Designed in the second half of the 19th century for the City of Senigallia to attract visitors to its Spiaggia di Velluto (Velvet Beach) and seaside climate along the Adriatic Coast of the Marche region, Rotonda a Mare has since been uprooted and moved once, and renovated thrice.
Originally a public building, it went private when it was purchased by a local hotelier in 1923 and turned into a spacious bathhouse along the lungomare (boardwalk).
The decision to move the Rotonda to its current location fronting Piazza della Penna was made in January of 1932 following the third ownership change. Once renovation work was finally completed, the building was re-inaugurated at its new location on July 18, 1933.
Noted for its classical music concerts during summertime sunsets, the Rotonda drew the attention of then Italian Prince Umberto, who paid a visit in the summer of 1935. With the outbreak of World War II, the Rotonda was quickly transformed from a concert hall into a military warehouse.
After the war, during the 1950s and 60s, the Rotonda became a concert venue once again, this time around for Italian pop music as it regularly showcased the top talent from around la penisola. Rock music on water, however, came to and end, and the Rotonda fell out of favor.
By the late 1980s, the signature building atop the Adriatic Sea was declared unfit for use and went dark. Once a major tourist attraction, the Rotonda remained closed to the public until the summer of 2006 when the City of Senigallia took back ownership and commissioned the third renovation project with funding provided by the European Union.
Today, Rotonda a Mare is back in full swing during the summer season, serving as host for classical music recitals, art exhibits, lectures and conferences, along with the occasional civil wedding ceremony for some very lucky couples.