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Bellaria and its traditions

Bellaria - Igea Marina

Tradition holidays

A trip into the popular culture to find out about the old traditions of the region through the events in which the town is involved, such as La Borgata che Danza, a music festival of oral traditions which goes on stage in May in the Borgata Vecchia area (the old hamlet); or the Lo Sbarco dei Saraceni (The Landing of the Saracens) historic revival in July, when the streets of the harbour are cheerfully invaded by the pirates. When the Regata Storica (the Historic Regatta) takes place, old ships go back to the sea.

La Borgata Vecchia (The Old Hamlet)

It is a built-up area of few houses laid along the old Via Pompilia to the height of the Uso river’s ford. It is the oldest urban area of the town and it smost celebrated location is an old inn which was used as a post house for horses to rest and people to restore. A few old yellowed pictures show that the Borgata Vecchia of Bellaria is one of the places which has remained pretty untouched over the years. The glimpses resulting from the crossing of two roads and the house corners are still there today, perfectly recognisable.

A festival dedicated to the old forms of popular music, oral tradition and local cooking goes on stage in the Borgata Vecchia in May. For this event, the courtyards of the houses open to the public and groups of performers improvise chants and dances, while families present their culinary specialities to their customers.

La Cagnona

The engineer Giovanni Lugaresi (1844-1922) should probably be credited with the merit of transforming a woody and swampy area, where hunting was one of the few possible activities, into the first camp of aristocratic and bourgeois bathers, who eventually built their cottages on the seaside. He chose this area of Bellaria as the ideal treatment centre for the pneumonia of his son Eraldo, on the advice of professor Augusto Murri, from the University of Bologna.

The first cottage was built by the engineer Lugaresi himself in 1885-1886. After a few years, many more followed and most of them are still perfectly preserved and can be seen today. After the first cottages were built, this area was completely reclaimed and the long period of holidays in the villas began shortly after, remaining the predominant form of tourism until the second postwar.

Nowadays, the hotels which are right on the seaside and many renowned restaurants and commercial activities make the Cagnona one of the most favourite tourist areas of the town.

The Harbour

Start from the pedestrian area of the centre, go towards the Torre Saracena, cross the new pedestrian bridge on the Uso river and you will get to the channel of the harbour. Many seafood restaurants are waiting for you to taste their local specialities near the new fish market, where you can buy freshly-caught fish or mussels and clams from fish farms off the coast... and it’s all local! While walking along the pier among modern trawlers, leisure boats and smaller yachts, your eyes will be caught by a perfectly preserved antique 10-metre-long ship with a black hull, which reminds us of the maritime tradition of our town, which came before our tourist vocation. This boat goes by the name of Teresina and it is one of the last and most beautiful specimens of bragozzo boat which can still be seen today. Its colourful images are its distinctive features, such as a playing angel and a lugsail with the traditional colourations that every sailor from Bellaria used for the sails of his family, as if it were an authentic heraldry of the sea. When the Teresina is not quietly docked at the harbour of Bellaria Igea Marina, it can be admired in many tourist or cultural events inItaly or abroad. Obviously, it is also the protagonist of many events of our town, such as La Festa del Mare (The Celebration of the Sea),Il Raduno delle Barche Storiche (The Gathering of Historic Boats), Lo Sbarco dei Saraceni (The Landing of the Saracens) or the initiative Un romanzo sotto lombrellone (A Novel On The Beach), when the bragozzo boat stops by directly on the tourist-crowded beaches to offer the books of the writer Alfredo Panzini.

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