September in the Adriatic coast of Romagna can be really surprising: sun is shining while I drive along the road that takes me to Bellaria Igea Marina for the second edition of LovingRomagna.
One year has passed since I was here for the first time, enjoying a place I had never visited before and discovering the warm welcoming of Nonna Violante, Bernardetta and Maria Regina, the three wonderful ladies managing the Hotel Eliseo, one of the oldest hotels in town.
Lovingromagna 2015 edition: what I have found in Bellaria Igea Marina
Qualcosa di noi: the history of the town
Igea Marina is a little town born at the beginning of the century following the idea of Vittorio Belli in 1906. The coast between the Uso River and Torre Pedrera was originally very similar to the French Riviera: untouched sand dunes, and a green pinewood similar to the one you can appreciate in the Norther coast, towards Cervia and Ravenna. Belli wanted to create a holiday village with all the comforts and the Bella Vita of the French Riviera that, at the beginning of the last century, was the best destination for international tourists.
And so he did. Little cottages, small inns, elegant villas and hotels, like the well known Agostini’s place, made Bellaria Igea Marina a very known destination and the best place in the imagination of tourist coming from North Europe. The place was designed following Belli’s passion for ancient classics: squared streets, still existing, named by roman and Greek poets and philosophers.
Local people, fisherman mainly, started to change the way of make their living in these years and their way to arrange this new kind of tourism has founded the basis of the whole Riviera Romagnola adventure in the late 50’s and 60’s.
Our first day of Lovingromagna was dedicated to discover the town and it was quite interesting to find the new museum of the town, Qualcosa di noi (something of us), that gathers in a very nice way a collection of objects, photos, designs and memories that tell the birth of Igea Marina as a touristic town. A very rare example of Romagna people creativity. A place of the local community where everyone has taken personal memories to build and pass this past to all those (local and visitors) will come here. A place of the memory through which remember and understand how this adventure begun and how the present is. A lively collection that changes and involves the local community in this never ending path from the past to the future.
This small museum is not so easy to find since it is not in the center town, but it worth’s a visit. The building is the ancient slaughterhouse, built in 1926 and active until 1970. Restored in 2004, it is the expression of local traditions of the town. Ask for a guided visit, the written panels that tell you the historical part have not been translated yet, so you will better enjoy the museum with a local to discover the special anecdotes and the nice histories of the town.
Following the dunes: Casa Panzini, the red house
The little towns of Romagna coast were often the best restful location for writers, poets and literates. Places that could inspire their mind and give them the right writing flow: Marino Moretti, Giovanni Pascoli and Alfredo Panzini.
The so called red house, after the color of the walls, was built in 1906. Alfredo Panzini, a young but famous writer, used to spend his holidays in Bellaria and he decided to build himself a private house to spend his time. Here he wrote some of his most famous books.
This house is still as it was at his time: nothing has been touched and it’s like making a jump back in the past. Letters, personal objects, his bike, the room and all the pieces of furniture he used (included his bed), the first hand written draft of his books. His world, described by himself, as he was still there to welcome the visitors. Music, sounds, voices speaking his books and letters will lead you to the various rooms. Places to meditate, think, write. The park that surrounds the house and is always quiet and fresh. During the summer is the center of many cultural events: readings, concerts, conferences.
Info: Via Pisino 1, 47814 Bellaria, email@example.com