Villages and Castles
The province of Pesaro and Urbino situated between Romagna, Tuscany and Umbria, is the ideal base where to visit old villages, abbeys, medieval fortifications, museums, fortresses, castles and historical villas.
Pesaro and Urbino hinterland is rich in historical centres and architectonic beauties. Just to mention some of them: Urbino, Unesco world heritage site and its sumptuous ducal palace; the medieval citadel of Gradara, with its fascinating castle evoking the love between Paolo and Francesca, immortalised by Dante in his Divine Comedy; Fano, roman town reached by the Flaminia consular road; Pesaro and its roman treasures, Renaissance architecture to the more recent elements of Liberty style.
Without forgetting the examples of military fortifications (defensive works) planned by the Renaissance architect Francesco di Giorgio Martini: the Castle of Mondavio is one of the masterpiece of Italian military construction which also houses an history museum and original weapons realized between the VIII and the XVII century; the Ubaldini fortress in Sassocorvaro, with its elegance and majesty houses a typical small 18th century theatre; Cagli old town of romn origin with its important tower, today Centre for contemporary sculpture.
Old villages, dominated by the fight of Malatesta and Montefeltro families, complete the tourist offer of The province of Pesaro and Urbino Art, culture and beautiful nature are an invitation experience the hospitality of the “beautiful province”, the land of Rossini and Raffaello
The origins of the village are very ancient and equally obscure: tradition saw it rise from Crustumium which was destroyed by the sea 3000 years ago.
In 1136 Pope Innocent II declares that the church of San Paolo is under Apostolic protection. In 1320 Pope John XXII ceded Montefiore to the Malatesta family. In 1371 the areas of the Marche and Romagna were surveyed, this allowed to know that the population of Montefiore ascended to 160 hearths. In 1372 the control of the lordship passed to Galeotto who then gave it to his son Galeotto Belfiore (nicknamed with this adjective for being born in the fortress of Montefiore). After the death of Galeotto Belfiore (at 23 years of age due to an epidemic) Carlo said il Catone who supported the Church during the Western schism. Carlo also died in 1429, followed by his nephew Roberto, known as the blessed. After Roberto's death (at 21) his brother Sigismondo Malatesta took over and gave culture, art and prosperity to his territory. But he too made mistakes: the most fatal was the enmity with the Pope which led him to excommunication and the removal of his territories. Among these there was also Montefiore.
From 1500 to 1503 it was under the rule of Cesare Borgia. From 1504 to 1505 it was under the dominion of the Republic of Venice. From 1506 to 1514 it was under the dominion of the Holy See. In 1797 it became part of the Cisalpine Republic. In 1815 it was incorporated into Napoleon's Italian Kingdom. After the Congress of Vienna he was re-entrusted to the Church. After the Second War of Independence it became part of the Kingdom of Italy.
In 1863 the name was changed to Montefiorito and only in 1917 it was renamed to Montefiore on the proposal of Don Paolo Palmerini. Tradition traces this toponym back to an ancient Jewish family in the area.
E GOLA DI GORGO A CERBARA
COMPLESSO MONTUOSO DEL MONTE NERONE
How to reach Urbania:
From the Coast: Autostrada A14, Fano Exit • Superstrada direction Urbino • Fermignano • Urbania (S.P. 4)
From Inland: S.S. 73 bis (from Bocca Trabaria o from Urbino) S.P. 4 Metaurense (from Fermignano)
Start: Start from piazza S. Cristoforo in the centre of Urbania. This lively piazza provides all the logistical support required.
Urbania is also a very popular town for cyclists. There is a cycle shop nearby.
km. 0 Zero the milometer in front of “teatro Bramante” [⬆️ 280]. Cycle towards the public park continuing along the S.S. 73 bis.
km. 0,4 At the roundabout, follow the signs for Sant'Angelo in Vado.
km. 0,9 At the crossroads, turn left for Piobbico. 100 m. further on, continue straight-on towards Piobbico.
km. 4,9 The road starts to climb. After 2.3 km, the road goes through the pass [⬆️540], and then downhill towards Piobbico.
km. 14 Piobbico [⬆️334], turn right at the bridge towards Apecchio.
km. 14,5 After the tree-lined road, go straight-on at the stop sign.
km. 20,5 Turn left towards Monte Nerone. After 300 m., turn left at the junction towards Monte Nerone, Serravalle.
The road starts to climb [⬆️436].
km. 22,3 Colombara [⬆️519].
km. 27,8 The road goes through the pass [⬆️772]. Continue towards Cagli, Serravalle di Carda.
km. 28,2 Continue through Serravalle di Carda and then downhill towards Cagli.
km. 31,6 Continue on towards Cagli.
km. 36,5 Pianello [⬆️380], is at the bottom of the hill; turn right towards Cagli. After 500 m., turn left at the junction towards Cagli.
km. 43,4 Secchiano [⬆️318].
km. 44,2 At the junction, turn left towards Piobbico, Rocca Leonella. The road climbs for about 4 km [pass ⬆️570].
Warning: the road is narrow in places and very uneven!
km. 54,6 The road goes downhill for about 2 km. Warning: steep hill!
km. 56,8 Turn right at the stop sign [⬆️340] (S.p. 257). The road passes through the Gola di Gorgo (gorge), at Cerbara, formed by the faces
of Monte Nerone and Monte Montiego. Continue for a few km along a slow descent to Bellaria at km 66.9 [⬆️227].
km. 67,4 Turn right towards Urbania. The road climbs for about 2.5 km [pass ⬆️338].
km. 76,6 At the stop sign, turn left towards Urbania (S.p. 4).
km. 79,2 In Urbania, leave the S.p. 4 after the traffic lights by turning right along corso Garibaldi which leads into piazza San Cristoforo.
km. 79,5 Arrival in Piazza San Cristoforo of Urbania.
Urbania ⬆️280 ➡️55
Located in the Upper Metaurus Valley alongside the river which flows past the ancient city walls, Urbania, which once bore the name of Casteldurante, lies in a hilly - mountainous region at the foot of Monte Montiego. The town has numerous historic and artistic monuments, including the prestigious Palazzo Ducale, which houses the town library, the historic archives, the Civic Museum and the Museum of Country life. Worth visiting are the “Chiesa dei Morti” and its mummy cemetery, the renaissance complex of the Barco, hunting lodge of the dukes of Urbino, and the nineteenth century “D. Bramante” theatre.
Famous throughout the world are the ancient ceramics of Casteldurante decorated with historical scenes, which are still being produced today thanks to the efforts of local craftsmen. The area is very popular with cyclists with a number of cycling associations and specialist cycleshops.
Information: Tourist Office, tel. 0722 313140.
Piobbico ⬆️334 ➡️71
The town of Piobbico stands between Monte Nerone and Monte Montiego at the confluence of the rivers Biscubio and Candigliano
which flow together through the centre of the town. Surrounded by green woods, the town is a much appreciated central Apennine health resort offering sporting activities in direct contact with nature. Of great historic and artistic interest is Castello Brancaleoni which still today dominates the underlying medieval quarter. The interior of the castle is rich in late renaissance frescoes and stucco work. Worthy of a visit are the Church of Santo Stefano, the Santuario di Santa Maria in Val d'Abisso and the beautiful historic centre.
Information: Town Hall, tel. 0722 986225.
Monte Montiego and Gola di Gorgo a Cerbara
Monte Montiego (⬆️ 975), also known as Mondiego, is bounded by the valleys of the Metaurus and Candigliano rivers. The latter river has, on its south-east side, created a gorge called the “Gola di Gorgo a Cerbara”, a site of important scenic and palaeontologic interest. The rest of the mountain is characterised by extensive wooded areas, conifer plantations and pastures near the summit. The Marche Regional Environmental and Countryside Plan (Piano Paesistico Ambientale Regionale delle Marche) of 1990 designates the Gorge as a nature reserve, which also includes the nearby Fosso dell'Eremo. Of anthropical interest are the rural agglomerates of Montiego, Castello dei Pecorari and the Chiesa dell' Orsaiola.
Monte Nerone mountain range
Monte Nerone (⬆️ 1575) has its own unique geomorphologic characteristics. The heavy calcareous stratification and its fossils, in fact, recount the long history of the Apennine Mountain. All the more typical ecosystems of the peninsula are represented on its slopes and the spectacular landscape is one to admire. Wolves still live in its woods, trout swim in its streams and the golden eagle still nests on its rocky summit.
