They are places that still today collect and hand down the true traditions of Romagna fishing, buildings far from the summer bustle where only the locals arrive.
They are the Marinas and the Fish Markets of the coastal towns of Romagna, where it is still possible to find the ancient gestures of a millennial seafaring tradition together with the fresh catch of the day, which is also one of the raw materials of that gastronomic treasure that made Emilia-Romagna Romagna world famous.
The Fish Markets of Romagna are an open door to the world to access local customs, local products, and traditional gastronomy, but also the best way to get to know the people and culture of Romagna.
Among the many places scattered on the coast, today we will point out those that for history and tradition have been the most important in the art of fishing, and where you can really find what to cook for dinner.
We can only give you one advice, when you enter the market, stop and listen to the voices, the smells and the noise of people intent on bargaining; Italian history and tradition also pass from this daily marine ritual that has been perpetuated for centuries.
But if you are arrived here looking for recipes to cook fresh fish, we recommend our article on Romagna fish recipes.
Let’s start from the Porto Garibaldi fish market in the Ferrara area, which still represents one of the most important fishing centers in the Upper Adriatic, with its impressive fleet of boats.
The port, which develops all around the fascinating lighthouse, offers a show of activity with an ancient flavor, while the fishing tradition ends at the Fish Market.
The wholesale fish auction is only open to operators, but directly at the port or on the various fishmongers in the city, you can find all the varieties of fish in the area, from the most accessible prices to the most valuable.
The market of Comacchio, the lagoon city with unique characteristics, certainly has no less history.
The Antica Pescheria is a beautiful building of the seventeenth century, now used as a beautiful boardroom, while the Pickling Factory is still dedicated to the processing of local fish products. Here every year at Christmas you can find the sale of the local product par excellence, the eels, real food of the Italian Christmas tradition.
If there is a place on the Adriatic Coast where the scent of the sea blends with that of salt, and the charm of the canal harbor is intimately connected to the buildings linked to the trade of “white gold”, this is the city of Cervia. Salt and marine culture have coexisted for centuries in the Italian peninsula, where the former served to preserve the latter, especially during long sea journeys.
In Cervia, fresh fish can be purchased on the quay of the Porto Canale, where each boat exhibits the catch of the day (many also offer the tourist fishing service).
We get you only one advice, you have to be there no later than 8.00 am if you want to have a choice.
If you are then fascinated by the maritime history of this important town of Romagna, you cannot miss the famous Salt Museum, and the 18th-century Salt Storehouses.
Let’s explore Cesenatico, where the ancient sailing boats of the Floating Maritime Museum are moored side by side with the modern fishing boats, which punctuate with their outputs the times of the Porto Canale designed by Leonardo da Vinci.
Born in ancient times as a fortified city and military port, Cesenatico is today renowned for the cultivation of mussels and for being one of the most important fishing centers of Emilia-Romagna.
Here you will find a great variety of shellfish and mollusks of local breeding, as well as an excellent variety of fish.
Even Cesenatico has a long maritime history as witnessed by the Antica Pescheria which is located a few steps from the Piazzetta delle Conserve and where the fish was stored in the ancient and characteristic artifacts dug into the ground.
A decent fleet of fishing boats that set sail before dawn for the usual fishing trip, is also found in the small village of Bellaria Igea Marina.
Here they mainly practice trawling, fishing for clams, and with trammel nets, and fishing with traps (for catching cuttlefish and crustaceans), with baskets (for sea snails ), with the “cugulli” or “bertovelli” (for eels). After the first “descents” at sea, the boats return to the docks of the marina, where it is possible to buy fresh fish on the banks near the pier.
Also, in this case, we advise you to wake up early in the morning if you want to be able to choose fish.
It is the city of Rimini that hosts the largest retail fish market in Romagna. This is located in the historic center of the city, and its swarm of pews that display the catch of the day is the mirror of the large fleet of trawlers that sail the Adriatic far and wide every day, some even for several days.
Here fresh fish is available every morning from Monday to Saturday and often with cheap prices, given the proximity of the most important wholesale market of the entire Romagna coast and beyond.
Today it houses about 60 sales counters and the fish that, almost entirely, arrive every morning directly from the Port of Rimini, where it is fished at night and sold fresh the same day.
It is one of the places that surely you cannot miss if you are passionate about local food: sounds, smells, and flavors of authentic Rimini life.
Just below the city of Rimini stands Cattolica the maritime city with ancient fishing traditions.
In an enviable position between the mouths of the Tabano and Conca rivers, Cattolica has always represented a safe haven since the time of the Romans and of the city of Ariminum, even though it was from the 1800s that the port was devoted to fishing.
The Cattolca’s fishing fleet is renowned today for fishing for clams, hence “La notte magica delle Vongole” – ‘The night of clams’ – the great food festival which every summer enlivens the city center.
But visiting the Cattolica harbor, as well as all the marinas of Romagna, means first of all appreciating the suggestions of a history that has been built through the centuries, where the ancient monuments such as the Malatesta Fortress, still witness the vestiges of a past in which living on the sea also meant defending oneself from pirate attacks.
Explorer and Adventurer: loves sailing the oceans, climbing the highest mountains and surfing on the waves of the web
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