On that long-ago 6 September 1502, Leonardo Da Vinci would never have imagined that the sketch he made on a piece of paper would develop into the beating tourist heart of Cesenatico. But that’s what happened, so much so that Leonardo’s Canal Port is one of the most photographed and evocative views on the Adriatic Riviera!
The canal is the centrepiece of Cesenatico, a stage of lights and colours, where restaurants, shops and colourful old fishermen’s houses stand out. Leonardo designed it at the behest of Cesare Borgia and made what can be considered a “historical photo” of the old Cesenatico, that is a bird’s eye view drawing and a map of the town, on one of his legendary notebooks, the “Code L “.
What to see at Leonardo’s Canal Port
The port starts at the Ponte di San Giuseppe, and is the extension of a canal coming from the hinterland that proceeds eastwards until it flows into the Adriatic.
It is made up of two banks, each characteristic and special. On the right, restaurants, boutiques and the nineteenth-century Pescheria alternate, where you can buy fresh fish and zero miles food produce every day. Continuing the walk you arrive in Piazza Ciceruacchio, where you will find the perimeter of the ancient Torre Pretoria which defended the port from the pirate assaults.
Even the left bank – the oldest and mainly inhabited by “seafaring people” – is full of restaurants and cocktail bars. This is also the location of the Maritime Museum, with the fantastic floating exhibition, and the birthplace of the poet Marino Moretti – open to the public for free visits, which can be booked at least one day in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org. it, or by calling 0547-79205.
What to do at Leonardo’s canal port
As well as visiting the Moretti House Museum and the Maritime Museum and buying food and wine products at the Vecchia Pescheria, don’t miss the opportunity to cross Leonardo’s Canal from the Ponte della Piazza – so called because it communicates directly with Piazza Pisacane in the center of which stands the statue of Garibaldi – or by ferry.
A short but intense experience (about 20 seconds’ crossing!) much loved by adults and children. There are 2 ferries that cross the port: one is located in the Squero area and is based on Piazza Ciceruacchio; the other is located near the mouth of the pier, next to the Port Authority.
Lovers of the beautiful life shouldn’t miss an aperitif in “Est Ponente” or “Scalo 17“, or a romantic dinner in one of Cesenatico’s historic establishments, such as the starred “La Buca” and “Caffè Lidò”.
In December, Leonardo’s Canal Port stages the famous “Floating Crib of the Marineria” and the Christmas Markets.