Information: Centro Educazione Ambientale (Environmental Education Centre), tel. 0722 985455.
How to reach Orciano di Pesaro:
From the Coast: Autostrada A14, Fano Exit • Superstrada direction Roma, Calcinelli Exit • direction Orciano di Pesaro (S.P. 49)
From Inland: Superstrada Grossetto-Fano, Calcinelli Exit • follow road signs for Oricano di Pesaro (S.P. 49)
Start: The tour starts in pleasant piazza Garibaldi of Orciano di Pesaro located in the town centre. This piazza is a good reference point for cyclists with parking, bars and shops.
km. 0 Zero the milometer when leaving the piazza [W264 m]. From the piazza, take the road with no signposts that goes downhill next to the tourist office (Pro loco), and after 30 m turn left into via della Repubblica.
km. 0,3 At the stop sign, continue straight on.
km. 0,9 At the crossroads, turn left for Mondavio.
km. 2,1 At Mondavio, turn right for San Lorenzo in Campo. Branch off to the left to visit the centre of Mondavio.
Continue downhill along the S.p. 93.
km. 5,6 At the stop sign [⬆️120], turn right towards San Lorenzo in Campo (S.p. 424 “Val Cesano”).
km. 6,3 Leave the main road and turn right towards San Andrea di Suasa.
km. 8,4 At the stop sign, turn left towards San Lorenzo in Campo.
km. 9 At the stop sign, turn left towards San Lorenzo in Campo.
km. 10,4 At the stop sign, turn right towards Pergola. Continue once again along the main road (S.p. 424).
km. 12 San Lorenzo in Campo [⬆️168].
km. 13 after San Lorenzo in Campo, turn left towards Sassoferrato (S.p. 59).
km. 19,1 Madonna del Piano.
km. 22,6 Turn right towards Pergola [⬆️252]. The road starts to climb steeply.
km. 25,2 Top of the hill [⬆️420]. Continue straight-on towards Pergola. Downhill, take care on the bends!
km. 28,9 At the bottom of the hill [⬆️251], turn left at the stop sign towards Cagli.
km. 29,7 At the traffic lights, turn right towards the centre (“Centro”) along the full length of the “Corso” (main street) di Pergola.
km. 30,2 The road goes downhill towards the hospital. After the bridge (100 m), turn right.
km. 30,9 At the stop sign, continue straight-on towards Fossombrone. The road starts to climb (S.p. 40).
km. 37,5 Top of the hill [⬆️541]. Warning, take care on the steep downhill and bends!
km. 42,4 Cartoceto di Pergola [⬆️245]. Continue down towards Fossombrone.
km. 48,5 At the crossroads, turn right towards Isola di Fano [⬆️146]. The road is now level.
km. 49,2 At the crossroads, turn left for Fratterosa. The road starts to climb steeply (12%).
km. 51,2 Top of the hill [⬆️292]. After 200 m, at the crossroads, turn left towards Orciano di Pesaro (S.p. 41).
km. 53,3 At the stop sign, turn right towards Orciano di Pesaro. The road climbs up to Sorbolongo. And then on to Barchi.
km. 54,8 Sorbolongo [⬆️330]. The hamlet is on the left. Continue straight-on.
km. 57,8 Barchi centre. Continue straight-on.
km. 60,5 Orciano di Pesaro.
km. 61,4 Continue straight-on towards San Giorgio di Pesaro. Proceed for the old centre of Orciano di Pesaro.
km. 62,3 Arrival in Piazza Garibaldi of Orciano di Pesaro.
Mondavio ⬆️280 ➡️40
The town overlooks the Cesano valley and dominates the landscape with its towers, bell-towers, defensive walls and imposing castle “Rocca Roveresca”. The castle, designed and built by the military architect Francesco di Giorgio Martini between 1482 and 1492, is a perfect example of military architecture and represents the most important monument in Mondavio. The castle houses the Museum of Historical Re-enactments and the Armoury. Around the castle, in what was once the moat, there is now a permanent exhibition of “war machines” used during the XV and XVI centuries. The exhibition, the only one of its kind, includes 12 reconstructions of catapults, bombards and other siege weapons built from the original plans of Francesco di Giorgio Martini.
Information: Tourist Office, tel. 0721 977331.
Pergola ⬆️297 ➡️63
The town lies in the upper Cesano river valley on a wide terrace at its confluence with the Cinisco. Pergola is rich in medieval architecture, with its stone buildings, tower-houses, lancet arch portals and basreliefs all confirming the town's importance over the centuries. Here there are numerous examples of religious architecture, with many restored churches that have been returned to their ancient splendour following the damage caused by the 1997 earthquake. The cathedral and the church of San Francesco are well worth a visit. Of particular interest are the public buildings of Palazzo Comunale, the ancient Palazzo Ducale, Palazzo Malatesta and the eighteenth century “Angelo Dal Foco” theatre. The museum of the famous “Gilded Bronzes” is not to be missed. The “Bronzi Dorati” are, in fact, a monumental group of gilded bronzes dated from Roman times found near Cartoceto di Pergola in 1946.
Information: Tourist Office, tel. 0721 736469; Museo dei Bronzi Dorati (Museum of Gilded Bronzes), tel. 0721 734090.
San Lorenzo in Campo ⬆️168 ➡️50
San Lorenzo in Campo is located in the mid-Cesano valley. The town grew around the famous abbey of the same name (a prime example of the Romanesque style) founded by the Benedictine monks in the late medieval and built using the abundance of material from the destroyed Roman “municipium” (town hall) of Suasa. At the entrance to the ancient castle, reached through an arched passageway, stands the sixteenth century Palazzo Della Rovere which today houses three museographic collections: archaeology, African-ethnography and natural history. Also worth visiting is the nineteenth century “M. Tiberini” theatre with its elegant hall and boxes decorated entirely with neoclassic and liberty style painted motifs. The characteristic castles of Montalfoglio (⬆️ 393) and San Vito sul Cesano (⬆️ 353) also form a part of the commune of San Lorenzo, both still completely surrounded by robust scarped defensive walls.
Information: TouristOffice, tel. 0721 776479.
For the number of events related to Rossini's culture, Pesaro obtained in 2017 the prestigious recognition of UNESCO's Creative City for Music, a title for which it had applied in 2015 with the official support of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage.
On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Rossini's death, in 2018, a piped music system was installed to transmit Rossini's symphonies through the streets of the historic center.
The origins of the city date back to the Iron Age, when Pesaro was a Piceno village, as evidenced by the excavations carried out in the city center in 1977. The name of the city, in Latin Pisaurum, according to some derives from the old name of the river Foglia (Isaurus or Pisaurus).
Tradition has it that the name of the city derives from the fact that, in Roman times, in the city, Furio Camillo, after defeating the Gauls, weighed the gold (aurum in Latin) that the barbarians were stealing from Rome.
In the surrounding area, on the other hand, there was one of the most important and ancient Picene settlements of the Marche: the village of Novilara. This settlement was among the few, along with Numana and Ancona, which overlooked the sea. The port of Novilara used the mouth of a stream.
Among the best known and most discussed finds found in the Pesaro area, there is the stele of Novilara, generally believed to be Picene and written in the Northern Picene language. It was recently interpreted and translated as an archaic Greek inscription , engraved in an alphabet that with some variations had been adopted by all the peoples of Italy (Piceni, Sanniti, Etruschi, etc.) between the sixth and second century BC. From the reinterpretation of the stele it can be deduced that the Greeks (known colonizers in the Mediterranean) also infiltrated these areas (probably in the VI-V century BC), interfering with the previous populations, Picene and probably also Umbrian and Etruscan.
Traces of ancient languages have been preserved in the dialect, especially in the hinterland and are mainly of Greek origin. We can assume a certain hegemony of the Greek over the others, or that the Greek terms spread later, at the time of the Byzantine domination. In any case, we can see the apparent Greek origin of the name Pisaurum, which could mean "behind the mountains", from the location of the city between two hills.
In the 4th century BC, during the Celtic invasion of the Italian peninsula, the Senoni Gauls occupied the northern territories of the Piceni, and therefore also the area of Pesaro, overlapping the previous ethnic groups.
