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The charm of a building where water and sky meet in harmony. The new location immersed in nature of the Night Club that first opened in the centre of Milano Marittima

The Woodpecker in the Sixties


The beginning

In the post war years, tourism in Milano Marittima experienced a marked recovery. It was the perfect time to open what would become one of the most important night spots of the Romagna coast in the fifties and sixties: Aurelio De Maria, resident in Milano Marittima since 1937 and being sensitive to the city’s future, opened the Woodpecker night club in 1952.

Located on the Third Cross-street, in the centre of Milano Marittima, the night spot became one of the most popular and expensive in the city, with impeccable service, a refined elegant clientele and entertainment by prestigious orchestras from all over Italy.

The move and the new project

With time however its central position and the growth of tourism led to an increase in the number of residents’ complaints on account of the loud noise emanating from the night spot.

Between 1962 and 1964 the Woodpecker was relocated inland in a more tranquil green area.

The relocation offered an opportunity to rethink the aesthetics and come up with something completely new: “we’ll make a circle, make water come out and put some crocodiles in it” to quote Filippo Monti, the architect entrusted with the new project.


The Woodpecker disco - Ph. Gruppo fotografico cervese


The new building differs little from what he said ironically.

Surrounded by a high dune accessible from a marble staircase, the building has a series of circular ponds cut out of the base platform, clad with yellow Siena marble and a large cupola. A translucent 16m ribbed fibreglass shell filters the incoming light and is divided into 23 segments like a double curved umbrella to cover the dance floor. Half way between open and closed, the cupola was continuous with the outside thanks to the open arches that surround the entire perimeter. 

The architect loved to play with natural features and with this design, which displayed revolutionary architectural originality for the time, created a place where land, water and sky come together with harmony and balance.

The new Woodpecker reopened after two years of work in June 1968 with a new face, but with the quality that had always been its hallmark.


Blu's work inside the dome - Ph. Arianna BertozziA timeless place

Unfortunately its rebirth did not last long. It was forced to close definitively in 1975 after a fire which luckily left the large cupola intact.

From that time the discotheque has been left abandoned for some years.

Time seems to have stood still so that the Woodpecker has not lost its charm even today.

Maybe that's the reason why it has drawn the attention of Blu, a famous street artist native of Bologna placed by "The Guardian" among the top 10 writers in the world.

The inside of the cupola, with its round shape and reflective surface became the perfect canvas for a circular mural depicting satirical humanoid characters as a mockery of modern society.



The Woodpecker's Dome - Ph. Arianna BertozziFuture and revival

In recent years the club has been rediscovered by MAGMA association and revalued through the organization of several musical events; the Municipality of Cervia had a part in it too, since it opened a call for applications to requilify and regenerate it, won by a local family in 2018.

With the aim of building a multifunctional pole full of events for all age groups, destined to be reopened for a new lease of life.

2023, the historic Woodpecker reopens at the end of June

The recovery project took place last year thanks to the 50 Places participatory project.
A work carried out by the many citizens who reasoned and proposed ideas on one of the most beautiful and fascinating places in Cervia and the Riviera.

In recent years a number of cultural and musical events have been held in the venue, such as the Magma and Ravenna Festival festivals.

At the end of June 2023, the venue will become fully functional.

The Guerrini family was awarded the management at the time.
With the reopening, scheduled for the end of June 2023, the venue will become fully functional again.

It will not only be a discotheque, the club's main vocation, but also a multicultural venue, combining entertainment with aspects of culture, events and gastronomy with small catering.

Woodpecker, Milano Marittima

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