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Cervia is a town and comune (municipality) in the province of Ravenna (Emilia-Romagna), central Italymarker.


Originally called Ficocle, it was probably of Greek origin and was located midway from current Cervia and Ravenna. It is known that this originary settlement was destroyed in 709 by patrician Theodore for its alliance with Ravenna against the loyal Byzantines.

Later the centre was rebuilt in a more secure position, in the Salina. This medieval city grew until it was provided with three fortified entrances, a Palaces of Priors, seven churches and a castle (Rocca) which, according to the legend, was built by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. The name also changed from Ficocle to Cervia, probably referring to the Acervi, great amounts of salt left in the local evaporation pods. After a long series of events, it became part of the Papal Statesmarker.

As the time passed, the salt pod turned into a marsh, and on November 9, 1697 Pope Innocent XII ordered it to be rebuilt in a safer location. The new city had huge silos for storage of salt, containing up to 13,000 tons.

Cervia is also mentioned in Dante's Divine Comedy:

Ravenna sta come stata è molt'anni:

l'aguglia da Polenta la si cova,

sì che Cervia ricuopra co' suoi vanni.

Ravenna is as it has been for many years

the da Polenta eagle makes its nest there,

Enclosing Cervia under its wings.

(Inferno, Canto XXVII, lines 40-42)

Nowadays Cervia is a very well known seaside resort on the Adriatic Riviera thanks to its 10 km shore characterised by fine sandy beaches and excellent hotel and touristic services.

Main sights

  • The Cathedral (Santa Maria Assunta), built in 1699-1702.
  • The Museum of Salt
  • The Communal Palace
  • St. Michael Tower


Twin towns

See also

Notes and references

External links

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