Holiday in Bellaria Igea Marina, by the sea, along the Riviera Romagnola
Bellaria Igea Marina is one of the places that is not to be missed by anyone interested in spending a holiday along the Riviera Romagnola
Bellaria Igea Marina is one of the places everyone should visit if they are interested in spending a holiday along the Riviera Romagnola. However, if you choose this holiday destination, spending your days on the beach and in the sea is only one of the many opportunities you can enjoy. There are a lot of other activities you can do. For example: a bike ride in Gelso Park. In this area of greenery, there is a pond with ducks, which are often attracted by children who throw bits of bread at them (incidentally, if you have children, don’t let them do this, because it is bad for the ducks and for the whole ecosystem of the pond). The park was created at the beginning of the last century on the initiative of Vittorio Belli, who wanted a park surrounded by greenery. Unfortunately, over the years, progressive urbanisation has slightly downsized his initial dream, but the park is still wonderful. And the prehistoric Dinosaur Valley deserves to be seen. There is also an area with exercise equipment.
Where to walk in Bellaria Igea Marina
If you want to take a walk surrounded by nature, the paths of the Uso River are an ideal reference point. These are pedestrian and bicycle paths that extend for 6 kilometres along the Uso River. The start at the canal harbour in Bellaria and, after running along the side of Villa Torlonia, they reach San Mauro Pascoli. So, in a short time, you go from a sea environment to the countryside, but the atmosphere is always pleasant. Alternatively, if you prefer not to go away from the town, you can opt for a simple walk in the centre, maybe to the Isola dei Platani. Here, there is also the outdoor shopping centre of the same name, with two hundred century-old trees, which, in summer, create the perfect shade to protect you from the heat. It is not uncommon for markets and events to be organised here. On the walk, you come to the Church of the Sacred Heart, shops, ice cream parlours and cafes. In the pedestrian area, you can walk also with children, without worrying about passing cars.
A cultural tour in Bellaria Igea Marina
The historical places in Bellaria include the Saracen Tower, which was built after the invasions, at the end of the sixteenth century, by Turkish pirates to protect the local inhabitants. The tower once looked out over the coast and served to spot any approaching enemies. Today, you can visit it, also because its rooms house a permanent exhibition of shells; and the garden, which contains many old boats, also deserves a visit. And we suggest you stop to look at the bicycles of the fishermen’s wives, who waited at the harbour for their husbands to return from sea and then cycled inland to exchange fish for vegetables, fruit and eggs.
The canal harbour
The harbour is undoubtedly one of the most enchanting locations you will find in Bellaria, where today, at least 200 families live off fish. In short, times change, but fortunately, there are those who keep the traditions of the past alive, although what was once a village of peasants and fishermen is now a holiday resort. In the harbour you can see the Teresina, an old ship built at the end of the 1940s. It is a ten-metre-long bragozzo, which was used as a clam boat in the 1980s, and which, today, is used in historical commemorations and regattas.
Where to stay
If you are looking for a good quality place to stay for a dream holiday, we suggest the Hotel Missouri. Located just 30 metres from the beach and the sea, this 3-star hotel in Igea Marina, which is in the pedestrian area of the centre, has provided accommodation for more than half a century. For over 10 years, the hotel has been recommended by Legambiente Turismo. There is a swimming pool, and families with children will find entertainment put on for their little ones. Private parking and a wi-fi service are available.
Translated by Ilaria Bizzotto and Nicole Dall’Osto
Reviewed by prof. Rolf Cook