In this section we offer our kind customers a selection of itineraries and routes through the wonderful world of the Romagna hinterland. The surroundings of Cattolica are a treasure to explore, with artistic and natural beauty to take your breath away! You will know Saludecio and its medieval village or the splendid castle of Gradara, or even San Giovanni in Marignano and its esoteric suggestions with the Festa delle Streghe. Good walk!

SALUDECIO

saludecio

Going up the Valle del Conca, a few kilometers from the sea, the medieval village of Saludecio stands out on a ridge, surrounded by the Malatesta walls. Through the ancient Porta Marina you enter the main square of the town where the Town Hall faces the Municipal Theater, the Olmo del Beato Amato and the Parish Church of S.Biagio, with important eighteenth-century architectures. It is the most important sacred building in the Valley, also known as the Sanctuary of Blessed Amato Ronconi, a 13th century Franciscan whose miraculously preserved body is in a glass urn. Of exceptional documentary and artistic value is the adjoining Museum of Sacred Art that contains a rich heritage of ex-votos, furnishings, vestments, furnishings and paintings (Cagnacci, Ridolfi, Centino, etc.) collected over the centuries around the cult of the Blessed , shortly hallowed. Along the Contrada Maggiore there are the nineteenth-century buildings with elegant lines; in particular the Palazzo Albini with the courtyard and the sixteenth century well and the TorreCivica (XIV century) .In the upper part we point out the Convent with the annexed Chiesa dei Gerolomini (XVII century) and, through the medieval Porta Montanara, the Garden of the Perfume; the latter is enhanced on the occasion of the "SalusErbe", a spring event dedicated to herbalism and the environment. Finally, do not miss the path through the alleys to discover the colorful and characteristic Murales dedicated to the inventions of 800. To this century is dedicated the summer event of the "Nineteenth Festival" an evening event that recalls with exhibitions, shows, typical foodstuffs the life and customs of the nineteenth century. In the area are reported the castles of Meleto and Cerreto, ancient medieval villages.

Saludecio can be reached by highway, A14 Bologna-Ancona for those coming from both north and south, as far as Cattolica; just outside the motorway exit follow the signs turning left to merge onto the Saludecese road, just after the village of Pianventena turn left again following the signs for Saludecio. Distance from the toll gate about 10 Km.

[texts and images taken from the site ottocentofestivalsaludecio.it ]

MONDAINO

Mondaino

Mondaino is situated on the ridge of a relief, at 420 m slm, at the south-eastern end of the province of Rimini, on the border with Montefeltro; the territory has a surface of about 19 Kmq, the inhabitants - mondainesi - are 1.500 approximately.

The location of Mondaino has strongly influenced the structure of the settlement and its history, characterized by a succession of different dominations between the eleventh century and the seventeenth.

The historic center preserves the sixteenth-century structure, when the city walls, still today largely present, was renovated and enlarged. Strait and stretched on the ridge, it is crossed by a main median road and by two side streets, which start from Piazza Maggiore at the north-eastern end.

Of strong impact, visible from the valley floor, with its grandeur of a time is the Malatesta Fortress, valuable architecture of the fourteenth century. From a bull of Pope Sixtus IV we read that the construction of the fort is the work of the Mondainesi. However the subsequent interventions, wanted by the lords of Rimini, make it a typical Malatesta building. Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta erected, during his government, well 13 towers, the keep, the wide walls and the underground walkways (dug in the tufa, under the male, ready to be used in case of siege like cisterns or in case of defeat as a safe escape route) discovered, the latter, in the 1987 and currently in recovery phase.

Inside the fortress you can admire today the Madonna del Latte, beautiful fresco (XV century) by Bernardino Dolci from Castel Durante, and the Paleontological Museum of the mondainese tripoli.

The semicircular portico, of neoclassical style, makes Piazza Maggiore one of the most evocative places of the Malatesta Lordship and makes it - thanks also to a surprising acoustics - a natural theater where, especially during the summer season, important shows are hosted. review over, of course, the performances of the Palio de lo Daino.