In 184 BC the Romans founded the colony of Pisaurum, (in Latin Pisaurum, whose etymology is the same as the river Foglia, Pisaurus or more likely Isaurus which, following Francisco Villar, takes the form of many other pre-Indo-European hydronyms of Europe); at that time the northern part of the Marche was called by the Romans ager Gallicus and then ager gallicus picenus.
This date of foundation of a center with the current name does not agree with the fact that Strabo in his Geography, published around 18 AD, does not mention Pesaro, while he names Fano and from this passes directly to Rimini. If it is not an oversight of the Greek historian, the foundation of a center of a certain importance and with the name Pisaurum should have a more recent age.
It was subsequently colonized again during the second triumvirate by Ottaviano and Marco Antonio, becoming, during the Empire, a castrum and economic center located on the Via Flaminia.
Destroyed by Vitige in 539 AD, it was rebuilt by Belisario and occupied by the Goths from 545 to 553. After the fall of Rome, Pesaro, with Rimini, Fano, Senigallia and Ancona, became one of the cities of Pentapoli, closely dependent on the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna.
In 752 it was taken by the Lombards who kept it until Pipino the Short, king of the Franks, donated it in 774 to the State of the Church, starting the centuries-old papal dominion over the city. However, this dominion was only nominal, since the city was ruled since the Carolingian age by a representative of the Empire.
In the first half of the twelfth century the flourishing municipality followed the fortunes of the imperial part during the Italian enterprises of Federico Barbarossa. The podestarile government was then introduced in 1182, but already at the end of the century it was subject, as included in the Ancona brand, to the power of Marquardo di Annweiler, imperial vicar who, despite the very hard defeat inflicted on the army of Innocenzo III on March 25 1198, he had to renounce his aims in the face of the military action of the Catholic Church, aimed at the recovery of the stolen territories. In the thirteenth century, once the municipality was restored, it passed under the will of the pope Innocent III under the rule of the Estensi, from 1210 to 1216.
For a long time Ghibelline, during the reign of Frederick II of Swabia, rebelled against the Empire and joined the league of the Guelph cities of the Marca that were at war in 1259 with King Enzo. In the same year, Pesaro was forced to obey by Manfredi di Sicilia, but upon his death in 1266, he returned to the Church.
In the Renaissance the Adriatic city saw a succession of lordships: the Malatesta (1285-1445), the Sforza (1445-1512) whose dominion was interrupted by Cesare Borgia from 1500 to 1503 and later handed over by Pope Julius II to the Della Rovere family ( 1513-1631) with whom he was related.
From a cultural point of view, the end of the 14th century is signaled, with the transfer to Pesaro of the Ceramist from Forlì Pedrinus Johannes by bocalibus, that is Pierino Giovanni dalle boccali (1396), which marks the beginning of a thriving ceramic market. However, the period of greatest cultural fervor was during the domination of the Della Rovere family, who had chosen Pesaro as the headquarters of their duchy. In the first years of their rule, the construction of new public and private buildings began in the city and the construction of a new and safer city wall began, which was also useful to defend against sudden attacks from the sea.
Upon the death of Francesco Maria II Della Rovere in 1631, the Duchy returned under papal domination which made Pesaro a cardinal seat.
At that time the city was much smaller and the coast was more backward, arriving at the current "Primo Maggio square".
In 1799, during the Napoleonic occupation, farmers and Sanfedists stormed the city and the fortress, tearing it for a few months from the garrison.
On 11 September 1860 it was occupied by General Enrico Cialdini and was annexed to the Italian State following the plebiscite of November 1860.
It was then an important Roman center, known as Fanum Fortunae, a name that refers to the "Temple of Fortune", probably erected as a testimony to the battle of the Metauro: it was the year 207 BC. and the Roman legions routed the army of the Carthaginian general Asdrubale, killing the leader who, after crossing the Alps with war elephants, intended to reunite with his brother Annibale.
The city developed considerably during Roman rule thanks to its strategic position on the road that connected the Tiber valley to Cisalpine Gaul. In 49 BC Gaius Julius Caesar conquered it together with Pesaro, thus starting the Civil War against the antagonist Pompeo.
Only later did Cesare Ottaviano Augusto endow the settlement with walls (still partially visible), raising the settlement to the status of Roman colony with the name of Colonia Julia Fanestris.
A few centuries later, in 271 AD, the Battle of Fano took place near it, which marked the end of the attempt by the Alemanni to reach Rome, defeated by the emperor Aurelian.
During Attila's invasion of Italy (452-453), Fano sent, together with the other neighboring cities of Rimini and Ancona, military aid to the city of Aquileia which in 452 was under siege. The Fano commander Bartolagi da Fano died during the siege and his remains were then moved to the church of S. Pietro in Episcopio in Fano. The city of Fano was sacked by Attila in 453 AD. before heading to Rome where, according to tradition, its advance was stopped by Pope Leo I.
During the sixth century Gothic War, due to its position in the connections between northern and southern Italy, it was besieged and devastated by the Ostrogoths of Vitige (538) and shortly afterwards rebuilt by the Byzantine army of Belisarius and Narsete.
Subsequently it became part of the maritime Pentapoli (Rimini, Pesaro, Fano, Senigallia, Ancona) of which it was head. Subsequently it was occupied by the Lombards and the Franks, until Otto III donated it to Pope Silvestro II.
In 1141 the city became protectorate of the Republic of Venice following the signing of a treaty.
In the thirteenth century Fano was established as a municipality; in the following century it was for a short period under the Este domain, after which it was torn apart by the internal struggle between two families: the del Cassero and the da Carignano.
At the end of the thirteenth century the city passed under the Malatesta rule of Rimini, thanks to a plot hatched by the latter against the two rival families. The Malatesta family remained in power in the city until 1463, when Sigismondo Malatesta had to leave Fano to the Duke of Urbino Federico da Montefeltro after a long siege, during which the Arch of Augustus, symbol of the city, was damaged. The population refused to join the Duchy of Urbino and therefore became an ecclesiastical vicariate.
During the Napoleonic occupation of the Papal States it was sacked and severely bombed by Bonaparte's army.
He actively participated in the Risorgimento uprisings with the creation of provisional governments.
During the First World War (1915-1918) it underwent numerous Austrian naval bombings and also in the Second World War (1940-1945) being on the Gothic Line it underwent numerous allied air raids aimed at the destruction of its railway and road bridges and, by the retreating German army, the destruction of almost all its bell towers (except those of S. Francesco di Paola and San Marco), the civic tower, the male of the Malatesta fortress and its fishing port, considered by the enemy to be sensitive infrastructures not to be left in the hands of allies.
«On the Apennines, the largest battle in Italy was fought south of San Marino; the names of Fano, Pesaro, Cattolica, Riccione and Rimini will remain in the history of the war »
(Oberst i.G. Dietrich Beelitz und Oberst i. G. Adolf Heckel, Deutsches Hauptquartier Bellaria, summer 1945.)
The origins of Urbino are very ancient, the Roman name Urvinum would derive from the Latin term urvus (urvum is the curved handle of the plow), but it is in the fifteenth century that the city lives its maximum splendor.
And it is mainly thanks to the contribution of Federico di Montefeltrohttp: //it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federico_da_Montefeltro that Urbino acquired that monumental and artistic excellence, whose influence has largely spread to the rest of Europe.
This great patron in fact knew not only to transform Urbino into a magnificent princes court, but also to attract in the duchy the best that the Italian Renaissance humanistic culture could offer: Piero della Francesca, Luciano Laurana, Leon Battista Alberti, Francesco di Giorgio Martini, Girolamo Genga and Raphael's father, Giovanni Santi.
Walking along the steep and narrow streets you will find all the buildings of the Renaissance Urbino: the former Monastery of Santa Chiara, the Church of San Domenico, the Mausoleum of the Dukes in the Church of San Bernardino, Palazzo Boghi and the majestic Palazzo Ducale, keeper of the Urbino treasure.
Some of the most important workers of the time were involved in the construction of the building, now home to the Marche National Gallery. And a visit to the Gallery is a must if you want to admire some absolute masterpieces of art history preserved here: "Flagellation of Christ" and "Madonna of Senigallia" by Piero della Francesca, "Communion of the Apostles" by Giusto di Gand; "Miracle of the Ostia Profanata" by Paolo Uccello and the sublime "Muta" by Raphael. Nearby, do not miss the Data (the ducal stables), connected to the Palace by the magnificent helical ramp.
Artistically beautiful, but also beautiful from the landscape point of view: being between two hills, Urbino offers a panorama made up of roofs and churches that are very suggestive.
