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Rotonda Primo Maggio, the heart of Milano Marittima

Rotonda Primo Maggio, the heart of Milano Marittima

Known in the local dialect as the plaza of Zencv Culòni (five columns), la Rotonda Primo Maggio is today one of the most emblematic landmarks of Milano Marittima.

Rotonda Primo Maggio - Ph. Dany Fontana

History of a symbol

Recognizable for its iconic fountain with the illuminated jet streams at night, the five elegant columns and the colorful flowerbeds that decorate the city each year during Cervia Città Giardino, la Rotonda has always been the protagonist of many evening and late afternoon strolls, as well as the place from which the most fashionable center streets branch off.

Some may think its construction dates back to the year of the city's foundation in 1912, but la Rotonda was actually realized a few years later, probably because of a delay caused by the great war that forced the project to be severely downsized.

The depths of the pinewood, inside the area that Giuseppe Palanti identified as "the dune tops" on his town development plan, was the first location chosen to create Piazzale Milano Marittima, one of the two vast circular spaces drawn on the original project. In its place was realized an artesian well at the end of the 1920s, it was then surrounded by a rope circle with a 300 m diameter to mark out the area of the Rotonda future construction.

The unveiling of the fountain designed by Giancarlo Palanti (the son of Giuseppe) took place on July 29, 1928.

It was simply known as La Rotonda until 1935, when it was named after Antonio Beltramelli. It took its current name only in 1946: Rotonda Primo Maggio.


Rotonda Primo Maggio, Fountain - Ph. Barbara Cholewa


La Rotonda over the years

As the years passed, La Rotonda underwent several changes. In the beginning there was a large vase placed in the center of the fountain just like in the original project, but it was removed due to a car accident. The shorter columns with chains were also added in the early 2000s and were not present in Palanti's project. Lastly, all five columns that one can see today are accurate reproductions, only three of the originals still exist and are now decorating Rotonda Don Minzoni.


Rotonda Primo Maggio at night

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