was located, of which there is now not a single trace, at one time there was a marble cross marking the road which is today housed in the parochial church in the town of Castiglione.

 

Already a notable commercial center in the Roman era, Cervia in the Middle Ages was especially known for its salt production; this activity caused the modest, primitive residential area to grow until it began to resemble a town between the 4th and 5th centuries, when Ficole – this was its ancient name – obtained a bishop. The city in that era reflected in its layout with three ports, one to the South facing Rimini, one to the west towards Cesena and one to the North facing Ravenna, the importance of its location as a crossroads. To the east there was also a port, first next to the walls, and then it was moved towards the coast, becoming a canal-port.

 

Today the town has developed around the residential center which was completely rebuilt upon the request of Pope Innocence XII between 1697 and 1714 to replace the village that had been built up in the Middle Ages, much farther away from the beach.

 

Among the remains of the old residential area, the Salt Warehouse, an imposing building designed for the collection and refining of salt, and the Michele Tower, a massive guard tower built before the foundation of the newer Cervia which allowed the coast in front of the city to be under surveillance at all times, should not be missed.

 

Cesenatico - Church of S. Giacomo

 

Continuing along on their journey, the pilgrims arrived in the port of Cesenatico – which arose in 1302 as a maritime stopover for Cesena – which, along the leg of the journey nearest to the port, in the Villalta area, was always called via San Pellegrino (holy pilgrim street), due to the fact that near dusk many pilgrims arrived on that street looking for a place to stay for the night.

 

In Cesenatico Port, at the time there were several holy places. Among these you can still admire today the Parochial Church of S. Giacomo, patron saint of the city and protector of passersby, which looks out over the Leonardesque Canal Port, near the Maritime Museum. The first construction of this building dates back to 1324. It was then rebuilt in the 16th century and further remodeled in 1763 by the architect Pietro Borboni. Inside there are two exquisite paintings by Guido Cagnacci. A free guided tour can be arranged with the priest.

 

Before reaching Rimini, the Romei went through a town cited many times in documents ten or eleven centuries ago, but which no longer exists today. It was the old parish church of S. Martino in Bordonchio, in the town with the same name, along the Adriatica state road at about 3 kilometers from the center of Bellaria-Igea Marina. Yet the church was not at all a secondary one. It was the first in the area around Rimini to be named in sources – it is cited in a registry of the Bavarian Code dated between the 7th and 9th centuries. Later on, in the second half of the 12th century up to the end of the 18th century, the parish church belonged to the abbey of S. Giuliano di Rimini. Today, however, nothing visible remains of it. 

For tourist information:
Ceriva Office Cervia

Cesenatico and surrounding areas Office

Last modified Feb 02, 2017

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