Both Bramante and Raffaello took their first steps right here in Urbino. Raphael in particular was trained in his father's workshop and made his debut with works commissioned from the nearby towns of the duchy.
In Urbino, the Kite Festival takes place every year, generally held in September. It is a real race in which the winner is the one who manages to fly their kite higher.
Urbino plays Jazz is a festival organized in August by the Urbino Jazz Club association and promoted by the Municipality of Urbino where young talents and established artists have the aim of spreading the tolerant culture of jazz music in the area.
In small workshops art has been created since the 1500s: goldsmiths, cabinet makers, potters, many craftsmen linked to the building industry (plasterers, painters, carpenters, stonemasons); in the shops of the historical center it is possible to look closely at ancient techniques and new creations.
The court of Federico da Montefeltro, as described by Baldassarre Castiglione in Il Cortegiano, introduced the characteristics of the so-called "gentleman" in Europe, which remained fully in vogue until the twentieth century.
Home to one of the oldest universities, Carlo Bo, which was founded in 1506, has more university students than native residents, boasts a famous Academy of Fine Arts, and is also known as the "book capital" because of the Institute for Decoration and illustration of the book born in the second half of the twentieth century.
DEL SASSO SIMONE E SIMONCELLO
How to reach Sassocorvaro:
From the Coast: Autostrada A14, Pesaro Exit • follow road signs for Urbino (S.P. 423) • Ca Gallo • Mercatale
From Inland: S.S. 73 bis to Sant'Angelo in Vado • Piandimeleto • Mercatale
Start: Sassocorvaro: the start point is in Piazza Garibaldi. The piazza is in front of the castle “Rocca Ubaldinesca”, which also provides a good reference point. Here, we are in the old centre, which is well equipped with all the amenities for touring cyclists.
Km. 0 From the piazza, take via S.Francesco [⬆️330] passing alongside the town hall. 50 m from the start, turn right at the stop sign.
The road goes down towards Mercatale [⬆️203].
Km. 1,2 Mercatale. After 600 m., turn left at the roundabout towards Carpegna, Belforte all'Isauro.
Km. 3,4 At the junction, follow the signs for Piandimeleto, Lunano.
Km. 9,1 Continue on towards Lunano, Belforte all'Isauro. Lunano is reached after 100 m.
Km. 10,3 At the fork, (signpost right for Lunano and left for Urbania) go straight on.
Km. 11,3 At the junction, turn right towards Carpegna, Frontino. At the next junction, immediately after the first one, turn right again towards Carpegna, Frontino.
Km. 11,4 At the stop sign, turn right. Continue down towards Carpegna. The road is more or less flat for a few km, after which it starts to climb up to Carpegna.
Km. 17,8 Continue towards Carpegna.
Km. 18,3 The road enters the “Parco del Sasso Simone e Simoncello”.
Km. 22,4 At the junction, turn left towards Carpegna.
Km. 22,5 Carpegna [⬆️709]. At the junction, continue straight-on towards “Passo Cantoniera”. To visit the old centre of Carpegna, turn right.
Km. 24,1 At the junction, follow the signs for Pennabilli. 500 m. further on, follow the signs for Passo della Cantoniera.
Km. 28,2 Passo della Cantoniera is at the top of the hill [ 1007 m]. At the pass, there is a road junction: turn left for Valpiano, Miratoio, Sestino. Sasso Simone is on the left.
Km. 33,5 At the stop sign, turn left towards Sestino, Miratoio.
Km. 38 Road junction with no signposts: turn left. After the junction the road arrives at Miratoio [⬆️835].
Km. 40,5 Val di Ceci di Sopra. Once through the village, the roads starts a long uphill climb, approximately 3 km. Once through the pass [⬆️949] the road goes downhill again. Take maximum care! The road is narrow with dangerous bends and steel slopes.
Km. 48,5 The stop sign signals the bottom of the hill. Turn left for Sestino, Pesaro. The hamlet of Sestino starts after 700 m.
Km. 50,1 Continue towards Pesaro, Monterone. Follow the signs for Pesaro for the next few km.
Km. 54,6 Monterone [⬆️ 428]. Belforte all'Isauro is reached after 2.2 km.
Km. 59,4 Piandimeleto [⬆️319]. 50 m after the traffic lights, follow the signs for San Angelo in Vado. 1.4 km further on, follow the signs for Carpegna, Mercatale.
Km. 61,3 Continue towards Lunano. Lunano is reached after 1.3 km.
Km. 62,9 At the junction, follow the signs for Mercatale, Lunano.
Km. 70,8 Mercatale. Follow the signs for Pesaro. 600 m. further on, follow the signs for Sassocorvaro.
Km. 72,2 At the junction, turn right towards Sassocorvaro. Sassocorvaro is reached after 1.5 km.
Km. 74 The road arrives at Piazza Garibaldi.
Sassocorvaro ⬆️330 ➡️60
From its hilltop position, the town dominates the Foglia Valley and is reflected in the waters of the artificial lake of Mercatale. The town extends along the side of the hill from where it is possible to admire the splendid panorama of Montefeltro. Of notable interest is the XV Century “Rocca Ubaldinesca” designed by Francesco di Giorgio Martini.
The interior of the castle houses a perfectly preserved small theatre and an art gallery. The castle was used during the Second World War as a secret storage place for the more important Italian works of art, hidden there to prevent them from being plundered by the retreating Germans. For a number of years now, this event has been remembered through an initiative called "L'Arca dell'Arte", which honours the modern-day saviours of major works that would otherwise have been lost forever. Worthy of note is the XVIII Century Palazzo Battelli.
Information: Town Hall, tel. 0722 76133; Tourist Office, tel. 0722 76873; Rocca Ubaldinesca, tel. 0722 76177.
Parco Regionale del Sasso Simone e Simoncello
This Natural Park was founded in 1994 by a regional law and covers a total area of 4,847 hectares. The “Communes” that make up the park are: Carpegna, Pennabilli, Frontino, Piandimeleto, Montecopiolo and Pietrarubbia. The park has numerous parking areas from where it is possible to visit the protected areas. The Nature Museum is also open to the public and has an annexed Visitor's Centre for schools and nature lovers. The two “rocks”, Simone (W 1204) and Simoncello (⬆️ 1221) are the main feature of the park with their immense square forms. The park is also home to numerous species of wild animals and birds, such as foxes, hares, roe and fallow deer, wild boar, peregrine falcons and the Apennine wolf.
Information: Park Authority, tel. 0722 770073; Park Visitor's Centre, tel. 0722 75350.
Carpegna W751 R65
Carpegna is a well-known mountain locality on the slopes of the mountain of the same name. The numerous footpaths make the area the ideal place for walkers, mountain bikers and horse riders. At the entre of the village stands the admirable Princes' Palace, (Palazzo dei Principi) built in 1675 for Cardinal Gaspare di Carpegna. Among the religious buildings, the church of San Sisto with its splendid Romanesque crypt is also worthy of note. Carpegna is also a wellknown summer and winter tourist resort.
Information: Comunità Montana del Montefeltro, tel. 0722 770073.
Belforte all'Isauro ⬆️344 ➡️60
This fortified hamlet is located in the upper Foglia valley on the border with Tuscany and stands on a rocky outcrop between the banks of the Isauro and Fossato rivers. At the entrance to the hamlet stands the parish church of S.Lorenzo which houses a painting by the Barrocci school and a crucifix which is said to be miraculous. The ancient threestorey castle is also rather interesting.
Information: Town Hall, tel. 0722 721101.
The village, originally called Fiorenzuola, took on the specification of Focara in 1889, probably due to the presence in antiquity of fires that signaled the position to mariners, or for the presence of "fornacelle" where bricks and terracotta were cooked (from Romagna dialect fuchèr or fugher, ie focare to cook bricks).
Few are the remains of its history: some portal of the '600 -700, some knockers at the gates. Interesting, in addition to the remains of the walls, the door on which a plaque recalls the verses of Dante (Inferno XXVIII) relating to a fact that occurred on the sea in front. Furthermore, the Church of Sant'Andrea remains documented since the XII century.
