Where to Escape the Heat: Top Seaside Resorts in Emilia-Romagna

Our featured region of the month, Emilia-Romagna has 90 km of coastline, facing the Adriatic Sea: known as Riviera Romagnola, it stretches across three provinces, Ravenna, Forlì-Cesena, and Rimini, and is synonymous with beach clubs (‘bagni’) equipped with rows and rows of umbrellas and sun loungers, and with endless entertainment for all, young and old, children and retired people, families and groups of friends.

If you visit Bologna in the summer, why not escape the heat with a day trip to the Riviera Romagnola, easy to reach even by train in about an hour/an hour and a half.

Below are the Riviera Romagnola’s most popular resort towns.

The unofficial ‘capital’ of the Riviera, Rimini attracts large numbers of tourists to its 15-km-long sandy beach and countless restaurants, bars and discos. Should those tourists ever venture into the historic city center, they would find a number of important Roman monuments (Rimini was founded by the Romans), such as the Tiberio bridge, and the Tempio Malatestiano, a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture.

Rimini’s ‘sister’, Riccione is about 15 minutes to the south. Stroll along elegant Viale Ceccarini, the pedestrianized main street, for some high-end shopping and a coffee or spritz depending on the time of the day, bike or walk along the path just behind the beach, play a game of bocce and dance the night away at one of the famous discos in the hills.

Moving halfway up the coast, you’ll find Bellaria-Igea Marina, which caters more to families and those looking for a bit more quiet. The port-canal separates Bellaria from Igea Marina, but it’s really just one town, with a nice pedestrian area for your evening strolls enjoying the classic piadina, followed by gelato.

Further up north, Cesenatico, a port town since Roman times, is one of the Riviera’s most popular resort towns. Its port-canal was designed by none other than Leonardo da Vinci and houses an open-air museum with traditional boats of the Adriatic on display.

The trendiest of all, Milano Marittima is the destination of choice for the young and beautiful who flock to its discos and bars, the most famous of all being Papeete Beach, whose happy hour is famous all over the coast.

Nearby Cervia, which, like other towns along the coast, boasts Roman origins, features a 30-hectare ‘pineta’ (pine grove) connected to the beach by a pedestrian path; it was a main center of salt production starting in the Middle Ages; the 18th century Magazzini del Sale (Salt Warehouses) have been turned into a museum recounting the town’s saltworks vocation. 

Travel Guide
Bellaria-Igea Marina