One of the most popular beach resorts in eastern Italy, Cervia offers more than just sand and sun. It has ancient history, it's close to historic Ravenna, and has a vibrant nightlife during the hectic summer months.
Known as Il Mare, Cervia's beach is wide and long - and immensely popular. Choose a "bagni" (private beach) and be pampered by spas, pools, and bars as you relax by the Adriatic.
Cervia has been around for thousands of years. Historical highlights include the 18th-century Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and St. Michael's Tower, while the 19th-century Piazza Garibaldi is an ideal place to sit back with a caffèllatte.
Ravenna was once the center of post-Roman Italy and it's gorgeous. Don't miss the stunning mosaics at churches like the Basilica of San Vitale.
You can easily get away from the beach crowds in the Parco Naturale, or lose yourself in the woods at La Pineta.
Emila-Romagna is one of Italy's culinary centers, giving birth to Parmesan cheese and prosciutto ham. Try them all at excellent restaurants like Il Moro.
High summer draws the most tourists to Cervia (July through September). But if you want good beach weather and smaller crowds, try May or June.
Rimini International Airport (RMI) is very close to Cervia. From there, it's a 20 mile shuttle bus or taxi ride to Cervia, which should cost between EUR80 and EUR90.
Trenitalia runs services from Ravenna to Cervia (20 minutes, EUR3) and there are wider train links to Venice, Rome, and Milan.
From Bologna or Rome, take the E45. Those driving from Florence should take the E35 to Bologna then switch, while the A13 runs from Venice to Bologna.
You can catch the 176 bus from Ravenna to Cervia for just EUR3-5, but generally buses aren't the best route to the resort.
High-quality luxury resorts in Cervia include MarePineta and the Grand Hotel Gallia, both of which have stretches of private beach.
Piazza Garibaldi - the center of town, Piazza Garibaldi is lined with buzzing cafes and great restaurants like Locanda Dei Salinari.
Il Mare - Cervia's beach is the city's star attraction. When you visit, be sure to pick the right spot and rent the deckchairs and services you need.
Parco Naturale - right next to the city's lagoon, the Parco Naturale is a peaceful spot that features Terme di Cervia - a luxury spa treatment center.
SAC Cervia runs a few local buses, but most people choose to cycle or walk around the town's compact center.
If you need to hop to a different part of the beach, taxis are a good option. Expect to pay around EUR5 per mile.
Rental branches in the Cervia area include Fabbri Egidio and Sixt, and rates can dip to around EUR10 per day.
Central Cervia has plenty of boutiques to check out, and Viale Roma is probably the place to start.
Supermarkets in town include Coop, Conad, and Eurospin. To give an idea about prices, 12 eggs will cost around EUR3.20.
Emilia-Romagna is a culinary hotspot, so be prepared for some dining delights. Standout restaurants include Locanda Dei Salinari in the city center and Osteria Del Gran Fritto by the ocean. Meals should cost around EUR20 per head.