The town, a Malatesta stronghold, is at the center of a crown of defensive castles, the last bastion of Rimini against the nearby Urbino dei Montefeltro. The structure of the center still reveals its medieval structure, with the maze of the alleys enclosed by the city walls and the monumental access gates: marine gate and mountain gate, for defense towards the sea and inland. The thirteenth and fourteenth centuries saw an alternation of power, on these lands, between the papal state and the lordship of the Malatesta family of Rimini. Then, following the attempt to revolt the Ondedei di Saludecio (1336) against Ferrantino, Malatestino and Guido Malatesti (failed due to a betrayal) in Saludecio the total dependence on the Malatesti is imposed.
The fifteenth century, despite having opened in the name of humanae litterae and serenity, with the peaceful stay in Montefiore of Pope Gregory XII, then saw the growth and development of the project of the Montefeltro of Urbino over the lands of Romagna. The already fragile balance collapsed in 1462 when, following national political issues, Federico da Montefeltro occupied Saludecio by taking him away from Sigismondo Malatesta, and returned him to the state of the Church.
In 1504, after passing through the hands of Duke Cesare Borgia, son of Pope Alexander VI, Saludecio was subjected to the government of Venice, but for a short time, since as early as 1508 the Venetians returned the territory to the State of the Church. The sixteenth century constitutes a sort of settlement of the town which in the following century will instead see a great economic and cultural growth, testified by the work of numerous artists engaged in the area (first of all Guido Cagnacci).
Even during the eighteenth century important construction sites opened, among which the most interesting is certainly the parish church of S. Biagio, which began in 1794 and ended in 1800. A fine example of neoclassical architecture, built by the Cesena architect Giuseppe Achilli, was strongly desired by the Saludecese parish priest despite the particularly difficult period, coinciding with the years of the Napoleonic descent. The nineteenth century therefore opens with splendor and continues with the same tenor, so much so that Saludecio, administrative capital can rightly be considered, for that period, a small capital. The ruling class (agrarian bourgeoisie) decides to embellish their buildings and build new ones, so that even today we can admire the splendid finishes and interior paintings of the fine buildings that overlook the streets of the town.
Today, after overcoming the crisis of the 1960s, which caused a massive exodus to the coast, the municipality has regained its identity by focusing mainly on the recovery of the agricultural and artisan economy as well as on the cultural, environmental and tourist enhancement of the area.
It stands on a promontory close to the small bay of Gabicce Mare, in the last stretch of the Gulf of Rimini, from which it is possible to have a very wide view: the cities of Cesenatico, Rimini with its majestic skyscraper, Porto Verde as well as the sweets hills of the Marche hinterland.
Thanks to this naturalistic heritage, Gabicce Monte is the only place to combine sea, hill and natural park, with the result of a surprisingly varied landscape and a unique atmosphere.
The town is suggestive, on the roads of the small village you can meet sports enthusiasts of cycling, and trekking who want to experience the excitement in the Monte San Bartolo Park.
Gabicce Monte is a town on a human scale, where you can easily move on foot, taking relaxing walks, away from traffic and chaos.
For this reason it is a popular destination for families with children, as well as couples looking for romantic views.
From Gabicce Monte you can walk for example the "Sentiero del Coppo" completely immersed in nature, through which you get directly to the marine area and halfway along the way you meet an ancient source, "the Fonte del Coppo", from which flows a water with excellent beneficial and healing properties.
The location has a historical as well as geographical importance. The origin dates back to a community that in 909 lived around the Church of S. Ermete, which is still located today at the entrance of the town.
Inside the Church of Sant’Ermete, some reliquaries and valuable candlesticks are preserved, testifying to the richness of the furnishings that decorated it before the numerous sacks suffered in different eras. Among the most important works we find inside the place of worship the painting of the "Madonna del latte", which comes from the fifteenth century Marche school and a wooden crucifix that dates back to the fourteenth century and belongs to the Rimini school.
At the time, the top of the hill was probably already fortified: a document of 998 that names it with the Latin phrase "Castellum Ligabitii" from the name of the feudal ligabitio, testifying to this.
The small group of houses that surround Piazza Valbruna is what remains of the ancient village of Gabicce Monte.
Visit the Apollo theater which stands on the northwest walls as you enter Piazza della Rovere. The theater dates from the end of the 18th century, it was built in an old church dedicated to San Filippo Neri. The theater was completely renovated in 1887 according to the tastes of the heyday. Once functional again after its restoration, it hosts a remarkable theatrical season.
Visit of the Insignia Collegiata building dating from the 14th century, renovated in 1563 by Bartolomeo Genga. The dedication of the church to Saints Peter and Paterniano which dates back to 1444 derives from the unification of two parishes distant from each other, while the Collegiata Insignia was erected from 1741, when it was necessary enlarge the church because it had become the largest in the region. Inside are works of exquisite work such as the Guardian Angel of Bottani from the 18th century. Finally a visit to the Church of San Francesco. Tradition has it that the church was built by the will of Saint Francis of Assisi on the occasion of his visit to Mondavio in the 13th century. The current internal structure dates from the reconstruction of the 18th century while the facade has retained the original austerity and simplicity that distinguish the buildings of the Franciscan Order. Inside valuable works and among the most important "the Immaculate Conception" by the painter Giuliano Presutti
MUSEO DEL BALÌ
Start: The tour starts from Fano - Piazzale Amendola - in front of the west beach known as the "Lido”. The piazzale has a car park and public telephone. There are numerous bars and restaurants in the vicinity.
km. 0 The starting point is in the piazzale, at the mosaic “totem” opposite the beach. Cycling away from the sea, follow the road under the railway in the direction “mare-monte”.
km. 0,3 At the traffic lights, turn left and after 50 m turn immediately right towards “cimitero urbano”. At the top of the hill, turn left towards the cemetery (“cimitero”). At the next crossroads turn right towards Carignano.
km. 1,1 At the stop sign, turn right towards Carignano (white sign) [⬆️17].
km. 2 Leaving Fano, continue straight-on along the S.p. 45.
km. 4,5 Continue following the main road (S.p. 45) as far as Santa Maria dell'Arzilla.
km. 11,4 Santa Maria dell'Arzilla. At the junction, go straight-on towards Pesaro.
km. 12,8 [⬆️70] the road starts to climb steeply.
km. 14,2 At the fork [⬆️137] turn left for Sant'Angelo in Lizzola (S.p. 145).
km. 19 At the stop sign, turn left towards S. Angelo in Lizzola (S.p. 30), the road starts to climb.
km. 20,3 Ginestreto. At the next crossroads [⬆️254], turn right towards S.Angelo in Lizzola.
km. 22,3 Sant’Angelo in Lizzola [⬆️310]. At the next crossroads, turn left in the direction of Mombaroccio and immediately left again towards Monteciccardo (S.p. 31). The road climbs to Monteciccardo [⬆️382]. Here, the road starts to go downhill steeply.
km. 24,9 At the stop sign, turn left towards Mombaroccio (S.p. 26).
km. 28,8 Bottom of the hill [⬆️115]. After the bridge, the road climbs steeply to Mombaroccio.
km. 31,7 Mombaroccio. The entrance to the town [⬆️310] is at the top of the hill..
km. 32,4 At the junction, turn right towards Cartoceto (S.p. 26), the road starts to climb.
km. 33,5 Pass of Beato Sante. Continue along the main road. The monastery is on the left.
km. 34,3 At the junction for Fontecorniale, continue straight-on. Here ends the last climb of the tour[⬆️417]. Continue down towards Cartoceto.
km. 38,4 Cartoceto. The hamlet is on the left. Continue down along the main road towards Saltara.
km. 41,6 Saltara [⬆️160], turn left to visit the Museo del Balì. Stay on the main road, along the cobbled streets of the centre and continue down towards Calcinelli.
km. 44,7 Calcinelli is at the bottom of the hill [⬆️66]. At the traffic lights continue straight-on towards Fano. Pass under the dual carriageway and continue straight-on (S,p, 16 bis.)
km. 46,1 Villanova. The road runs level as far as Fano.
km. 46,8 Turn left towards the “campo sportivo” (white sign) S.p. 92 bis.
km. 50,5 At the stop sign, turn left towards Fano.
km. 56,1 At the fork, go left of the crucifix towards Fonte Avellana.
km. 58 At the roundabout, go straight-on towards Fano.
km. 59,5 Fano signpost. Outskirts of the city, S.Orso district.
km. 60,5 At the roundabout, follow the signs for Pesaro (via Papiria). At the next traffic lights, turn right towards Pesaro (via IV novembre).
