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Exploring the Coastal Charms of Cesenatico in Emilia-Romagna

Our correspondent discovers Cesenatico, a gem on Emilia-Romagna's Adriatic coast that is rich in heritage, charm and cuisine.

The Emilia-Romagna village of Cesenatico and its canal port designed by Leonardo Da Vinci.

The Emilia-Romagna village of Cesenatico and its canal port designed by Leonardo Da Vinci.

Let’s face it, the coast of Italy is where you want to be for holidays and in the warm weather. However, Italian coastal towns tend to be densely populated during peak seasons, while some of them even experience such an influx year-round. Cesenatico, however, is a lesser-known coastal town worthy of exploration. 

Located along the picturesque Adriatic coast of the Emilia-Romagna region, Cesenatico beckons travelers with its blend of maritime heritage, sun-kissed beaches, and authentic Italian charm. This quaint seaside town, with its bustling port and historic center, has a lot to offer. 

Port of Cesenatico, Italy, at sunset.
Port of Cesenatico, Italy, at sunset.

At the heart of Cesenatico lies its historic port. Designed by the renowned Renaissance engineer, Leonardo da Vinci, the Porto Canale is a living testament to Cesenatico's maritime legacy. Lined with colorful fishing boats and charming waterfront cafes, the canal evokes a sense of timeless beauty. There’s also a Maritime Museum, which can offer a glimpse into Cesenatico's seafaring history. As it is a coastal town, there are beautiful golden beaches, which provide a great combination of sun, sea, and sand. 

Beyond its maritime attractions and beaches, however, Cesenatico has several other cultural gems, including the town's charming historic center, with its winding streets and pastel-colored buildings. Other things to see include Piazza delle Conserve and the architecture of the Church of Saint James.

While I was in Cesenatico for only a brief visit (involving food and wine), I would be remiss if I did not mention the food scene. In addition to many inviting restaurants, there are also local markets with artisanal cheeses, cured meats, and freshly baked bread. Cesenatico is renowned for its fresh seafood, offering dishes that showcase the bounty of the Adriatic Sea.

Fritto Misto at Maré Cesenatico.
Fritto Misto at Maré Cesenatico.

I had some delicious, savory seafood at Maré, a culinary gem overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Every bite at Mare Cesenatico was a journey of taste and texture, and I highly recommend it. In terms of wine, I suggest visiting or ordering wine from Poggio della Dogana in nearby Castrocaro Terme and Brisighella. Their Romagna Trebbiano and Romagna Albana pair perfectly with Adriatic delights. 

A Trebbiano wine from Poggio della Dogana in Emilia-Romagna.
A Trebbiano wine from Poggio della Dogana in Emilia-Romagna.

Cesenatico is truly a coastal charm worthy of exploration. It can captivate with its maritime heritage, beaches, and culinary delights. Whether exploring its historic port, walking around in the quaint town, or savoring fresh seafood by the waterfront, you will fall under the spell of this enchanting coastal town.

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