Cesena, Province of Forlì-Cesena, Emilia‑Romagna

Cesena rises along the banks of the Savio River just 15 km from the Adriatic coast where the seaside resorts of Cesenatico, Rimini, Cervia and Riccione are situated, the town is joint province capital with Forlì. The economy is mainly based on agriculture, handicrafts and tourism. Among its most valuable monuments is the Biblioteca Malatestiana, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


  • Altitude: 44 mt a.s.l
  • Population: about 97,000 inhabitants (in 2013)
  • Zip/postal code: 47521 - 47522 (previously 47023)
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0547
  • Patron Saint: St. Giovanni Battista, celebrated on 24 June
  • Demonym: cesenati.
Follow Italy Heritage on Facebook

Administrative divisions

  • City Districts: Barriera, Campino (San Rocco), Cappuccini, Ex Zuccherificio, Case Finali, Ippodromo, La Fiorita, Madonna delle Rose, Madonna del Monte, Montefiore, Osservanza, Ponte di San Martino, Ponte Vecchio, Ponte Nuovo, Porta Santi, Porta Trova, Sant'Egidio, San Mauro in Valle, Torre del Moro, Villa Chiaviche, Vigne, La Valdoca.
  • "Frazioni": Acquarola, Aie, Bagnile, Borello, Borgo delle Rose, Borgo di Ronta, Borgo Paglia, Borgo San Vittore, Botteghino, Budrio, Bulgaria, Bulgarnò, Calabrina, Calisese, Capannaguzzo, Carpineta, Casalbono, Casale, Case Castagnoli, Case Frini, Case Gentili, Case Missiroli, Case Scuola Vecchia, Case Venzi, Celincordia, Celletta, Diegaro, Diegaro I, Formignano, Gattolino, Gualdo, Il Trebbo, Lizzano, Luogoraro, Luzzena, Macerone, Madonna dell'Olivo, Martorano, Massa, Molino Cento, Monte Aguzzo, Montereale, Monte Vecchio, Monticino, Oriola, Osteria di Piavola, Paderno, Pievesestina, Pioppa, Ponte Abbadesse, Pontecucco, Ponte Pietra, Provezza, Rio Eremo, Rio Marano, Ronta, Roversano, Ruffio I, Ruffio II, Saiano, San Carlo, San Cristoforo, San Demetrio, San Giorgio, San Mamante, San Martino in Fiume, San Matteo, Santa Lucia, Sant'Andrea in Bagnolo, San Tomaso, San Vittore, Settecrociari, Tessello, Tipano, Trebbo, Valdinoce, Villa Calabra, Villa Casone.


Of ancient Etruscan origin, Cesena was occupied by Romans in the 3rd century BC and became a garrison town of strategic importance. fter the fall of the Western Roman empire (476 AD) Cesena was along the border between Byzanthine Exarchate of Ravenna and the Lombard reign. In 754 it was presented to the Papacy by the Frankish conquerors in and was later long disputed between the popes and Holy Roman Emperors. It reached its greatest splendor under the rule of the Malatesta family, and was the birthplace of Pope Pius VI and Pope Pius VII.

The little comune revolted against Papal troops in 1377. This time it was recaptured by troops of Sir John Hawkwood (called Giovanni Acuto by the Italians) the English-born condottiere under the command of Robert, Cardinal of Geneva, (later anti-pope Clement VII) who ordered the savage murder of thousands of civilians, which earned him the name of "Cesena butcher". Later however the town recovered and prospered under the enlightened rule of the Malatesta family.

What to see

  • The Rocca Malatestiana, built in the Byzanthine period, but enlarged and improved under the Malatesta rule, is a magnificent fortress is a domineering position on Cesenaco; it includes in the inner courtyard - where in summer theatrical pieces and concerts are held - a museum, the Museo della Rocca, and two huge towers, called "Maschio" and "Femmina" where originally soldiers resided. In the Femmina Tower there is today a Museum of Agriculture History.
  • The Malatestiana Library, near the castle, a fine example of a Humanist - Renaissance library preserved intact with all its manuscript and architectural design, has been granted by UNESCO the title of "Memoire du Monde".
  • The Abbazia del Monte, on the Spaziano hill which offers a splendid view of the surrounding landscape, a place of pilgrimage, has a beautiful dome frescoed by Giuseppe Dilani and a still working laboratory for the restoration of ancient books.