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WorldMediterraneanItalyAdriatic Coast of ItalyCesenatico
44°12.48′N, 12°24.30′E Chart icon.png
Harbour of Cesanatico from the NE

Cesenatico is a historic and charming canal port and marina situated on the Adriatic coast of Italy, 14 miles NW of the port of Rimini and 22 miles SSE of the harbour of Ravenna. The harbour consists of a canalized port and two small basins, one of which contains a 300 berth marina, Onda Marina, accessed by a shallow entrance channel. The relatively restricted depths in the entrance mean that the harbour is only suitable for entry in settled weather and close to high tide. Depths in the entrance are 2.5 - 3.5 metres and in the basins from 3.0 - 3.5 metres. The entrance is impassable in strong onshore winds. In spite of the depth restrictions, however, a visit to Cesenatico is highly recommended in suitable conditions as the port area (in the design of which Leonardo da Vinci reputedly had a hand) is very colourful and hosts an interesting display of traditional Adriatic fishing vessels.


British Admiralty


During the summer months the prevailing winds in the Adriatic are light to moderate coastal seabreezes. In spring and autumn, northerly winds are more frequent and can quickly rise to near gale force, especially in the northern Adriatic, where the much-feared “bora” is caused by high pressure over the mountains to the NE coupled with low pressure over southern Italy. Fortunately, the fiercest “bora” is normally to be expected in the winter months. Thunderstorms are occasionally experienced in spring and especially autumn and can be accompanied by violent winds of gale force and above. Luckily they are rarely long-lasting. In the southern Adriatic, the “scirocco”, a S/SE wind blowing up from North Africa which can last for several days, is more common. Unlike the “bora”, which can arrive without warning, a “scirocco” tends to build in strength over 24-48 hours, sometimes reaching gale force (especially in winter).

Sources for weather information:

  • There is a continuous (computerised voice) weather forecast on VHF 68 - first in Italian and then followed with an English translation
  • The same forecast is given in Italian and English on VHF coastal stations following a notification on channel 16
  • Navtex weather forecasts covering the Adriatic are broadcast from stations at Roma, Trieste, Kerkyra (Greece) and Split (Croatia)


List popular passages/routes, timing, etc.




Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


A tall skyscraper about half a mile S of the habour is conspicuous from distance. Entry to Cesenatico is via a narrow channel between two short breakwaters extending NE from the shore. Depths at the end of the channel are only 2.5 - 3.0 metres, increasing to 3.0 - 3.5 metres as you pass up the channel. There is a shoal patch of only 2.0 metres barely 50 metres off the entrance and the approach should be made from NNW to avoid it. Needless to say, entry should only be attempted in settled weather, paying close attention to the depthsounder.

Note: along this stretch of the Adriatic coast tidal ranges can exceed 1.0 metre at springs, so getting the tides right can make a significant difference to safe access in most of the shallower harbours.


Cesanatico canal basin above Vena Mazzarini

Visiting yachts have three options in Cesenatico:

Canal basin

In the canal basin (Darsena) itself yachts in transit can berth alongside the quays on either side in the stretch between the entrance to the marina basin to starboard and the side canal of Vena Mazzarini which joins the main canal to port. Depths here are 2.5 - 3.0 metres. There are no facilities on the quays. The stretch above the Vena Mazzarini is usually crammed with fishing vessels and berthing is only allowed with permission of the harbour authorities.

Darsena Club Nautico

To starboard about 500 metres up the entrance channel is the entrance to two basins, an outer and inner basin, of which the outer one accommodates fishing vessels and the Club Nautico Cesenatico. The Club Nautico has 30 berths here in depths of 2.5 - 3.0 metres, of which four are usually available to yachts in transit. Maximum length 16 metres. Facilities include: water and electricity points (not at every berth); slipway (up to 100 T); engine, electrical and electronic repairs; wood and fiberglass repairs; sail repairs.

Onda Marina

NW of the Darsena Club Nautico, accessed via a lifting bridge, is the small marina of Onda Marina, which provides 300 berths for vessels up to 23 metres, including 25 for yachts in transit. Click on link to Onda Marina for details.

Marinas & Yacht Clubs


No anchoring is permitted in the harbour.

Yacht Repairs and Services

Marine Stores

Submit addresses and contact details of marine related businesses that are of interest to cruisers.


Slipway. Limited hard standing. Basic engine, electrical and electronic repairs. Wood and fiberglass repairs. Sail repairs. See Onda Marina for further details.

Fuel, Water, & Electricity

Fuel station in the Darsena Club Nautico. Some water and electricity points in the Darsena Club Nautico. Water and electricity at all berths in Onda Marina.

Things to do Ashore


Cesanatico Maritime Museum

The historic, canalized harbour area is a delight to explore. Its upper reaches contain the Maritime Museum (Museo della Marineria), where a series of historic fishing boats are displayed on the water.

Grocery & Supply Stores

Provisions shops in the town.


Bars and restaurants in the town.





Motorbike & Car Rentals

Rental outlets in town.

Garbage Disposal

Bins around the basins.


  • Buses to most local destinations
  • Railway station with connections to most destinations
  • Airport at Rimini (28 km) with local and international flights.


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)


References & Publications

See Italy.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

Verified by

Date of member's last visit to Cesenatico and this page's details validated:

  • Data compiled from web research (please update if possible)--Athene of Lymington 14:22, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

This page has an outline in place but needs completing. Please contribute if you can to help it grow further. Click on Comments to suggest further content or alternatively, if you feel confident to edit this page, click on the edit tab at the top and enter your changes directly.

SailorSmiley.gifContributors to this page

Names: Athene of Lymington

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