Cesenatico is rather compelling village on the Adriatic coast in the Romagna Region. What tourists tired of the sandy beach crave (food let’s say) is found mostly along the canal that leads to the sea. A canal devised by no less a designer than Leonardo da Vinci himself. This town is about the sea and the boats built to conquer it.
Cesenatico has been developed for tourism, but not too much. What I mean is that there are monuments and museums, but you still feel the sting of diesel in your nostrils as the fishing boats chug out to sea. (You also feel the sting in your wallet if you eat in one of the restaurants along the canal, but that’s another thing entirely.)
One of the things that tourists crave is the nostalgic. We all want to find that long-disappeared fishing village with the rough characters who go out in little gaily painted boats and risk life and limb pulling creatures from the depths, then return to the village to get drunk and rowdy in the bars, pinching and cussing and telling lies for their liquor.
Well, ok, you’ll never find that. It’s gone.
But then, with a little diddling, you can take a picture, rough it up a bit and suddenly our common and embellished view of the past doesn’t look so distant.
Yes, you may cut it out and send it as a post card to your relatives and lie that you’ve found your dream place, a fishing village that hasn’t changed in a century—and hope they don’t see the satellite dish.
In any case Cesenatico’s fine Maritime museum tucked along the canal is grand, and you’ll not find fresher fish from the boats that still chug to sea along Leonardo’s canal.
And wait until you see the taxidermied Mola mola in the Antiquarium, a museum which has the distinction, in my mind, of giving you the basics of ancient Roman life along the coast in a clear and compelling manner better than any other museum I’ve ever visited.
(By the way, Martha took the picture of the trabucci you see above, I just made it look older than it is).