[texts and images taken from the site mondaino.com ]

MONTEGRIDOLFO

montegridolfo

The castle of Montegridolfo was not a noble residence, nor a military settlement, but a walled village, or a "cassero", a rectangular enclosure with a defensive tower-door. It was inhabited by artisans and wealthy farmers. The origin of the name is not yet certain. Among the various hypotheses, the most accredited claims that this name derives from a word of Germanic origin that means sterposo, rude. The year of its first construction is unknown; it is thought to have occurred around the year 1000. In 1148 (first certain date) belonged to the abbey of Saints Peter and Paul of Rimini. At the end of the 1200 passed under the lordship of the Malatesta. Unfortunately, the castle found itself in a warm area between two enemy seigniories, the Malatesta of Rimini and the Montefeltro of Urbino. Attacks and raids were frequent. In one of these, the soldiers of Ferrantino, allied with the Montefeltro and fighting with his cousin Malatesta, caused a great deal of damage to the castle. It was the year 1336. The Malatesta began, however, the following year, the reconstruction, with higher walls, defended by 4 torrioni.Il castle remained to the Malatesta up to 1500, when it came under the rule of the Duke Valentino Borgia. Defeated these in the 1503, Pandolfo Malatesta sold the territory to the Venetian Republic, which after six years ceded it to the papal state. In the 1860 the plebiscite joined him to the kingdom of Sardinia.

[texts and images taken from the site City of Montegridolfo ]

GEMMANO E GROTTE DI ONFERNO

Gemmano

Legend has it that the name Gemmano derives from Gemma in hand. It is said that an Etruscan soldier was killed by the Romans while he was wearing a ring to his girlfriend. So the origins of the name could derive from the Roman era. On the slopes of the hill there are remains of the Romanesque civilization still unearthed. Finds and documents show that the place has since been identified as "geminum fund". Later the municipality belonged to the Malatesta family and then to the Papal State until the unification of Italy. On the three hills that dominate the municipal territory were built the castles of Onferno, Marazzano, Gemmano, of which still today there are the ruins partially restored. Legend has it that Dante Alighieri, after having stopped by Count Ugolino della Faggiola while fleeing from Florence to go to Ravenna, descending the Conca valley, took refuge in the karst caves of Onferno (originally called Inferno) and was inspired by write the song.>

The caves of Onferno represent a karst complex of considerable value whose complete scientific exploration, carried out by the quarry speleologist, dates back to the 1916. An underground creek dug these chalky caves giving way to tunnels, rooms, gorges that develop in the subsoil for about 750 total meters. To the public are open about 400 meters of spectacular route: large rooms with the rare conformations of the "mammelloni", wide corridors marked by the underground waterway and one of the most numerous and various colonies of bats in Italy.

At the exit of the cave another 400 meters of path in an environment between water, rock, small cavities and beautiful vegetation.

Great suggestion for a visit of about an hour with a guide and equipment provided by the Visitor Center.

Above the promontory that overlooks the caves there is the village of Onferno, once a real rural castelletto, now recovered to accommodation and catering facilities.

[texts and images taken from the site comune.gemmano.rn.it ]

GRADARA

gradara

The Gradara stronghold stands on a hill (142 m above sea level) on the border between Marche and Romagna in a strategic and dominant position.

It is 25 Km from Rimini, 13 from Pesaro, 3 from the Adriatic road.

To all those who reach it like to recall the ancient time while making the rounds on the battlements walls and beyond the drawbridge and meets the elegant courtyard. The internal rooms recall the splendor of the powerful families who ruled here: Malatesta, Sforza and Della Rovere.

The construction began around the XII century by the will of Pietro and Ridolfo De Grifo who usurped the area to the municipality of Pesaro. In the first half of the 13th century, Malatesta da Verucchio, called the Centenario, helped by the papacy, took possession of the De Grifo tower and made it the keep of the present Rocca.

It is not known the name of the brilliant architect who directed the work but you can see interesting details (the three polygonal towers covered and lowered at the level of the walkways) that will have a wide implementation only in the second half of the fifteenth century. We also remember the double walls and the three drawbridges that made the mighty Malatesta Fortress almost impregnable.

