Mentioned by Dante in the “Divina Commedia” (Inferno, XXIII), the community of Cattolica was officially born on 16th August 1271, when the inhbitants of Castelli di Focara decided to submit to the commune of Rimini, settling a new built-up area in the place “que vocetur Catholica”: that they call Cattolica. Here already exhisted a settlement of the Roman age, born along the Via Flaminia (200 b.C.).
The number and the quality of the archaeological reports (I century b.C – IV century a.D) make us think about a travel centre (“station” or “mansio”) charachterized by an economy linked to the transit. A bent that Cattoliac kept even in the Middle Age and in the Modern Age, as a rest place for wanderers and pilgrims who went along the way Bologna – Ancona – Roma towards feasts and markets or toward the sanctuaries of Loreto and San Pietro.
“Street of inn”, at least about twenty at the end of the sixteenth Century, this will the the bent which will mark Cattolica in the next ages. From the second half of the eighteenth century on, when the risk of Turkish invasions disappeared and the navigation became safer, an activity devoted to fishing, who hugely got on in the second half of the nineteenth century, came up by the side of the economy of the “hospitality”. In the meanwhile the touristic industry linked to the activity of the beach establishments had a very big impulse. Overall from 1861, when the railway line Bologna – Ancona came into operation. The first cottages rose, they were the summer residence of the aristocrats and the rich “emiliani” professionals. On the 1st January 1896 Cattolica got the suffered autonomy by the commune of S. Giovanni, characterized by an difficult agrarian economy and the necessities of the development of the maritime suburb. After the World Wars the activities linked to the tourism rose again.
The rich industrial middle class and the class of Civil Servants took the place of the “romagnola” nobility, the members of the middle classes of Bologna and the families of the Austrian officers. Already during the 30s Cattollica was a fashionable place known all over Europe. Many houses became smart hotel with every comforts required by the new customers. But overall during the 50s and the 60s the tourism changed into a big phenomenon with millions of people each year.
The most important attractions:
. La Rocca, via Pascoli. Built in the 1491 “to save le robbe de li habitanti in tempo de incursion de Turchi”. It was residence of the Captain of Cattolica, chosen by the council of Rimini, for the defence of the suburb (century XVIXVE). Private estate.
.Chiesa di S. Apollinare, via Pascoli. Probably built at the end of the thirteenth century, even if the firts official mention is of the year 1313. The actual builiding is of the year 1782.
. Chiesa di S. Pio (1859), via XX Settembre.
.Chiesa di S. Antonio (1970), via Del Prete.
.Galleria Comunale S. Croce, via Pascoli. Former Church of S. Croce, built at the end of the sixteenth century beside the hospital of the pilgrims.
.Teatro, piazza della Repubblica. Italian tetre (700 places) projected by the architect Pierluigi Cervellati. In advanced phase of finishing.
.Centro Culturale Polivalente. Library, fonovideo, Antiquarium (Archaelogical founds of the Roman Age; marittime section with documents and materials of the history of the navy).
.Scavi Archeologici, piazzetta Mercato, some founds of an house of the Roman age.