Itinerary between bells and bell towers

Itinerary to discover the sounds that once governed daily life

A day in Cervia and surroundings suitable for those who want to know the past through the symbolic places and sounds that regulated their days, the moments of work and rest, of celebration and danger.

The route starts from San Michele Tower's bell, crosses Piazza Garibaldi to stop at the Church of Sant'Antonio da Padova and finally moves to Pisignano to visit
the parish church of Santo Stefano.

1) Torre San Michele – Via Evangelisti 4, Cervia

The San Michele Tower in Cervia is a coastal tower of the late seventeenth century, built to defend the port and salt (also called white gold), stored in the adjacent warehouse.
The current structure only partially reflects the original project. Once upon a time instead of the roof there was a parade ground and on the side facing the Salt Warehouse there was a small bell tower with a bell, which was probably rung at both extended and with a hammer to give alarms, both of a war nature and of other things genre (robberies, fires, floods and storms).

Unfortunately, currently nothing remains of the bell, but it is suggestive imagine it immersed in the beauty of the canal port of Cervia.

2) Town Hall – Piazza Garibaldi, Cervia

In Cervia's Town Hall two bells have solemnized since medieval times parties, various moments of civil life and the alarm in case of fire. It was from that era in fact that the new forms of urban life and above all the mercantile activity they needed more precise times.

The clock tower of the town hall was erected in 1732 and rebuilt at he beginning of Nineteenth century.
The original bells, coming from old Cervia, were broken up and sent as bronze for the homeland on 26 March 1942. The current ones were reinstated in the turret in 1950.


3) Cathedral – Piazza Garibaldi, Cervia

The bell tower of Cervia's Cathedral was erected half a century after completion of the Church, which took place around 1760.

Originally the bells there were three; the five still in use today date back to 1847. In addition to the moments linked to the cult, these bells communicated if a believer had received the saint oil and was in agony - with different tolls if man or woman - or the arrival of a threatening storm, because it was believed that sound waves could push him away.

4) S.Antonio from Padova's convent - Cervia

The current church, dating back to 1741, was built on top of a previous small church annexed to the convent, built in 1702. The building, commissioned by the Friars Minor Observant when they had to leave their headquarters in the old Cervia, it was partly built with bricks coming from the demolition of that of the Carmelites of the Madonna del Pino, by now abandoned, while for the church, those of the "Osteria del Pino" were used part of the same complex.

The bell tower, still with three bells today, probably dates back to the post Napoleonic.

Thanks to the monks, the tolling of the bells, in addition to the time of the liturgical hours, marked even the moments of the working day; in this way prayer and human effort were closely related.


5) Pieve Santo Stefano – Pisignano

The Pieve di Pisignano probably dates back to the 10th century and is one of the oldest in the province of Ravenna. Built in basilica form and Deutero-Byzantine style or proto-Romanesque, it is a place of historical and artistic interest, both for its interior and for the outside.

The sound of its bells, as usual in the countryside, marked the work shifts in the fields, as well as communicating the various moments of ecclesiastical rites, such as masses, baptisms, weddings.