The village of Gradara

History of Gradara: coat of arms of the SforzaThe small town of Gradara is collected between the first and second walls.

After the power of the Malatesta and the tragedy of Paolo and Francesca, which was consummated here in September 1289, the Sforza arrived.

In 1494, just fourteen years old, comes Lucrezia Borgia, second wife of Giovanni Sforza. The young girl, who is always described as perverse and corrupt was actually a gay girl with golden hair and blue eyes who was influenced by her father: the terrible Pope, Alessandro VI Borgia.

The parent obliged the young daughter to leave her previous husband and marry new ones for her sinister intrigues

The spouses who did not want to leave Lucrezia ended, as we know, to be poisoned. In fact in 1497, at the behest of the Pope, the marriage with Giovanni Sforza was dissolved and the latter saved his life because I agree to sign a document in which he ( falsely) to be impotent. After a brief period of domination by Lucrezia's brother, Cesare Borgia, known as Valentino, came the Della Rovere family.

He had risen to the papal throne Giulio II and he put his nephew Francesco Maria II to govern Gradara.

After the death of Livia Farnese, Della Rovere's widow, the Rocca was administered by the papacy who granted it in emphyteusis to Count Santinelli, then to the Omodei of Pesaro, then to the Albani and finally, in the second half of the 1700 to the Marquis Mosca of Pesaro. He lovingly took care of the building and at his death he wanted to be buried in the parish church of St. John the Baptist, located within the second wall cite.

La Rocca became a municipal property and in the 1877 it ceded it to Count Morandi Bonacossi di Lugo. In the 1920 the Ing. Umberto Zanvettori of Belluno, but resident in Rome, I bought it for three million lire and in his skilled hands it was born again! He called renowned collaborators such as the architects Ferrari and Giovannoni. So with a precise and delicate restoration it was connected to that completed four centuries earlier by Giovanni Sforza.

[texts and images taken from the site gradara.org ]

SAN GIOVANNI IN MARIGNANO

San Giovanni in Marignano

The so-called middle way (via XX Settembre) on which public buildings, houses, palaces, shops overlook, is also an axis of symmetry for secondary roads, which run parallel to it. In the notarial documentation of the '400-'500 they are mentioned as contrada below (sea side) and contrada above (mountain side). Alleys and entrances articulate and complete the urban layout, modest but lively, with a dense network of paths and connections between the two main axes. A walled enclosure, made with brick curtains, equipped with protruding battlements and interspersed with some towers, defines and delimits the urban layout.

The foundation of the new castle, almost certainly with a regular plan, which dates back to the end of the thirteenth century, was later incorporated following additions produced during the Malatesta period that led to the renovation of the fortification and the consequent enlargement of the inhabited area. to the original regular shirt (1442 approx.).

During the sixteenth century, following a large migratory flow coming from the surrounding and coastal centers, the two villages of S. Antonio and of the School were formed along the main route, which took their name from the two religious centers that had arisen a short distance away. from the fortified enclosure. The first assumed the typical linear trend along the road beyond the bridge over the Ventena stream.

The village of the school, whose shape in the eighteenth century is already outlined around a market square, will assume its current characteristics only after the nineteenth-century restructuring.

The Borgo di S. Antonio took its name from the church of the same name, also known as the Celestine Fathers, already mentioned in the fifteenth century.

San Giovanni in Marignano thus took on the appearance of a country with a dense network of houses, with a typical linear trend that still distinguishes it today.

The new castle of San Giovanni in Marignano, presumably built in the second half of the thirteenth century (the oldest quotation is from 1303), was established as a pole of reorganization of the territory, absorbing the scattered population of the countryside, mainly recalled by production and military prerogatives (of defense) that the new center went predisposing since its birth. The fortified settlement of Castelnuovo is still partially legible today, despite the tampering over time. The medieval urban layout is clearly identified.

The main road, within the built-up area, constitutes the continuation of the communication route on which the new settlement was established, also represents the longitudinal axis of the center, bordered at the ends by two mighty tower-doors, unique accesses to the castle from the outside. Along the main road system, the Church of S. Pietro, the seat of the local magistrature (Domus communis) and the residence of Malatesta Malatesta, lord of Pesaro, of which there is documentation already in 1389, are located in the fourteenth century.

