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Home The Adriatic Coast Christmas on the Riviera – All of the events along the Coast

Christmas on the Riviera – All of the events along the Coast

On the Romagna Riviera, the Christmas atmosphere is hotter than ever. From Comacchio to Cattolica, all of its towns are immersed in a magic atmosphere populated by Santa Claus villages, ice skating rinks, Nativities and Christmas trees of every material and size, lights of every kind and color, markets selling local products, and of course many shows and events for the enjoyment of both adults and children.




In Comacchio the Nativities get on boats and go down the canals, stopping to be admired under the most beautiful bridges of this “little Venice”, from the Ponte San Pietro to the Trepponti, not to mention Ponte degli Sbirri, Ponte Pasqualone, Ponte del Teatro, and Ponte del Carmine. Along the streets downtown there is music and shows with puppets, dialect comedies and much more, while the loveliest little places will become the backdrop to many artistic nativity scenes, set up with great care and creativity.



In the squares and under the arcades of Ravenna, there will be many Christmas markets. In particular, from December 15 in Piazza del Popolo theChristmas Huts will be set up, original food and wine stands that are reproductions of the typical little houses that people used to set up along the dunes near the pinewood on the beaches of Ravenna. Inside each hut there are typical specialties prepared by the locals themselves but also crafts, ceramics and mosaics, Christmas baskets with traditional products and much more. Sunday, December 11 and 18 (and then from December 24 everyday), a Lilliputian train will go around the streets downtown (departure and arrival in Via IV Novembre/Piazza del Popolo). There are also many nativity scenes to admire thanks to the dedicated guided tours, from the artistic one in 18th century Neapolitan style “Viva ‘O Re” set up in the Basilica di San Giovanni Battista to the one made from sand in the square of Marina Diga Zaccagnini in Marina di Ravenna, not to mention the marine nativity made entirely from shells and housed at the Istituto Ghiselli Serve di Maria (


Cervia and Milano Marittima

In Cervia and Milano Marittima Christmas is on ice. The Rotonda I Maggio in Milano Marittima hosts the the biggest ice rotonda of Europe, which stretches out over 1000 square meters around the chic lounge here. This year, besides skating you can also experience the thrill of bobsledding in a new entertainment area set up at the 1° Traversa, with a giant slide and a ride shaped like a Christmas tree, typical of the French Christmas villages in Toulose. In Viale Gramsci there is the Christmas Tree Garden, with the creations of thirteen artists, supported by as many television celebrities, for a charity event with Mediafriends Onlus, a solidarity marathon sponsored by Mediaset. In Cervia, the big, renovated ice skating rink in Piazza Garibaldi “hugsthe Christmas tree, 14 meters tall, donated by the city of Moena. The lights and images of the videomapping projected on the façade of Palazzo Comunale reflect of the surface of the ice. New this Christmas in Cervia is the Enchanted Garden of the Elves, where, while listening to fairytales surrounded by reindeer and fantastic creatures, you can meet the elves to give them your letter for Santa Claus. Along the nearby port canal there will be a floating, life size, salt nativity scene. And of course there will be exhibitions, markets, theater shows and much more. Every weekend and all holidays, running from downtown Cervia (South Pole station) and Milano Marittima (North Pole station) is the Christmas Express train, a fun Christmas themed transportation that leaves from each station every 20 minutes. Driving the train is... Santa Claus himself.



New this 2016 Christmas in Cesenatico isChristmas at the canal port, a new format with musical bands, artistic and Christmas readings at the Maritime Museum, music at Casa Moretti, little “cartoon” stories to create with children, Christmas choirs at the city theater, and tastings along the walk that characterizes the Canal Port between the Maritime Museum and Piazza Ciceruacchio. The suggestive floating nativity scene set up on the ancient boats of the Maritime Museum welcomes more than fifty statues made of Swiss pine, which represent, besides the Holy Family, the Three Kings and Saint

James, patron Saint of the city, many other characters and “glimpses” of local maritime life. In the area ex Nuit in viale Carducci there is theChristmas Village Cesenatico”, a big theme park right near the sea with games, attractions, entertainment for families and children and Santa Claus’s house and an elf village.


Bellaria – Igea Marina

Bucolic farm life is the theme of the sand nativity set up this year on the beach of Igea Marina (bathing establishments 78 and 78bis) and created by an international team of “sand sculptorsincluding the Spanish artists Sergi Ramirez and Montserrat Cuesta, along with Ukrainian Slawa Boreki  and the Russian Ilje Filimontsev, who for three weeks worked with 1000 tons of sand. Downtown there are the traditional nativity scenes in vats, with more than 40 scenes set up, while the Isola dei Platani” will be enlivened by an ice skating rink and a roller staking rink, the Santa Claus Village and a real amusement park in Viale Paolo Guidi, with wooden stands, attractions and a mysterious labyrinth. Every Sunday and holidays, from December 4 to January 8, there will be many events for adults and children.



