Tradition » History
The story tells that the name Bellaria (literally, ‘good air’) came from an exclamation of Pope Gregorio XII that, in 1414 guest of Carlo Malatesta, looking out of the window of his building and after having breathed the balsamic air coming from the sea and from the green and luxuriant woods said : “Oh, che bell'aere” (literally ‘Oh, what a good air’), so he gave the name to the town. Really, the name of Bellaria is prior to this period; a walled residence, placed near the Church of S.Margherita in Bellaria Monte, was still called "Bellaere" in one of will of the Malatesta family in 1311.
During those times between story and legend there were also the fearful invasions of the ‘Saracens’pirates and the Saracen Tower, perfectly preserved and symbol of the city, represents one of the guard towers located along the coast of Romagna. Instead the Benelli Castle and Villa Torlonia are more recent buildings where the richest and most important families of the time lived.
The name Igea Marina, Greek goddess and symbol of health and wellness, dates back to 1905 when its founder Vittorio Belli, doctor and botanist, started up his urbanisation works of the sand dunes going from the right bank of the river Uso to the city of Torre Pedrera. He aimed to create a holiday village perfectly surrounded by the green and he planted also many pine nuts to let a pine woods develop and grow. Today the orthogonal urban plan of Igea Marina traces out the original plan of its founder and the streets’ manes are of Latin philosophers and poets.
During the first decades of the XXth century, in Europe and in Italy the ‘trend of sunbathing’ became really popular and thanks to the discovery of the therapeutic virtues of sea water and air, many rich families coming from the Italian northern cities, called from the local citizens ‘Signori’, started to arrive by train to spend their holidays in the small rent houses of local fishers which during Summer moved in wood shacks. There were also many exponents of the aristocracy of the time, that with their servants and their trunks full of dresses decided to spend their stay in wonderful rent or property villas, which today still have the original special charm. So the inhabitants of Bellaria Igea Marina started up many activities and services to improve hospitality and beach life and in particular to better accommodation facilities. Thanks to the hospitality, perseverance and business skills of the inhabitants of Bellaria Igea Marina, quickly, the tourist industry became the main economic resource of the country.
It has to be mentioned that the municipality of Bellaria Igea Marina, was created in 1956 because of its separation from Rimini and it is the youngest municipality in Italy.