At the second set of traffic lights, turn left towards Pesaro (via Gramsci). Keep straight along the main road.
km. 63,3 At the traffic lights, turn right towards the sea (“mare”) (via Carducci) and then into P.le Amendola. This is where the tour ends (Km 63,6).
Mombaroccio ⬆️310 ➡️20
Lying on the ridge of a hill, the hamlet of Mombaroccio is surrounded by a robust scarped wall built to protect the ancient castle. Two impressive cylindrical towers overlook the entrance to the hamlet.
Worthy of note is Palazzo Dal Monte, once the home of the XVI Century Dal Monte family and then subsequently the summer residence of the Sforza and Della Rovere families. The church of S.Marco is worth a visit, as are the museums (Museum of country life, Museum of Sacred Art and the Embroidery museum), the caves and the vaults. From the walls, there is a splendid view of the hills of the Lower Metaurus Valley.
Information: Town Hall, tel. 0721 471103.
A compulsory stop for visitors to Mombaroccio is the sanctuary of the Beato Sante (2 km from the centre of the hamlet), a centre of spirituality, art and culture. Of notable interest are the Church and Cloister which date back to 1536-1538. The complex also houses an art gallery. The woods surrounding the convent provide the visitors with shade and tranquillity, making it the ideal place to visit on a hot summer's day.
Information: Mombaroccio Town Hall, tel. 0721 471103.
Cartoceto ⬆️225 ➡️25
Laid out in the form of a fan on the slopes of a hill, the ancient “castle” is characterised by its steep steps and narrow alleyways lined with houses built on various levels. The entire complex is surrounded by a scarped wall and preceded by the main square of the hamlet.
The unusual orographic conformation has meant that since the XIII Century, Cartoceto has been the most important centre in the Fano area for the cultivation of olives and hence the production of olive oil, which is an activity of primary importance for the area. Ancient knowledge linked to the cultivation of olives around Cartoceto dates back to 1178. In November, in fact, during the harvesting and oilmaking period, the square is transformed into a large market where the olive growers and mills from the area present their products. Places to visit include the eighteenth century theatre “Teatro del Trionfo” built inside the walls of an ancient crushing mill.
Information: Tourist Office, tel. 0721 898437.
Museo del Balì
The building housing the museum stands on a large hill terrace behind the small town of Saltara. The building itself is of ancient origin, as confirmed by a document stating the owner as being the Bishop of Fano as far back as 1165. The bishop, in fact, added the 4 towers to observe the “vault of heaven”. Today, the villa houses one of the most prestigious national planetarium with 35 fixed interactive exhibits, laboratories and teaching projects, an astronomical observatory, a congress centre, a space dedicated to temporary exhibitions and a 50-seat planetarium named after the well-known scientist Giuseppe Occhialini. The services also include a bookshop and a cafeteria.
Information: Museo del Balì, tel. 0721 892390.
How to reach Novafeltria:
From the Coast: Autostrada A14, exit Rimini Nord or Sud • Follow signs to Montefeltro • S.p. 258
From Inland: Superstrada E45 • S.p. 258
Start: The Tour starts in the lively Piazza Vittorio Emanuele in Novafeltria. The main square is in fact an excellent starting point for the tour. In the centre of the town, there is a bar, a fountain and plenty of parking space.
km. 0 [⬆️ 272] Zero the milometer and cycle don via Garibaldi. After 200 m, there are some traffic lights,
go straight on up the hill towards Talamello. Proceed with care as your legs will still be cold!
km. 2,1 The Piazza (main square) in Talamello [⬆️ 374]: on leaving Talamello, turn left towards Perticara.
km. 3,6 At the stop sign, turn right towards Perticara (S.p.8). The road starts to climb!
km. 7,7 At the top of the climb [⬆️ 661], turn right at the crossroads for a short visit to Perticara.
km. 8 The Piazza (main square) in Perticara. After refreshments near the fountain, turn back along the same road.
km. 10,4 At the stop sign, turn right back on the S.p.8 towards S. Agata Feltria.
km. 14,1 Poggiorimini, top of the hill [⬆️ 803], take care on the downhill!
km. 16,9 Hamlet of Sant'Agata Feltria. After 300 m, take maximum care! Turn right for the centre (white “centro” sign)
and in the main square for a rest (Km 17.4). From the square, turn back along the same road and turn right at the first stop sign. Cross the square and go straight on at the stop sign, uphill towards Pennabilli. Try staying on the saddle on this hill!
km. 19,3 At the junction, turn left towards Monte Benedetto, Petrella Guidi [⬆️741].
km. 20 The Monte Benedetto sign indicates the end of the second climb [⬆️789]. Warning, uneven road!
km. 23,4 Petrella Guidi! [⬆️562].
km. 27,5 At the stop sign after the bridge, turn right towards Sansepolcro. You are now on the S.p.258.
km. 28,4 At Ponte Messa, turn left before the bridge towards Pennabilli [⬆️375].
km. 30,5 Sign indicating Pennabilli.
km. 31,3 Turn right towards the town centre “Centro”. Stop for a rest in the square. From the square, walk the bike down via Roma (left of the church). At the next junction, back in the saddle and turn right uphill towards Cantoniera.
km. 32,5 Turn left towards Scavolino [⬆️617].
km. 35,6 Sign indicating Scavolino, and a little after, the square (Km 36). Then after 100 m., turn left towards Soanne.
km. 38,3 At the stop sign, turn right and up the hill (junction with no directions).
km. 39,3 Sign indicating Soanne. Continue along the main road. Once in the square, turn right and up the hill.
km. 44,8 At the top of the hill, continue along the main road. The road runs downhill for 1 km.
km. 45,8 At the stop sign, turn left towards Madonna di Pugliano. You are now climbing the last hill.
km. 46,6 At the top of the hill you are now at “Serra San Marco” [⬆️1006]. Enjoy the view.
km. 49,3 Madonna di Pugliano (white sign).
km. 50,2 Turn right at the junction towards San Leo, still going downhill.
km. 53,7 Sign indicating San Leo. The visit to San Leo is not described in this Tour. Whoever wants to visit the town should do so from here, distance 3 km with 100 m climb. At the junction, turn right and immediately left towards Sant'Igne, Novafeltria.
km. 58,9 After the village of Piega, take care! Turn left, sign indicating Boscara on the left. After 100 m turn right towards Maioletto.
Warning, uneven road.
km. 63,3 At the stop sign, turn right towards Novafeltria. After crossing the river, turn right onto the cycle path running alongside the river Marecchia.
km. 64,5 At the end of the cycle path, turn left up the hill. After 500 m, at the stop sign, turn left and then into the square (Km 65.1).
This is the end of tour.
Pennabilli ⬆️630 ➡️81
The town lies at the foot of monte Carpegna and was founded in 1350 following the merging of the fortified hamlets of Penna and Billi. On entering the old centre, it is possible to admire the old gate “Porta Malatesta” (XIII century), Palazzo del Bargello (XIV century), Porta Carboni (XIV century), Porta di Borgo S.Rocco and the churchsanctuary of S. Agostino (or Madonna delle Grazie). In the main square stands the late renaissance Cathedral, the Palazzo Mediceo della Ragione and the Loggia dei Mercanti. Worthy of a visit are the Museo Diocesano, Museo di Informatica e Storia del Calcolo (Computer and Computing History Museum), Museo Mariano and Teatro “Vittoria” with its gracious tiers of box arrangement. The prestigious national Antiques Fair is held here every year in July.
Information: Tourist Office, tel. 0541 928659.
Novafeltria ⬆️293 ➡️70
The town stands at the centre of the middle Marecchia river valley, and was once the site of a market place for the inhabitants of the surrounding hills, and as such was called Mercatino Marecchia up until 1941. The more important monuments overlook the main square: the seventeenth century Palazzo Municipale and the fourteenth century church of S. Marina. Other sites of interest include: the neo-Romanesque parish church of S. Martino, housing a XIV century wooden crucifix, and the Teatro Comunale (ex Teatro Sociale) with its elegant liberty style open galleries (1925). The nearby Perticara, once a flourishing sulphur mining centre, is home to the historic mining museum displaying various finds, tools and historic documents.
Information: Town Hall - Information Office, tel. 0541 920442.
