The historical roots of Gabicce Mare can be found at 150 meters above sea level in the nearby village of Gabicce Monte (the ancient “Castrum Ligabitii”). However, along with the official history of the area, attested to by historians, there is another, more fascinating and magical story; namely, the existence in this area of the mythical city of Valbruna – a legendary Atlantis in the Adriatic.
The main square in Gabicce Monte is, in fact, named Valbruna, as a tribute to the legendary submerged city. Fascinating local folklore narrates that the mythical city lies just outside the natural bay of Vallugola. In fact, during the course of the years, various archeological artifacts have been “caught” in the nets of the fishing boats; naturally, this has increased the interest in the hypothesis between reality and legend.
It is certain that in the town there was a castle, owned in succession by the Archbishop of Ravenna, the Malatesta Lordship, the Sforza, Montefeltro and Della Rovere families and the Papal State.
Between 1530 and 1590 the name of Gabicce became famous thanks to the workshop, located in Pesaro, of two ceramists, Gerolamo and Giacomo Lanfranco, father and son, who were the forerunners of the technique of decorating ceramics with pure, first-quality gold. The works of “Mastro Gerolamo de le Gabicce” are exhibited in numerous museums, both Italian and foreign and the rare pieces still in circulation are in great demand, especially among British collectors.
At the beginning of the 1900’s the main activity was agriculture and, only marginally, fishing. Only in 1942 did the majority of the inhabitants begin to prefer the sea level town of Gabicce; thus, the City Hall was moved to Gabicce Mare. The beauty of its position and the blue/green sea gave a strong impulse to the tourist trade and Gabicce Mare has earned the Bandiera Blu dell’Adriatico (Adriatic Blue Flag Certification) 15 times.
Even if, geographically, the area is part of the Romagna Riviera politically Gabicce is under the Province of Pesaro/Urbino in the Marche Region. The neighboring city of Cattolica is the last city of the Province of Rimini in the Emilia-Romagna Region. The tourist organization is excellent with a receptive capacity capable of satisfying families with small children as well as groups of young adults with good hotels and economic family-run pensions. Over the years various sport facilities and night spots, like the Baia Imperiale (famous throughout Italy for its summer attractions) have opened.