Senigallia’s Rotonda a Mare

October 7, 2013 / Places
Senigallia, Le Marche

A unique piece of architecture sits majestically out at sea worthy of a nod and a wink from Renaissance master builder Andrea Palladio: Rotonda a Mare (Sea Rotunda).La Rotonda a Mare - Senigallia | ©Tom Palladio Images

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.La Rotonda a Mare - Senigallia | ©Tom Palladio Images

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.La Rotonda a Mare - Senigallia | ©Tom Palladio Images

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.La Rotonda a Mare - Senigallia | ©Tom Palladio Images

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.La Rotonda a Mare - Senigallia | ©Tom Palladio Images

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.La Rotonda a Mare - Senigallia | ©Tom Palladio Images

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.

La Rotonda a Mare - Senigallia | ©Tom Palladio Images

La Rotonda a Mare - Senigallia | ©Tom Palladio Images

by Tom Weber

Tom is a veteran print-broadcast journalist who resides in the Colli Euganei (Euganean Hills) in the province of Padova in the Veneto region of northestern Italy. He hosts the eclectic travel/foodie/photography blog The Palladian, is a regular contributor to Los Angeles-based, and is a member of the International Travel Writers Alliance. Feel free to follow Tom as he “meanders along the cobblestone to somewhere.”

19 Responses to “Senigallia’s Rotonda a Mare”

  1. Super — two “rinascimenti” in one fell swoop! Delighted to see the Italian notebook is back with an interesting story about how the “Rotonda a Mare” was reborn from “rock” to “classical” music. Congratulations to both!

  2. Jean Palmay

    Welcome back! You were really missed. Love everything you do…keep up the good work.

    • GB

      Hi Tina, yes, it’s up there in the right hand column, after the ad. So happy to hear you’re enjoying the site!

  3. Love getting these emails!
    So Interesting!!
    Love Italy!
    I am first Generation Italian.
    My parents from the Abruzzi region.

  4. Ah, a good example of modern architecture with classic proportions that brings one into the realm of the transcendent, such a beautiful building… Welcome back, glad to see you again.

  5. Prof. Michael Kissane

    Thanks for these great photographs of this wonderful modern building. I remember seeing it years ago in a more dilapidated and sorry state – it is marvellous to see it fully restored and functioning. Grazie.

  6. Annamaria

    In welcoming you back (you were missed) I know there will be bigger and better Notebook pages and on your website. You do a great job in keeping us tied to our beloved Italy—Grazie, molti grazie!!

    • GB

      Grazie, Annamaria! It is thanks to the great contributors to the site, such as Tom w/ this note, that we can make this happen. So glad you enjoy it all!

  7. Thanks on behalf of my fellow Senigalliesi, Tom! The pics are beautiful. And welcome back IN!

  8. Rosanna Aiuppa

    lOVE, LOVE your articles on Italy!! Music is its legacy. Please go on UTUBE LOOK UP tenor DAVIDE RIGHESCHI TENOR, from Tuscany, He looks and sounds like the next PAVAROTTI, He is coming to NEW YORK’S CAPITAL to do a second concert for aour children’s hospital great story how it all came about!! Only ijn Italy and with Italians can some things come about!!! look forward to your articles and you were missed! BRAVO to you all!
    thank you

  9. Bentornato! It’s great to have Italian Notebook back and publishing new articles. Thanks for the great photos and interesting text. It provides so many ideas for a return trip to Italy. Can’t wait!


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