Sant’Agata Feltria ⬆️607 ➡️82
For several centuries, the picturesque “Rocca” has dominated the skyline. The castle was restored in 1474 by Francesco di Giorgio Martini for the aristocrat Agostino Fregoso. At the entrance to the town stands the Convent of S. Girolamo and the Collegiate of S. Agata, rich in precious canvases and sculptures. The large seventeenth century “Palazzone”, today the local government offices, houses the “Angelo Mariani” theatre, built entirely in wood with its elegant tiers of box arrangement. An important annual event is the Precious White Truffle Fair, and other products from the land, woodland and pastures held from the second Sunday in October until the first Sunday in November.
The remains of an ancient military settlement dating back to the XIII century can still be seen in the picturesque hamlet of Petrella Guidi.
Information: Tourist Office, tel. 0541 848022.
Talamello ⬆️386 ➡️73
The name derives from Thalamos (caves, dwellings). In the main square stands the seventeenth century parish church of S. Lorenzo, housing a precious fourteenth century cross. Of notable artistic interest is the rather particular cemetery “cell” decorated with frescoes by Antonio Alberti da Ferrara (1427). One of the gastronomic specialities of Talamello is the famous “formaggio di fossa” or “Ambra di Talamello”, a local caciotta cheese cured in pits dug out of the sandstone.
Information: Town Hall, tel. 0541 920036.
Villa Imperiale owes its name to something that happened in 1452: in January, Emperor Federico III stayed in Pesaro and Alessandro Sforza, who commissioned the villa to be built, invited him to see the site he intended to be his residence. The emperor placed the first stone and from them on, the villa became known as Imperiale.
Construction was completed in 1469, as noted in the inscription at the entrance, next to the coat of arms with the imperial eagles:
ALEXANDER SFORTIA MCCCCLXVIIII.
The Sforza palace, the oldest, also features a high tower; it has all the characteristics of a fifteenth-century country residence, akin to Medici architecture. Once through the vestibule, there is a porticoed courtyard, which is the heart of the fifteenth-century villa, with a real decorative well. Before the sixteen-century modifications, the ground floor of the original construction of the courtyard envisaged a porticoed side facing the valley; while on the upper floor, there were three open sides in the form of loggias.
Alessandro Sforza’s apartments included three large rooms on the ground floor, facing the mountains, surmounted by decorated wooden ceilings with heraldic motifs of the Sforza family. The smaller rooms, which included the bedrooms, were on the upper floor.
The Imperiale of the Della Rovere family
The most surprising part of the Villa Imperiale in Pesaro is without doubt the wing designed by Urbino architect Girolamo Genga (1476-1551) in 1523 for Duke and Duchess of Urbino, Francesco Maria Della Rovere and Leonora Gonzaga.
Francesco Maria (1490-1538), the son of Giovanni Della Rovere and Giovanna da Montefeltro was adopted by his uncle Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, duke of Urbino. Since 1508, the Della Rovere family lived many a splendour, interrupted only in 1514 by troubling political events.
After being sent into exile by Pope Leo X in 1517, the duke returned to his duchy in 1522, and moved the capital from Urbino to Pesaro where he made a series of important changes including the expansion of Villa Imperiale.
Construction began in 1529: Girolamo Genga restored the original Sforza villa and provided for a cycle of frescos – realized by Francesco Menzocchi, Raffaellino del Colle, Camillo Mantovano and the Dossi brothers – and a new wing. In those years, Genga became the trusted interlocutor of the Duchess, who oversaw the work in her husband’s absence, who was otherwise engaged as capitano generale for the Republic of Venice.
As stated in the Bembo inscription, the Villa Imperiale of Pesaro was a gift from Leonora to the duke who would have gone there to rest after the difficulties of battle. The sixteenth-century wing is perched on the hill owing to a terracing system and has a large number of open spaces: loggias, gardens, and courtyards, ideal places for the leisurely activities of dukes and their guests.
from the Medici to the Albani
In 1631, the state of Urbino passed into the hands of the church, but the Della Rovere possessions, including Villa Imperiale, went to the Medici family. After years of abandonment, Spanish and Portuguese Jesuits found refuge in the villa after their exile. Their changes greatly marred the villa: many decorations disappeared; halls and loggias became storage rooms and oratories; covered roof terraces were walled up and a new floor on the terrace was built.
In 1777, Prince Orazio Albani attained the villa in permanent emphyteusis by Pope Pius VI, but the Jesuits stayed until the end of the century. The Castelbarco Albani family began restorations in the late nineteenth century: the frescoed halls were largely repainted by painter Giuseppe Gennari.
In the early twentieth century, work began to restore the original structure, removing all the superstructures created by the Jesuits and repairing the parts that were ruined, such as the inscription along the avant-corps of the new wing.
During World War II, the fifteenth-century building was damaged, but fortunately, it was a part that was not frescoed. Damages to the new construction were less severe. In 1945, at the request of Archinta and Guglielmo Castelbarco Albani, new restorations began ending only in the 1970s, which brought the paintings back to their original state, eliminating the nineteenth-century work of Gennari, where possible.
The Imperial Villa of Pesaro is open from Saturday 6 June until Saturday 3 October.
The openings, with guided tours, will take place:
📌every Wednesday from 15.30 to 18.30
📌every Saturday from 10.00 to 13.00, with a single route
Visitors must reach the villa by their own means in the previously communicated time.
The reservation is mandatory and must be made at:
Cost € 10 per person.
🚩Covid-19 emergency check:
👉all participants must present themselves with a mask (without valve) which will be used throughout the itinerary;
👉the guides will inform visitors in advance of the correct behavior to be followed throughout the accompaniment.
👉the visit will take place in small groups and will privilege open spaces, courtyards, terraces and gardens with staggered access to the apartments of the Duchess Leonora Gonzaga; for security reasons, the frescoed rooms will not be accessible this year.
More info on: www.isairon.it - www.villaimperialepesaro.com
The route runs through parts of Marche, Romagna and the republic of San Marino, with continuous climbs and descents with one particularly difficult uphill stretch (max. alt. 986 m)… not for the weak-hearted!
How to reach Macerata Feltria:
From the Coast: Autostrada A14, Pesaro Exit • follow road signs for Urbino (S.P. 423) • Ca Gallo • Mercatale
From Inland: S.S. 73 bis to Sant'Angelo in Vado • Piandimeleto • Mercatale
Start: The start point is the Parish church of San Michele Arcangelo, in the old centre of Macerata Feltria (via G.Antimi).
Arriving from Mercatale, follow the signs to the town centre, cross “corso A. Battelli” and continue along “via Antimi”.
km. 0 With your back to the parish church [⬆️313], turn left and go straight-on for 100 m. At the stop sign, turn left towards Carpegna. At the next stop sign (50 m.), go straight-on along the S.p. 6. After approximately 2 km, the road begins to climb.
km. 5,4 Start of Mercato Vecchio [⬆️570]. At the next junction, follow the signs for San Leo.
km. 6,1 At the junction, follow the signs for Carpegna.
km. 7,1 Ponte Cappuccini. At the next junction, turn right towards San Leo. Follow the signs for San Leo for the next few kilometres as the road climbs.
km. 12,3 Villagrande di Montecopiolo [⬆️889]. At the next junction, turn left for San Leo.
km. 13,5 At the stop sign, turn left towards San Leo.
km. 14,4 Over the pass [⬆️986]. San Marino is on the right. Follow the road down towards San Leo.
km. 18 At the crossroads, turn right for San Leo, Rimini.
km. 21,3 San Leo [⬆️580]. At the junction, follow the signs for Rimini. Turn right at the next junction. Continue on towards Rimini.
km. 26,5 At the junction, turn right for San Marino. At the next junction turn right and cross over a bridge. After the bridge, the road starts to climb.
km. 28,9 Continue towards Monte Maggio, San Marino.
km. 32,5 At the junction, turn left towards San Marino. The road starts to descend. After 3.9 km., the road starts to climb again.
Continue in the direction of San Marino.
km. 39,4 Turn right at the roundabout towards Urbino. The climb ends here.
km. 41,4 At the junction, follow the signs for Urbino, Cattolica.
km. 42,5 Montelicciano [⬆️530]. Continue on towards Mercatino Conca. After 200 m., turn left at the junction towards Sassofeltrio.
