The Uso river divides Bellaria from Igea Marina. The two localities enjoy the same type of urban development, the beauty of 7 km of fine sandy beaches, the quality of life style and of public services: excellent hotels, sport facilities, discotechs, bars, restaurants. The name “Bellaria” appeared for the first time in a document of 1359 which indicated a fortified farmstead used by the Malatesta family as a hunting residence and was located near the Church of Santa Margherita, known today as “E Castel”.
The ancient nucleus of the town of Bellaria is formed by Borgata Vecchia. During the XV Century there was a tavern, an ancient inn where pilgrims and travellers found rest and food for them and their horses. The Saracen Tower dates back to XVI Century, and was an important defensive bulwark against the raids of Turkish pirates.
Today this magnificently preserved tower houses the Shell Museum. In the early 1900’s the first seaside resort activities began; but only after the war did they develop on a large scale.
The first vacationers looking for clean air and sea found accommodations in the houses of farmers and fishermen. This was the debut of the hotel industry which can today boast excellent facilities.
If you choose to spend your holidays in Bellaria, you will find sun, sea and fun, in an atmosphere of wellness and serenity offered by highly equipped hotels. Just walking or cycling along country lanes among vegetable gardens and orchards you can find a bit of that wild nature which attracted the “pioneers of tourism” at the turn of the century: thickets, native brush, Mediterranean oak and pine groves which reach the sand dunes of the coast.
You can also visit the centrally located “Parco del Gelso“; the park covers an area of 40 hectares with spontaneous vegetation and a small lake obtained from a reclaimed sand quarry – home to a rich migratory bird fauna.
In 1956 Bellaria and Igea Marina merged into one city: Bellaria-Igea Marina, in the Province of Forlì; in later years it passed under the newly constituted Province of Rimini.