Cervia: the salt town immersed in the greenery of Emilia-Romagna
Cervia, the southernmost station of the Po Delta Park, is a great naturalistic oasis that attracts sea lovers but also birdwatchers fascinated by the enormous variety of birdlife.
Surrounded by more than 300 hectares of pine forest and the 827 hectares of the Salina di Cervia Nature Reserve, it also boasts 9 kilometres of fine sandy beaches and more than 185 bathing establishments where you will find everything you need for your holiday.
In Cervia, the sea waters will never let you down. This is confirmed by the important Blue Flag award that the city has boasted since 1998, certifying not only the safety of the beaches, but also the quality of the water and services offered.
And what about the location? Just 12 kilometres away is the amusement park of Mirabilandia and 22 kilometres away is the city of Ravenna.
Summer in Cervia, and not just that. Nature welcomes you all year round
The ideal time to visit Cervia is during the summer, when the town is at its best with many activities suitable for every type of holiday.
Families can relax on the beach and in the pine forest or discover the evocative Cervia salt mine, while young people can have a good time in trendy clubs and organised events. Let’s take a look at some examples. The rich calendar of concerts in Piazza Garibaldi and the markets at Borgomarina.
But worry not, even during the rest of the year Cervia never ceases to express all the charm and there is no shortage of opportunities for nature, sports and gastronomy lovers. You can discover the town in a quieter atmosphere, go shopping in the streets of the centre and dive in the art and culture of Cervia with fewer tourists, typical of summer.
From the remains of the old town to the new Cervia
The heart of the city is Piazza Garibaldi, the scene of Cervia's most renowned events. Here, you can find the Palazzo Comunale and pop into the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta to discover the historical artefacts and works of art it houses, such as Barbara Longhi's painting of the 'Madonna della Neve'.
Just off the square, we highly recommend a visit to the Church of the Suffrage, one of the oldest in the city. While in the city, you can walk along the inner walls and reach the Piazzetta Pisacane, also known as the 'piazza delle erbe'. Here lies the Measures Stone, one of the most mysterious finds in Cervia Vecchia. It is a monolith where the old measures are indicated and to which the inhabitants of Cervia and visitors had to adhere.
Outside the walls, however, you will immediately notice the Borgo dei Salinari with its old houses built in the late 1600s and early 1800s.
The historic centre of Cervia is divided in two by the canal that connects the Salina di Cervia nature reserve to the port. Walking along, you will arrive at one of the city's symbols, Torre San Michele with the nearby MUSA, the Salt Museum that preserves the city's traditions and history. On the other side, you will find Magazzino Darsena, transformed into a place dedicated to wellness with events and spas.
Two gems not to be missed just outside the town centre: the Church of St Anthony, one of the first buildings erected in Cervia Nuova, and the Suspended Carpet Fountain with a mosaic of tesserae hand-carved by Ravenna mosaicist Marco Bravura for the 300th anniversary of the foundation of the new town.
Nature and relaxation, from the Cervia saltpan to the thermal baths
One of the pearls of Cervia, however, is the salt mine located at the town entrance. This evocative place will enchant you with its history, which is inextricably linked to the city, and with the naturalistic charm of its basins and the fauna that inhabit them.
Ready to admire herons, black-winged stilts and pink flamingos? Beware, however: the Cervia Salt Pan is a nature reserve and for this reason you cannot access it on your own, but only accompanied by an environmental tour guide who will help you discover this place on foot, by electric boat or by small train, in a sustainable way to safeguard the environment.
For a relaxing day, after a nice walk in the thousand-year-old pine forest north of the town, choose the Cervia Thermal Baths with state-of-the-art therapies thanks to the lagoon mud extracted from the Salina, which is very valuable for health, and the large Acqua Madre pool.
What’s there to taste?
If you are wondering how to satisfy your palate, the answer is simple: try the piadina with squacquerone cheese and rocket, the Cozza di Cervia and the never-failing grilled blue fish. And don't forget to try the sweet salt chocolate of Cervia. It is indeed a nice surprise with a unique and delicious taste.