Discover the heritage shops of Cattolica
This is the ideal itinerary for anyone who appreciates the value of local heritage, as told by the shops and businesses that make up the identity of a community and a town.
Welcome to Botteghe Storiche, a heritage trail of historic shops and businesses from different sectors, all with their own stories of artisanal skill and creative flair.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there’s an official register of heritage businesses: “L’Albo delle Botteghe Storiche”.
Today, we bring you the 5 outstanding local businesses of Cattolica which have helped to write its history.
Heading uptown towards the sea, our first port of call is Staccoli, a pastry shop which first opened in 1952.
The confectionery tradition of the Staccoli family, the best-known pastry chefs in Cattolica, is one that has been handed down through the generations and is an integral part of the town's history. You’ll find “Antica Pasticceria Staccoli” right in the historic centre, in Via XX Settembre. It has been here since the 1970s, after moving from Carducci—despite the refurbishment, the shop still has that traditional allure.
That tradition has survived until the present day, when in 2023 Paolo Staccoli won one of the Iginio Massari “World’s Best Pastry Chef” awards with his latest creation “Il Rivierotto”: a square of bean-to-bar chocolate made from Ecuadorian cacao, spreadable cream made from 58% Piedmont hazelnuts and a chunk of praline biscuit flavoured with Cervia salt and Piedmont hazelnuts. The tempting treat is topped by toasted almonds, a cascade of 70% Ecuadorian chocolate and a sprinkling of cocoa flakes.
Next up, towards the beach we find Bottega Maffi. Since 1935 this store, a retail landmark in Cattolica, has been the home of fine home fabrics, kitchen linens and bedding.
Situated in the Regina centre along Via Cattaneo (the ancient Via Flaminia), the Maffi store has been a family business for three generations.
Some of the store’s original furnishings have been maintained, along with the floors and walls (almost a century old). But perhaps the most interesting feature is the display corner containing the beautiful old fireplace from the house of Luigi Maffi, who ran the business from home, living in the kitchen area and selling his wares from the room next door, as people used to do in those days.
Canasta, a cake shop in Via Risorgimento, was opened by the Ercoles family back in 1948, and is the oldest confectioner’s establishment in Cattolica.
Entering the shop is like taking a step back in time. The Fifties decor and marble flooring typical of the post-war era is still the same—as is the enveloping fragrance of butter and vanilla that pervades the premises. The walls of the shop are lined with the typical glass decorations and items of historic interest: photographs, plaques and professional qualifications obtained by Marco Ercoles over the years.
Having explored delicious desserts and fine fabrics, it's time for a glass of wine at Enoteca Oivos, an establishment that only stocks local wines and products of excellent quality.
The list of labels is long and impressive, and in 2016, the wine shop won an award of Ambassador for the wines of Emilia Romagna.
Our last stop - but certainly not the least important - is the Ferretti Boutique on Viale Bovio.
It was 1949 when Giuseppina Prioli and Lucio Ferretti opened the doors of Magasin Ferretti, a seasonal store that instantly became the pride and joy of Cattolica’s clothing retail sector.
In 1967, the shop front was completely refurbished and took on a new aspect, becoming what is now called the Ferretti Boutique.
The business continued to grow over the years, partly by acquiring international brands, particularly from France and Britain, to sell alongside the Italian labels.
In 1975, the store underwent another major renovation and was converted into a two-story boutique, while preserving the mood of its traditional location.
Ferretti Boutique has even featured in films and books. It was the set for some of the scenes from the film “I Pavoni”, directed in 1994 by Luciano Manuzzi and was also mentioned in the book “90 anni a Cattolica” by Enrico Tovaglieri.