The importance of the castle, which had already been fortified in the XIV century, is to be found not only in its position as a border and a Rimini stronghold, but also and above all in the production of its countryside which, due to the recent cultivation, was recognized very fertile and indispensable to the economy of Rimini still in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The actual great agricultural resources of these lands, of which the same toponyms seem to confirm the wealth, determined a real race for the hoarding of funds that in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries had become almost exclusive monopoly of foreign capitals, above all Urbino, Pesaro, as well as Rimini, attracted precisely by the strong agricultural yields of the area. Even today, inside the castle, numerous and capable hypogea can be traced, whose presence is documented since the fifteenth century, scattered along the main roads, sheltered from the walls and prepared specifically for the preservation of cereals, which attest the role of imposing frumentary mass of the castle itself. It was very probably this characteristic that suggested the name of "granary of the Malatesta" referring to San Giovanni in Marignano. Moreover, even all the descriptions of the men of letters and of the travelers agree in recognizing San Giovanni in Marignano the supremacy in the granary production of the Rimini area. "Far from the sea about two miles", writes Raffaele Adimari in 1616, "there is the noble and strong castle of San Giovanni in Marignano, surrounded by the river Ventena, which is very abundant of grains, fodder and wines, for the good territory that surrounds it ". A century later Giovanni Antonio Battarra will highlight the same characteristics by dwelling on the markets: "San Giovanni in Marignano [is] a well-built and rich land located on the plain [...]. Its territory of wheat, fodder and vegetables is very fertile. Here, on the Sundays of October, large livestock markets are made ".

[texts and images taken from the site comune.san-giovanni-in-marignano.rn.it ]

MONTEFIORE

Montefiore

From far away, from the beaches, from the hills and from the plains where Romagna and Marche meet, a gigantic fortress with a squared and imposing profile that stands out against the sky can be glimpsed on a high hill. It is the Fortress of Montefiore, at whose foot one of the most important and beautiful towns of the ancient Lordship of the Malatesta lies: a village that guards the Valconca, right on the border towards the Duchy of Urbino.

Within its walls, in the churches and alleys, precious works of art meet, as well as small signs of remote everyday life, living testimonies of ancient craftsmen. From the top of the walls, from the little squares and the windows of the houses looking on one side you realize that the sea is just steps away, on the other you see a countryside dotted with olive trees, covered with chestnut trees, oaks and small woods that invite walk on old roads and paths.

All these things, combined with the quiet atmosphere that is breathed, the liveliness of its parties and shows, the quality of its premises, where you can eat and drink, make Montefiore a place that is not forgotten.

Walking through the streets of Montefiore nobody can miss the signs of a highly respected past, if only for the powerful fortress and for the obvious medieval structure of the town. The happy position of its lands, ranging from the 480 meters of Monte Auro, to the fertile terraces on the river Conca, has pushed different populations to settle in these places since ancient times.

Prehistoric finds, archaic tombs dating back to the Iron Age, remains of extensive Roman settlements tell the presence of man well before the Middle Ages, an era that still sees the greatest splendor of the country. Since the early Middle Ages the history of Montefiore is intertwined with that of the city of Rimini; in the 1302 the castle tries to escape this jurisdiction, but the threat of a siege rejects the rebellion.

With the rise to power of the Malatesta family, Montefiore is experiencing a moment of great development and assumes the role of the main center of the valley. The house chose it to build one of the largest and most impregnable fortresses, to which it was recognized both the role of rich residence of representation, and the strategic-military bulwark on the borders of the Duchy of Urbino.

Significant works of art found in the various monuments of the country, works that testify a very rich and varied civil and religious life. Particular attention deserve the already mentioned frescoes by Jacopo Avanzi kept in the Rocca. Unfortunately, some of them are in rooms that are not accessible, but their historical and pictorial value is considered to be very high.

