Cervia’s Center Itinerary

"Imagina Cervia" is an app which, thanks to special devices scattered throughout the city, allows you to get to know Cervia in an innovative way. As in a treasure hunt, walking through the center and crossing the city, you will be able to meet stories and characters linked to our traditions.

This is the part dedicated to the historical centre. An ideal walk to discover the quadrilateral: from the houses of the salt workers, to the cathedral, from the theater to the old fish market and other curiosities.

1) Piazza Pisacane and the stone of mesure

The small square that borders the back of the City Hall, which has always been known as Piazza delle
Erbe, was the place of excellence for exchanges and trades.

Here we find the Stone of Measure, an ancient table dated 1636 and coming from Cervia Vecchia.
Contains the units of measurement they were required to adhere to the inhabitants of Cervia: among these the "Passo", a sort of meter for the fabrics, and the “Quadré”, the tile used for the construction of the floor.

2) Piazza Pisacane and the old fish market

At the center of the square is the fish market from 1790 where freshly caught fish in the Adriatic was sold.
Often the vendors were family members of the fishermen themselves and all the proceeds remained in the family. The building was restored in the 1920s wehen, on the façade was inserted the coat of arms of the city. The benches are in valuable marble and the water drains on the ground. Activate until 1992, today it has become a meeting and refreshment place.

3) The courtyards of historical center

The plan of Cervia has a perfect quadrilateral shape with salt workers’ houses along its perimeter, four bastions in the corners and the courtyards to space out the houses.
The courtyard represented the open area to all needs of co-owners.

Salt workers stowed there their heavy tools from the salt pans; they used it to split wood for fire, and store theirwash muddy boots.

Women there, they hung out the clothes, beat mattresses and carpets, they put watermelons and bottles of wine in the well to keep them fresh and made preserves. When the courtyard was free from the work of the grown-ups, it became the kingdom of the little ones with their games and nursery rhymes.


4) City’s gates

Main city’s gates took their name from the direction in which they led: Ravenna and Cesenatico.
Porta Ravenna was the most important gate, given in custody by contract and, the doorman, had to open and close at set times or in case of specific orders. It was also equipped to tavern service with the possibility for wayfarers to eat, drink and sleep.

It was possible to have the door opened even at non-hours conventional, but this entailed an expense, except for the doctor and the parish priest. On loads of strawand hay the goalkeeper collected a share of his own right, taking part of it.
Gates were destroyed during the German retreat of World War II and the only example yet visible is Porta Mare built in the mid-nineteenth century to allow our first tourists to go easily to the sea.


5) Cervia’s theatre

A small and cosy theatre, which now seats 230, it was used for theatrical performances, concerts, parties and bingo evenings.
Opened on Christmas night 1862 it was soon to be named “ La Bomboniera” thanks to the beautiful manufactures and valuable stuccos.

The feature of value is the particular curtain, unique in Emilia Romagna with a marine theme.
The main scene represents God Apollo arriving at the port of Cervia accompanied by Muses and Nymphs and greeted with a burchiella full of salt.

6) Trucolo

A simple dwelling, typical house of Cervia’s salt workers gave hospitality to Trucolo (trocal means wood chip).
Named Ricci Pitino Augusto Italiano, was Cervia’s tinsmith. He was always loaded with cans, pan lids which accompanied him with an unmistakable noise of tin and a stick that supported him during the path.

It was the "hunchback of fortune", "the little man from drop of tin”, much praised Grazia Deledda in her novellas.

7) Salt workers’ houses

The houses positioned along the quadrangular perimeter of the city had no gates on the outer sides, but only windows protected by iron grates. Indeed they had the function of city walls and were intended for salt workers and their families. Until 1953 they passed by right from father to son and were free, then with the transition from the Papal States to State Monopolies these privileges were eliminated.

8) Life in city center

Salt workers worked from March to October. In the others months of the year they had to activate themselves with different chores to support the family. In the winter months the days and nights passed only inside the city center where all the most important activities were located: the butcher, the bakery, the carpentry and even the tavern in which, some salt workers spent a lot of time.