The Christmas tradition continues on the beach of Rimini with the giant sand Nativities in Marina Centro, on the public beach of Piazzale Boscovich, next to the ice skating rink, and in Torre Pedrera, at the bathing establishments 64 and 65. Again this year those that want to skate along the ice will have a wide range of choices, from the Ice Village on the public beach next to the port of Rimini, with its 750 square meters of ice for adults and children and the sand nativity and, in piazza Cavour, Rimini Christmas Square, with a more than 500 square meter rink, a food area with entertainment and a relaxation area with a touch of seaside style. Also worth seeing is the big Christmas tree located right near Augustus’s Arch, 7 meters tall and made (by the Rimini architect Roberto Semprini together with twelve students of the Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna) by assembling and fusing scraps and industrial waste (plastic, light bulbs, glass, metal scraps and more). As a setting to the lovely nativity scenes, the traditional Christmas markets and a series of events and shows will enliven the holidays, such as the Matrioska Lab Store. There are more than 70 craftsmen and designers that will be here, from December 16 to 18, with their unique handmade items, on the renovated floors of the New Wing of the City Museum, right downtown.



The ice skating rink is dedicated to Marco Simoncelli and will be set up for Christmas in Viale Ceccarini in Riccione. It will be calledSIC58 On Ice” and will promote, through the shows and activities held there, the Onlus dedicated to the Romagna motorcycle racer who died so young. There will also be the original gift box shaped stands, thegift house” and the glowing igloo with trendy food and beverages, which will create, on the central avenues of the city, the Christmas Fashion Market. An elegant Christmas tree made up of luminous white spheres will overlook the port canal, while in Piazzetta del Faro there will be a big “beached” Santa Claus along with his reindeer after the difficult Christmas deliveries. For little kids, the fun is at the Giardini Montanari, with the Christmas Wonderland, a real wonderland with markets, games, rides and attractions.


Music, shows, entertainment for small children, markets and much more for Christmas in Cattolica. In Piazza Primo Maggio from the end of November there is The City of Wonders, with rides and a Ferris wheel, a fountain show and much more, while in Piazza Nettuno every evening the Great Christmas Tree is lit up. From December 8, in Piazzale Roosvelt, there is a Christmas market and videomapping on the façade of Palazzo Comunale. Sunday, December 18 in Piazza Po there will beChristmas under the tree”, with a children’s market, visit to the giant wooden nativity scene, mulled wine and hot chocolate, street shows and creative workshops. Saturday, December 24 the event is at Palazzo del Turismo for the Concert of the Lyrical Choir of the Queen (at 4.30pm). Do not miss the magic of Christmas at the Aquarium of Cattolica, with the original artistic nativity scene set up in the tanks, theBeached Nativitiesand the Recycled Christmas Tree”, made by the children of the preschools in Cattolica using everyday trash and driftwood.


Longiano and Santarcangelo

There are more than one hundred Nativities that can be admired this Christmas in more than forty locations of historic downtown Longiano for the traditional event “Longiano of the Nativities”, now in its 26th edition. Museums, churches, squares, streets, gardens, public places and private homes will host the enchantment and magic of the Nativities, both traditional and contemporary, starting with the big mechanized nativity scene in the Convento del Ss. Crocefisso, as well as the more than fifty Nativities created by as many master craftsmen and on display in Sala San Girolamo, and closing out the tour with the Artistic Nativity housed at the Fondazione Tito Balestra, this year created by Giulia Napoleone who will display her Presepe Sfolgorante.


Instead, the culture of dialect poems will be the star of Christmas 2016 in Santarcangelo di Romagna, thanks to the projectArtistic Light Installations invented by Manolo Benvenuti and Nikki Rodgerson, experts in the artistic reuse of scrap material (Nikki Rodgerson is part of the collective Mutoid Waste Company, which for years has chosen Santarcangelo as its adoptive homeland). The project this year will combine the original Christmas luminaries, created since 2009 by local artists with recycled materials, with lovely glowing arches that have well wishes, solidarity messages or something related to Christmas written on them, taken from the poems of the most loved local poets: Tonino Guerra, Raffaello Baldini, Nino Pedretti, Gianni Fucci, Giuliana Rocchi and Annalisa Teodorani.

Discover all the events along the Riviera from December 23 to January 8, 2017


Last modified Dec 12, 2016

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