Historically was known as the “City of the Three Popes”, today many know it for the university, someone loves it especially for the mouth-watering cuisine and there are those who are enchanted by the streets of its old town. It is Cesena: a city in the heart of Emilia Romagna, situated along the Via Emilia in an extremely rich territory full of cities of art, near the Riviera and nestled in the gently rolling plain. Halfway between the sea and the hills, it is surrounded by touristic centres such as Cervia and its Saline Park, where you can admire unique natural environments and to enchanting views, and Ravenna, famous throughout the world for the splendor of its mosaics.
In the main squares and along the streets of Cesena take place, throughout the year, many exciting events full of fun, tradition and art. Alternating exhibitions of shows ranging from music to theatre, from the cinema to the literature meetings with writers, exhibitions and gastronomic events with a wide range of tasty dishes and fine wines, in a compelling journey through the scents of the Romagna.
What to eat
The culture has been passed on in Cesena also through the taste for good food, blunt and powerful, with tagliatelle, pappardelle and cappelletti strictly made of “spoja”, and again with passatelli, strozzapreti, as well as with piadina and squacquerone, authentic symbols of the inviting Romagna. For the sweet tooth, you must taste the ciambella, maybe soaked in a glass of sweet wine such as Albana, Sangiovese, Cagnina or Trebbiano.
The beautiful old town is a meeting place for locals and tourists: the Malatesta Library, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Bonci Theatre, the Malatesta Fortress, the main square (Piazza del Popolo), the Masini fountain, symbol of the city. They are all centrally located and convenient to visit during a relaxing stroll.
10 minutes from the centre of Cesena, on top of the Spaziano hill, you can find the imposing Abbey of Santa Maria del Monte.
Visit Cesena also means discovering an entire area where, next to consolidated bathing and spa offerings, there are very valuable historical villages or small towns like Gambettola (km 10), Cesenatico (km 17), Forlì (28 km), Santarcangelo di Romagna (km 29), San Marino (50 km), Rimini (35 km), Ravenna (35 km), Sarsina (31 km), Bagno di Romagna (50 km). These sites are full of ancient remains of artistic and cultural heritage, and, of course, they have a lot to offer in terms of food and wine and typical products.
Ravenna, architectural splendor, city of art and culture, is recognized worldwide for its historical and artistic treasures. The city keeps the richest heritage of mosaics dating from the fifth and sixth century A.D. in its own beautiful early Christian and Byzantine religious buildings, declared World Heritage Site by Unesco.
What Ravenna is able to offer in terms of culture and art is rich and diverse in every season. Besides the possibility to visit all eight Unesco monuments (San Vitale Abbey, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Battistero Neoniano, S. Andrea Chapel, Battistero degli Ariani, S. Apollinare Nuovo Abbey, Mausoleum of Teodorico, S. Apollinare in Classe Abbey), you can visit the MAR, the Art Museum of the city: it offers high-profile temporary exhibitions and houses several permanent collections, including the Collection of Contemporary Mosaics. The San Nicolò Complex where you can find “T.a.m.o: the Whole Adventure of Mosaic”, a permanent exhibition entirely focused on the art of mosaic art. And the National Museum of Ravenna. In addition to the extraordinary richness of its architectural heritage, the few kilometers that separate it from the Adriatic coast, make the city an attractive destination for relaxation and fun, full of artistic and cultural events.
A small “jewel” of the Emilia Romagna, a short distance from the Park of the River Po, Cervia is located only 15 km from Cesena.
Piazza Garibaldi, the Town Hall and the Cathedral, the nineteenth-century Theatre, the Monument to Grazia Deledda and the Piazzale Salinari, are some of the monuments to visit in Cervia.
You must see the Saline di Cervia, the gateway to the nature of the Regional Park of the River Po, representing a complex ecosystem where plants and animals are adapted to “extreme” living conditions because of the high percentage of salt in the water.
Cesenatico, just 16 km from Cesena, is a unique attraction of the Riviera that combines history, culture and good living. The small and picturesque town still exudes the atmosphere of the ancient fishing village, between the harbour designed by Leonardo Da Vinci and the alleys where there are museums, restaurants, local markets and suggestive café and pub.
If the old centre is the right place to enjoy the fresh fish prepared in the “rustide”, and the beach is perfect for relaxation, the inland is suitable for food and wine tours and cycling which starts from Cesenatico throughout the whole Romagna. Behind the busiest streets during summer, behind the hotels in Cesenatico, the ancient seaside town surprises with great events that make it one of the most suggestive city even during the Christmas period when one of the typical tradition, for example, is to go to see Leonardo’s harbour where it is set up the picturesque floating nativity scene.
Bagno di Romagna is located in the Savio valley, around 50 km from Cesena. Part of its territory is included in the National Park of the Casentino Forests, Mount Falterona and Campigna, a large protected area in the Tuscany-Romagna hills complex. This area includes woods and forests that are the largest and best preserved in Italy, which holds a large floral heritage and fauna of great interest: wolves and eagles among predators.
Bagno di Romagna is a thriving tourist destination thanks to its spas well known everywhere in Italy and thanks to the benefits of its waters that were already knew by the ancient Romans. The town has maintained its medieval and Renaissance structure, with buildings from all eras within were created hotels, taverns, wine bars and restaurants. There are a lot of the artisans’ workshops with the typical products, from cheeses to meats to wine.
Located in the heart of Romagna, Forlì is one of the most interesting Roman cities of the region. Full of innumerable historical and artistic testimonies, Forlì is a destination that can be visited throughout the year. In summer, especially with the exhibition “Summer Squares”, the city comes alive with numerous cultural events that allow you to “live” the historical centre through the access to places not usually opened to the public and let you appreciate the artistic beauty, even in the most hidden corners of the city. In the heart of the historic centre, the museum complex of San Domenico is definitely worth a visit. It houses the oldest section of the Picture Gallery and it is the catalyst of visitors thanks to prestigious exhibitions held in recent years.