30 hours in… Cesena

The new chapter of the it-ER monthly column to discover the Emilia-Romagna region!

Cesena is a picturesque city brimming with historical, cultural, and culinary attractions. Located in the Romagna area, in Cesena you can breathe the history of the Malatesta thanks to important points of interest, such as the Malatesta Library and the Rocca with its park, a green lung in the historic center. 

It hosts, along with Forlì, the branch of the University of Bologna. The Cesena Campus stands out for its link with local companies, serving as a bridge between academia and the business world. The main sectors of its economy belong to areas of specialization including agribusiness (based in Cesena Orogel), service and social innovation (there are many social cooperatives in the territory of Forlì and Cesena), and aerospace (the presence of the ENAV academy has allowed the construction of a hub connected to aeronautics, with research support structures). The presence of the Technogym headquarters in Cesena makes this territory part of what is called the Wellness Valley.

The birthplace of the great cyclist Marco Pantani, Cesena also hosted the first Rockin'1000 event, a great musical event that in its first edition hosted the Foo Fighters to organize a concert in the local area. It also has the Vidia Rock Club, a historic club which has been offering prominent headliners from the international rock scene for over 30 years.

From Cesena it is possible to reach the coast with public transport, in particular the city of Cesenatico which is the province's outlet to the sea, or the mountainous areas with real gems such as the Acquacheta waterfalls, the Ridracoli dam or the village of Cusercoli.

Here we provide an itinerary for your brief stay in this fascinating city.




During the morning

To start your day with full energy, you can enjoy a delicious cappuccino with a cake or a freshly baked cornetto at a local café.

The first must-see on your tour is Piazza del Popolo. Located at the central nerve center of the city, this architectural gem of the Renaissance is surrounded by buildings that frame its beauty and the Communal Palace.

Next, you can visit Rocca Malatestiana. This building, once a medieval fortress, offers a breathtaking panoramic view of Cesena and its landscapes. There, you will also find its museum that recounts the history of the city.


Rocca Malatestiana

At lunch

We recommend having your lunch at a traditional trattoria or osteria. The piadina is a typical regional delight that you must not miss.

It is a thin flatbread, typically prepared in the Romagna region (Forlì-Cesena, Ravenna and Rimini). It is usually made with white flour, lard or olive oil, salt and water. Piadina is normally filled with a variety of cheeses, cold cuts and vegetables, but also with sweet fillings such as jam or Nutella. You can buy Piadina at the many traditional little Piadina kiosk. 


In the afternoon

In the afternoon, you can visit one of the oldest and well-maintained libraries in Europe: the Malatesta Library and its Sala del Nuti and Sala Lignea.The Malatesta Library is the only example in the world of Humanistic Library perfectly preserved in the building, in furniture and book equipment, as recognized by UNESCO in 2005, by inserting it into the Memory of the World Register. Then, take the opportunity to explore the charming cobblestone streets and boutique shops in the area.


Malatesta Library

At sunset

You can continue your tour at the Basilica of San Giovanni Battista, a Gothic-style building with captivating frescoes and artworks. Cesena's streets create a romantic and enchanting atmosphere in the evening light, which you can enjoy with a relaxing stroll.

Take advantage of the aperitif hour to try some local wines, like Sangiovese, or a refreshing Spritz. You can then continue with an indulgent dinner of traditional fresh pasta dishes.




During the morning

You can start your second day at the Cesena Art Museum. There, you can delight in a fascinating collection of Renaissance masterpieces, including paintings by Piero della Francesca. 

Then, make the most of the morning light with a delightful walk in Parco della Rimembranza, a natural oasis of tranquility in the heart of Cesena.


Presentazione di Gesù al tempio e purificazione della Vergine

At lunch

For lunch, a local restaurant with traditional dishes is always the best choice. Don't forget to try the cappelletti al ragù or passatelli in brodo. Typical main courses are: egg dough pasta – tagliatelle, passatelli (dry or in soup), tagliolini, maltagliati (literally roughly cut),  ecc., no egg dough pasta – strozzapreti (hand rolled past), pappardelle in soup, ecc., filled pasta – cappelletti, tortelli, ravioli, ecc.



In the afternoon

Finally, take the remaining hours to go shopping at local stores. You can find a multitude of high-quality typical products to treat yourself.


We hope you enjoy your stay in Cesena, a city filled with cultural, historical, artistic, and culinary richness. This Italian gem will leave wonderful memories on your journey. 

Buon Viaggio!


Photos from Comune Cesena website

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