Positioned on the Romagna Riviera, Cattolica is a charming beachside town that was established as a resting place for pilgrims travelling to St. Peter’s in Rome. It’s home to one of the largest aquariums in Italy and an excellent history museum and is near Gradara Castle and the beach resort of Rimini.
Things to do in Cattolica
Delve into the local history at the Museo della Regina, home to artefacts and testimonies detailing the ancient origins of Cattolica. It’s housed within a 16th-century hospital on the ancient Via Flaminia and features model Italian boats from various historical periods.
Make a day trip to the lively beach resort of Rimini, where the 2,000-year history is showcased in Roman-built arches, bridges and archaeological remains. See tiny versions of Europe’s most famous landmarks at Italia in Miniatura, get your thrills on the water-based rides of Fiabilandia, then soak up the sun and sand with the local holidaymakers.
Discover the feuding relationship of the Malatesta and Montefeltro families at Gradara Castle, a striking medieval fortress surrounded by 800-metre-long walls. It was here that Dante set his “Divine Comedy”, with the castle boasting magnificent views of the town of Gradara.
Travelling with kids? Visit the Aquarium of Cattolica, which is one of the largest of its kind in Italy and home to around 400 different marine species. Get up close to emperor penguins, colourful chameleons, playful otters, massive bull sharks and lethal golden dart frogs.
Getting around Cattolica
Cattolica is a 20-minute drive from Federico Fellini International Airport in Rimini and around 1.5 hours from Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport. Buses travel throughout Cattolica and connect most of the city’s sights.