Church of Saint Anthony of Padua
Built between 1704 and 1741, this church is outside the urban perimeter of Cervia Nuova and looks onto the Salt Pans Canal.
It is the Franciscan church of the Minori Osservanti, built with a convent attached, using some of the stones recovered after the demolition of the Madonna del Pino Carmelite Convent, when the friars had to leave their premises in the Old Town.
The church has a fairly small single-nave longitudinal plan, which looks even smaller because of the two symmetric recesses in the middle.
Its façade includes classical architectonic elements, such as column, entablature and gable, which were developed later during the neoclassical period; a 20 m tall bell tower was subsequently added to the church.
The hall, divided into three bays, has a square presbytery as backdrop, with a marble altar in the middle, including a niche which contains an 18th century wooden statue of Saint Anthony.
Also noteworthy is the painting of the Madonna as a Child and Saint Anne (17th century), by Giuseppe Milani.
Near the entrance, the many votive offerings bear witness to the devotion of people from Cervia and holiday-makers to this church, which in the past was attended by the poorest sections of the population: fishermen, sailors and salt workers.
Sant’Antonio da Padova was the first religious complex built after the Cathedral, to complete the New Town project which had been started about a decade earlier by the meritorious Bishop Riccamonti and Earl Maffei.
It was inaugurated by its first Superior, Father Francesco Antonio from Rimini, on 23 May 1706, but it was completed, with the Convent, only in 1720, then dedicated to the Virgin Mary and to Saint Anthony of Padua.
Where: Viale Giuseppe Di Vittorio 6, Cervia