In fact, one hundred years ago a middle class group of Milanese citizens, headed by the artist Giuseppe Palanti, started building a new beach area reserved for people of Milan.
On 1911 they founded, in the town of Milan, the “Società Anonima Milano Marittima” and on 14th August 1912 they signed an agreement with Cervia Municipality to get a large area of the beach in north of the town where develop tourism.
“Bless my Lord the Adriatic Sea, where people from Cervia and those who do business with them always sail… Bless these waters, the boats sailing across them, the oarsmen, the helmsmen, the people, the goods…”
These are the emphatic words that Cervia Archbishop, Monsignor Verucchi, says on Ascension Day. On that day this seaside location on the Adriatic Riviera celebrates and gives thanks to the Adriatic Sea for the rich presents it has always offered: not only fish but also the salt that made Cervia so popular.
This is what the Sea Wedding is about: the historic re-enactment – one of the oldest in Italy – of an ancient rite dating back to 1445, by which Cervia is symbolically “married” to the sea. Like the “Sponsale Veneziano” (Venetian Wedding), the symbolic value of Cervia’s “Sposalizio” (Wedding) has been increasing with time and its good omens involve nowadays all the people and the travellers on the Adriatic Sea, in a permanent brotherhood between different peoples. This rite dates back to 1445, when Cervia’s Bishop, who was to become Pope Paul II, ran across a storm on the Adriatic Storm on his way back from Venice. The legend tells that the Bishop managed to calm the waters and rescue his boat and the crew after throwing his ring into the sea. Every year Cervia brings the past to life preserving this memory and these traditions.