Uploaded on Mar 27, 2009
Cesenatico is an example showing like history and marine tradition can coexist in a modern tourist resort. The ancient sailing boats are wharfed next to modern motor trawlers that still mark the rhythm of the Leonardesque Canal Harbours life and the old but still running fish market is just close to a modern wholesale Fish Market.
The Canal Harbour is the main axis of the old town, the center of the society life where citizens and tourist have their walk. The Port can be also considered the main historic building of the town (see the map), as it follows the drawing of Leonardo who in 1502 was asked to improve the design of the former landing place. Besides the Marine Museum, along the Port you can also find the Antiquarium, Casa Moretti, Piazza Pisacane with a monument to Giuseppe Garibaldi and its solemn inscription, the old Fish Market and the wide Ciceruacchio square, where the perimeter of the old Pretorian Tower used in the past to defend the port against the Barbary pirates is still visible.
Today, near the lighthouse, the imposing Vincis gates defend the town from sea storms: this is a real example of modern technology carried out basing on Leonardos drawings.
The picturesque Piazzetta delle Conserve located in the middle of the old town is named after the structures dug in the ground where the fish was preserved with layers of snow and pressed ice for a long time before the invention of refrigerators. Four of these preserving structures, so numerous in the raised area called Il Monte (the mountain), have been recently restored and are well visible together with the upper part of another still underground preserving structure.
The Ground Section of the Marine Museum, located inside a new building expressly designed following the concept of an ancient shipyard, offers the visitors a wide and a stimulating tour dedicated to the traditional marine of the High and Middle Adriatic.
The Museum Pavilion hosts in its center two sailing boats typical of the marine history of the High Adriatic: a trabaccolo ( fishing lugger) and a bragozzo (twomasted trawler) completely equipped with their lugsails. During the first part of the tour, dedicated to structure and construction, it is possible to touch the simple sailing materials and technologies used for thousands of years. Among the shown pieces you can find a ropemakers wheel and the reconstruction of its functioning and complete marine carpenters workshop of the nineteenth century.
The second part is dedicated to propulsion and steering: here modern and ancient anchors are shown; among them you can also find two pieces of wreckage dated back to the 17th century. There are also some teaching installations where it is possible to try ones ability in manoeuvring, making knots and bowseing. A great part is dedicated to sailing equipments, while a series of engines testify the passage from the traditional boats to the motorized ones.
From two projecting terraces of the upper level all details of the sails and masts can be closely examined. Following the exhibition tour it is then possible to admire typical items of life on board used to fish, trade and sail or magic-religious symbols (like the eyes in relief on the bow) and the dangers of sailing.
The museum uses many rare videos and 3D animations.
The Floating Section of the Marine Museum is located just in front of the new Ground Section, in the inner and oldest part of the Leonardesque canal harbour where 10 typical Adriatic boats with their coloured lugsails, decorated with the symbols of the fishers families, and the ancient propitiatory decorations.
A visit to the wide hold and cabins of the big trabaccolo (transport lugger) Giovanni Pascoli gives the idea of the harsh life of fishers.
During Christmas holidays, the Floating Section becomes a picturesque crib with life-size fishers statues on the boats.
Thanks also to the Marine Museum of Cesenatico, an organization called Mariegola was born some years ago in Romagna ports; this ancient word meaning brotherhood currently represents an organization coordinating the summer activity of the traditional boats with sails in the third and the working ones, dealing with summer events and historic sailing races. Trabaccolo Barchet and bragozzo Raffaele, the sailing boats of the Marine Museum of Cesenatico, take part to these events and, thanks to their size, they are the flagships of the Romagna boats fleet.
Following the example of the Marine Museum, many private citizens have restores their small boats, that can be now seen in the Canal Harbour.
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