Cesena is neither Umbrian nor Etruscan, but part of Emilia-Romagna.
The region is one heavily rich in culture and extends from the Apennine Mountains to the Po River in the north. The region even swallows up the Republic of San Marino near the city of Rimini.
The region is known for its medieval cities, rich gastronomy and the seaside resorts.
The capital, Bologna, is about as vibrant an Italian city as you can get with an 11th-century university and arched porticos; arches that also line the streets near the stadium of Bologna. In Emilia Romagna it’s not only the squares of the medieval core that are laced with architectural splendour.
Classical poetic thought was inspired by the city of Ravenna and while Cesena to the south of Ravenna may not feature in the prose of Lord Byron or Oscar Wilde it’s a charming city in its own way.
ONE DAY IN CESENA
Such is Cesena’s association with Italian football a roundabout near the home stadium is named after its most famous footballing son – Azeglio Vicini – Italy’s manager during Italia 1990. Vicini came to be known for his introduction of younger talented players to the national team, and for implementing a more attractive, offensive-minded possession based tactical approach.
Vicini’s home club AC Cesena were declared bankrupt in July 2018. The current seahorses or ‘Cavallucci Marini‘ are a club born out of ASD Romagna Centro – a club that was rebranded in honour of the former historical club.
The phoenix side was officially (re)born on 2nd August 2018. The club’s new ownership promised the loyal fans that it was committed to restoring a sustainable football club in the city of Cesena, as well as keeping up the tradition of a club that has foundations that go all the way back to the 1940’s.
In 78 years of its existence, Cesena have played 13 seasons in Serie A – the first time in 1973/74 and the most recent in 2014/15.
By season 2018/19 the club was playing in Serie D under the new name.
Some of the most famous players who have played for Cesena include Sebastiano Rossi, Dario Hubner and the striker Ruggerio Rizzitelli. Its previous managers include Vicini, Marcello Lippi and Marco Tardelli.
The home matches of Cesena are played at the Orogel Stadium ‘Dino Manuzzi’. Its most famous occasion was as a host for the European Under-21 Championships that were held in Italy during the summer of 2019.
If you split Emilia-Romagna into the two separate geographic areas the Orogel Stadium is the largest sports facility in the region of Romagna, and possibly the most modern in terms of appearance in the whole of Italy.
In a country more known for stadiums with large distances between the stands the Orogel Stadium is one of the few in the country to boast an “English” concept; a two tier structure on three sides entirely dedicated to football with no barriers between the pitch and the fans.
The ground has optimal visibility from all areas. Moreover, it was the first stadium in Italy with entirely covered seating areas.
On a cold December afternoon not one week before Christmas, Cesena welcomed US Alessandria to the Orogel Stadium for a Serie C fixture. With the FIFA World Cup reaching its climax and Italy not one of the participants Cesena are riding high at the top end of the table. Only regional rivals Reggiana stop the club from Romagna topping the table and hopes are high that a place in Serie B can be attained.
The Orogel Stadium is atmospheric but sparsely populated.
Located not 10 minutes from the historic centre home fans high behind the goal litter songs with encouraging words for the team. They pay homage to the historic club and it’s audible how many times reference is made to the historical region of ‘Romagna’.
Cesena swept Alessandria (a side struggling at the bottom of the table) aside and the sun shone brightly overhead despite the incoming cold weather fronts from the Adriatic Sea that the air hinted.
After the trauma of 2018 things are looking up again for Cesena and while Serie A might still be some way off, optimistic hopes at Cesena have been reinvigorated.
Goals: 11’mins Prestia (1-0), 35’ Mins. Martignago (1-1), 48mins Ferrante (2-1), 52’Mins Corazza (3-1)