The the “garden city”

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The amazing story of the birth of Milano Marittima: the “garden city”.

 His birth is relatively recent, but very interesting indeed. It all began in the early 1900s, when Cervia was still a small town of just 9,000 inhabitants (today around 35,000). Its economy was linked to the collection and production of salt in salt pans, agriculture in the fields and fishing. This situation of poverty or low income made its population largely illiterate.
Already in the last 20 years of the nineteenth century tourism on the Riviera began to develop, above all thanks to the improvement of living conditions (malaria was eradicated) and thanks to the construction of the railway. In 1907 the municipality of Cervia and the Milanese firm Maffei signed an agreement for the sale of a vast area along the coast, uncultivated and unused. The Maffei company was obliged by the dealer to build villas, parks and gardens, with the aim of creating a new bathing area, called Milano Marittima.

The Liberty Style
In 1911 the “Milano Marittima Society for the development of the beach of Cervia” was born, which included also the famous Liberty painter and poster designer Giuseppe Palanti. The very artist himself proposed the idea of ​​a Garden City, where the dwellings would have had to blend perfectly with the pine forest. In short, a modern city for holidays for the Lombard bourgeoisie. The villa of Palanti is still visible in Milano Marittima.


At that moment, urban development began, interrupted only by the first world war.

In 1927 Cervia was recognized by a ministerial decree as “Care Station, Living Room and Tourism”, also thanks to Milano Marittima. From that year onwards, both small villas and even the first hotels, colonies and restaurants continued to be built, increasingly until the Second World War.
After the military vicissitudes, Milano Marittima had a further urban boom, which consecrated it definitively as one of the most renowned seaside resorts in Italy. At that time also a sort of challenge was born between seaside resorts for the construction of the tallest skyscraper, and in Milano Marittima we find two.

Still today, walking or cycling around the town, you can see, between one hotel and the next, traces of this past.

                                                                              
Villa Palanti

The villa has remained unchanged. It was one of the first villas built in Milano Marittima, owned by one of the founders, Giuseppe Palanti. In the period photo appears to the left of Villa Lombardozzi.
Located in Viale 2 Giugno, 72 is a private house not open for visits.

This content is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


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