The history of the port
Cattolica harbour is mainly a fishing port, situated on the estuary of the Tavollo river, it is protected by two quays, one facing eastwards and the other westwards, where you can find the Marina of the Queen of the Adriatic.
The beach of Cattolica, is protected by the hill of Gabicce, and resembles, on a smaller scale, the bay of Ancona sheltered by Mount Conero, which has at various times in the past deceived many navigators. Up until the end of the last century large shipwrecks were not uncommon, when, caught in bad weather ships found themselves thrown ashore on the coast of Cattolica having confused its harbour for that of Ancona.
Medieval and modern
Even after examining old port records and nautical documents this resemblance is quite evident. Cattolica is exploited for its natural geographical position and its anchorage, making it an important reference point. In Medieval times and again in modern times it became important both for the loading of goods and supplies, like corn and grain coming from the inland and Montefeltro, and also for the offloading of goods from other destinations.
This trade soon became very attractive to the Lords and Archibishops of Ravenna and later to the Dukes of Urbino, who perhaps in order to make use of the natural port, favoured the founding of Cattolica during Medieval times.
The possible growth in importance of this border harbour consequently provoked many restrictions by the governmental authorities of Rimini; who saw in Cattolica's commerce and merchant trade an enemy of their own port. It was really due to this harsh attitude of Rimini towards the trade that Cattolica harbour had, which prevented the development of the fishing industry which was extremely necessary to the local population.
The boats (fishing and sailing boats) landed in the coastal inlet of the Tavollo river estuary or in shallow water, opposite the tower which had been built, nearby the so called valley point.
A fishing port
The amount of fishing in the harbour of Cattolica is more than 4 million kilograms of fish a year. The major part of the catch goes to the Cooperative "Casa del Pescatore" (The fishermen's house) which also supplies the local market with even very expensive types of fish, and some also goes to other foreign markets.
The fishing fleet of Cattolica consists of 120 units or fishing enterprises present in the harbour, all differently equipped: 38 clam boats equipped with hydraulic trawl nets, 33 boats for drag type fishing and two boats for fishing blue fish.