Milano Marittima based in Cervia in Italy is a place very close to my heart, not only is it outstandingly beautiful it is filled with some of the best restaurants and shopping areas I’ve come across. I have been going to this place since I was a little squid and although my family are not people who return to the same place “because we like it people”… we are if you know what I mean. Originally when we first started going to Milano Marittima there were very few locals who spoke English, in fact you would struggle to find an English menu at 90% of the “local” restaurants. Thankfully for us at the time, we were always under the wing of our very good friends and Italian “family” through the family business.
There are a few teething problems if you want a simple fly in, fly out situation as the closest airport is now Bologna if flying with BA, this is about 1hour from MM. There is a smaller airport on Forli, however this no longer flies to UK with short cheap airlines (Easyjet & Ryanair). Again, we will usually be picked up with a warm italian smile by our friends and driven to the MM, but for most this is a 45-1.15 taxi ride.
Now the beach town itself has certainly developed into its own over the years and gone from strength to strength in providing translated culture for us Brits! I have seen it change and grow since going there from the age of 14, last year I took my Fiance to see our lovely little getaway hideout and he certainly liked the style!
Hotels range from price, the Beach Town itself has a lot of 4* hotels, some purely apartments for hire, some more concierge based. There has recently been a surge in 5* hotels being built and our personal favourite that we now stay in annually is The Palace Hotel. The Palace is a beautiful white building that has been built on the inner beach road of the local beach, its rooms range in price I would say on average are around £330 a night. You most certainly get what you pay for and it is so very worth spending the extra pound, the service is impeccable and the staff are fantastic at remembering a face returning! (this goes down particularly well in my father’s book) nearly all the rooms have a beautiful balcony, sea view and spacious ensuite situated.
Day to day it’s up to you in regards to pool or beach, however an insider tip if you’re a beach babe is most of the beach is owned by strips be it ‘beach clubs’ or by the actual hotel. The Palace obviously has its own beach club which is just over the lane from the enclosed outdoor pool, it offers a beach bar restaurant for breakfast, lunch or dinner by the sea. Toilet blocks, drinks refreshment bar and towel boy who will show you to your assigned beach bed on the sand, towels provided. All areas of the hotel offer on hand waiting service, including on the beach… this comes in especially handy when you are sweltering in the Italian sunshine, gasping for a iced water, or just a bucket of ice for that matter. Table service is perfect. My Fiance and I made friends with the beach towel boy/waiter. He was phenomenal, nothing was too much trouble and even when he was on a 15hr shift at times, we still received some of the best service around. This kind of stuff makes or breaks a trip for me and it certainly makes you feel every penny is counted.
As you can see, the food on offer is second to none, if you are a fish lover YOU’RE IN! Even if not, there is so so much to offer, pasta, pizza, tapas, salads, risottos, grilled meats etc. Now I would love to highlight specific restaurants to go to, so I’m going through my list of must visits…
Lo Sporting is the perfect mix of Italian buzz and simple vibes. Pizza is their specialty and of course, a little fish (no surprises there). The menu is large, mostly translated and if not there will always be an English menu on hand when requested. But if you are anything like us, we like to ‘act local’.
Second on the list for me, if you want a more intimate, little more pricey dinner/lunch it has to be Sale Grosso. The menu options are once again, aplenty however translation is a little more limited. However I highly recommend ‘muddling through’ because I do not think there is one thing on the menu that isn’t worth trying! This restaurant is family owned and really does have a quant/striking feel to it, although I would say dress light. The aircon is fan based and because it’s set a couple roads back from the beach, the air can become very close!
There are so many places and shops I could mention, this is just a snapshot. The retail side of it is something you’ll need to take seriously… by this I mean have your fiance or father’s wallet ready because you will start by meandering the local shops to find not one, but two, but three, but fifteen different affordable/designer shops. You’ll catch a glimpse of a cute window display to find yourself walking into a full on mens/womens Ralph Lauren & La Martina without even knowing it. The shops can be deceptive and believe you me, I’m a shopaholic and this place gives me what I need!