Of interesting workmanship and subject are the fragments of the fifteenth-century frescoes in the Church of the Hospital that portray blessed and resurgent destined to their otherworldly fate. In the Church of San Paolo you can see a crucifix of the Rimini school of 300 and a beautiful painting, the altarpiece of the Madonna della Misericordia of the early 500, today attributed to Luzio Dolci.

About one kilometer from the village is the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Bonora. It is one of the most famous Marian places of worship of the Rimini area, a destination for pilgrimages and visits by the inhabitants of all the nearby valleys. The popular devotion attributes many thanks to the image of the Madonna with child who is venerated in the church; the numerous ex-votos presented in the rectory testify to this. The origin of the Sanctuary dates back to the beginning of the '400 by a hermit named Ondidei Bonora.

The Teatro Comunale Malatesta is a small jewel that recent restorations have brought back to its former glory. Nineteenth-century workmanship has a "U" plan with two orders of tunnels and an auditorium for a total of 160 seats. The modern renovation allows today the preparation of qualified shows, the performance of theater workshops and the planning of numerous exhibitions held throughout the year.

[texts and images taken from the site comune.montefiore-conca.rn.it ]

MONTESCUDO

Montescudo

The oldest name of Montescudo is Rio Alto, perhaps because the Conca and the Marano flow at its feet; later he became Mons Scutulus, Montescudolo, Montescutello and finally Montescudo.

The origins are not well known; one thinks of the Celts, the Etruscans. In a place, on the outskirts of the village, called Mount Godio, a statue was found in clay, about 1 meter high, which probably had to represent an Etruscan divinity.

In the year 1874, excavating near the Church of S. Biagio and S. Simeone, the remains of giant skeletons (Celts?) And part of Roman columns and tombs were found.

Montescudo, at the time of the Emperor Augustus, also served as a military station used to change horses for the couriers who from Rimini (Ariminum) went to Rome. It was probably the first exchange of a shortcut for the Via del Furlo.

After the barbarian invasions, fearful those of the Ungari, Montescudo was over the centuries the subject of contention between the Malatesta and the Montefeltro to preserve what was considered a strategic point in the struggle between the two families.

Afterwards Montescudo will pass under the dominion of Venice, the Papacy and Napoleon Bonaparte. It was under the rule of Napoleon that Montescudo reached the peak of its prosperity, because in addition to the Offices of the District it had that of the Censo, of the Land Registry, of Leva and Postal; still today the gonfalone of the Comune brings the colors of the French flag and a plaque, at the entrance of the municipal theater, recalls this period.

The old town preserves a massive city wall, the civic tower dating back to 1300, an extraordinary and unique ice-house, the walkways, the secret passageways from the sea-side watchtower to the fortress, the well, the steep staircase and the large and intact brazier.

During the restoration works in the eastern part of the walls, the central bastion, the 31 / 05 / 1954 were found 22 medals representing Sigismund and the Malatesta Temple contained in a terracotta vase.

There are no shortage of naturalistic cultural itineraries: the Castle of Albereto, still well preserved in its original structure, the Romanesque church of Trarivi, today the Church of Peace, with its Museum of Oriental Gothic Line, the Church of Valliano with frescoes of '400 belonging to painters of the Ghirlandaio school.

Renowned and famous are the terracotta of the Frazione di S. Maria del Piano, where even today the ceramics are handcrafted.

The economy of the country is essentially based on agriculture and in the Ethnographic Museum of Valliano di Montescudo collected agricultural tools, objects and everything that it did and is still part of the culture of the territory.

Montescudo, surrounded by greenery and in a hilly position (386 mtslm) in the Valle del Conca, with excellent views of the Romagna coast, from which it is only 16 km. , can be reached from Rimini along the provincial road n. 41 and from Cattolica and Riccione passing through Morciano di Romagna.

Of course there is no shortage, both in the capital and its surroundings, restaurants and trattorias appreciated for their traditional and refined cuisine, good accommodation facilities, sports and recreational facilities that offer a pleasant and relaxing holiday, surrounded by greenery, a stone's throw from the sea .

[texts and images taken from the site comune.montescudo.rn.it ]