200 m. further on, the road starts to descend.
km. 44,5 Continue on towards Cattolica, Sassofeltrio.
km. 45,6 Sassofeltrio [⬆️409]. Continue on towards Cattolica, Mercatino Conca. 200 m. further on, follow the signs for Pesaro, Cattolica.
km. 48,7 At the junction, turn left towards Mercatino Conca, at the bottom of the hill.
km. 51 Mercatino Conca [⬆️275]. At the junction, turn left towards Mercatino Conca.
km. 51,5 Continue towards S.Marino. At the stop sign, turn left for Macerata Feltria.
km. 52,6 At the junction, follow the signs for Macerata Feltria, Montecerignone. 3.6 km further on, follow the signs for Macerata Feltria.
km. 60 Abitato di Monte Cerignone [⬆️469]. At the junction, follow the signs for Macerata Feltria. 1.5 km further on,
follow the signs for Urbino. After approximately 2 km the road start going downhill [pass ⬆️623].
km. 67,7 Macerata Feltria. After 400 m., at the junction follow the signs for Pesaro, Urbino.
km. 68,2 The road arrives at the parish church of San Michele Arcangelo.
San Leo ⬆️639 ➡️71
San Leo stands on an imposing and almost insuperable crag in the Marecchia river valley and can only be reached by a single road that has been cut into the rock. On the top of the rocky outcrop stands the “Rocca”, remodelled in the XV Century by Francesco di Giorgio Martini on the orders of Federico da Montefeltro. In addition to the castle, in which the famous alchemist Giuseppe Balsamo count of Cagliostro was imprisoned until his death, other places of interest include: the parish church and Romanesque cathedral, and Palazzo Mediceo which currently houses the Museum of Sacred Art.
Information: Tourist Office, tel.0541 916306; Freephone 800553800.
Macerata Feltria ⬆️313 ➡️52
The ancient Pitinum Pisaurense stands in the hills separating the upper Foglia river valley and the Conca valley. The countryside around the town is a maze of valleys, rocky outcrops, farmland and woods. Among the historic and artistic treasures present in the town, the following are worthy of particular attention: Palazzo del Podestà, now the Civic Museum (with paleontologic, archaeological, medieval and renaissance exhibits), the fourteenth century Torre Civica and the parish church of San Cassiano. Of great significance is the wooden crucifix by Carlo da Camerino kept in the parish church of S. Michele Arcangelo. Today, Macerata Feltria is known throughout Italy for its modern health spa and sulphurous waters.
Information: Tourist Office, tel. 0722 74244.
Monte Cerignone ⬆️469 ➡️48
Standing at the foot of Monte Faggiolo in the upper Conca valley, the town consists of a riverside hamlet overlooked by its castle. The castle was built in the XII Century and subsequently remodelled in part by Francesco di Giorgio Martini towards the end of the XV Century. Worthy of mention are the churches of Santa Caterina, Santa Maria del Soccorso and the Santuario di Santa Maria in Recluso, built on the ruins of an ancient pagan temple dedicated to Juno. Each year during the first weekend of July, the townspeople dress in ancient medieval costume to celebrate “Mons Cerignonis: Fowling, Hunting, Horse Riding, Games and Market”.
Information: Tourist Office, tel. 0541 978552.
Montecopiolo ⬆️915 ➡️43
The mountain village of Montecopiolo lies in the regional natural park of “Parco del Sasso Simone e Simoncello” It is located at the foot of Monte Carpegna in an area of significant interest for naturalists. Worthy of note is the nearby hamlet of Villagrande (⬆️ 1000), a wellknown ski resort and delightful holiday destination.
Tourist Information Office, tel. 0722 78130;
Park Authority: Ente Parco Regionale del Sasso Simone e Simoncello, tel. 0722 770073.
Mondaino is a village with fewer than 1,500 inhabitants, on the border between Marche and Romagna, once the scene of battles and clashes, protected by the fortified walls and the fortress overlooking the town.
The history of this village is not only the medieval one and its origins go far back in time, intertwining with myth and legend.
Legend linked to Diana, Goddess of hunting, of the moonlight and of chastity, which seems to have been venerated in these hills. The name of the place, which has evolved over the centuries (Mons Damarum-Monte Daino-Mondaino), probably refers to the fallow deer, once present, in large quantities in the local woods.
To visit: The Malatesta Fortress - The Paleontological Museum - The Portaia Tower - The Mosaic Workshop - The Majolica Museum - The 6 Churches - The Porta di Sotto Mill - The Dimora L'Alboreto Theater - An event not to be missed in August, The Palio of the Daino
The route is quite undulating and does not have any particularly difficult climbs (max. alt. 550 m). The hilly sections are separated by long stretches of flat road.
SANT’ANGELO IN VADO
CASCATA DEL SASSO
How to reach Urbino:
From the Coast: Autostrada A14, Pesaro Exit • follow road signs for Urbino (S.P 423)
From Inland: S.S. 73 bis, follow road signs for Urbino
Start: The start point is piazzale Mercatale in Urbino (car and bus park). The piazzale is located under Palazzo Ducale and has a telephone,
bar and fountain. The car park gets rather full during winter months.
km. 0 Zero the milometer under the arch in via Mazzini [⬆️ 420]. At the stop sign, turn right towards Arezzo. Continue along the main road
(S.S. 73 bis) following the signs for Urbania.
km. 12,2 Start the descent towards Urbania. Take care on the bends!
km. 14,9 Urbania is at the bottom of the hill [⬆️280]. 500 m. further on, continue to the right towards S.Angelo in Vado and at the next roundabout keep on the road to S.Angelo in Vado.
km. 16,3 At the crossroads, go straight-on in the direction of S.Angelo in Vado. Follow the signs for S.Angelo in Vado for a few kilometres.
km. 23,5 At the set of traffic lights, go straight-on. On the left the industrial zone and the Cascata del Sasso.
km. 24,3 Sant’Angelo in Vado [⬆️355]. After 200 m, turn right at the junction towards Piandimeleto. The road starts to climb.
km. 28,6 At the junction, continue straight-on towards Piandimeleto [⬆️550]. After approximately 2 km of more or less level road, continue downhill towards Piandimeleto.
km. 34,4 Piandimeleto is at the bottom of the hill [⬆️319], 100 m further on follow the signs for Mercatale (from hereon, the route continues straight along the Valle del Foglia to Km 60).
km. 34,7 At the stop sign, follow the directions to Mercatale. 500 m. further on, follow the signs for Lunano.
km. 36,5 Lunano [⬆️297], 200 m. further on, follow the signs for Mercatale.
km. 36,9 At the junction, follow the signs for Lunano. After 500 m, continue following the signs for Lunano.
km. 37,7 Follow the signs for Pesaro. For the next few km, continue towards Pesaro - Urbino.
km. 44,7 Mercatale. At the next junction, and for the next few km, follow the signs for Pesaro.
km. 54,3 Follow the signs for Casinina. Continue towards Casinina for the next few km.
km. 55,9 Start of Casinina [⬆️135]. Follow the signs for Pesaro for the next few km.
km. 57,9 Start of a fast stretch of main road. Follow the signs for Pesaro.
km. 60,3 At the junction, follow the signs for Urbino. Continue following the signs for Urbino for the next few km. After 1.3 Km, the road starts to climb towards Urbino.
km. 63,6 Villa Schieti. Follow the signs for Urbino for the next few km.
km. 68,8 Gadana [⬆️378].
km. 70,9 Start of Urbino.
km. 72 Follow the signs for Pesaro, Fano, Roma.. Follow this same direction at the next roundabout.
km. 73,5 At the roundabout, follow the signs for Arezzo.
km. 74.7 Arrival in Piazza Mercatale.
Urbino ⬆️420 ➡️35
Standing on two hills, Urbino is the ancient capital of the Montefeltro dukedom. The city is one of the most important art centres in the world and has been recognised by UNESCO as being a world heritage site. Its ancient origins date back to the III Century B.C. when Urvinum Mataurense received the title of Roman municipality. During its century-long history, Urbino enjoyed a period of maximum splendour during the Renaissance period under the “enlightened” rule of Duca Federico da Montefeltro, of which palazzo Ducale (ducal palace) is the symbolic monument. Palazzo Ducale currently houses works of art including the “Flagellation” and the “Madonna di Senigallia” by Piero della Francesca and “The Portrait of a Lady” by Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio). Places to visit: The Oratory of San Giovanni to admire the frescoes by the Salimbeni brothers, the birthplace of Raphael, the monastery of Santa Chiara and the “Duomo”. A visit to the Albornoz fortress (Fortezza Albornoz) is highly recommended, and from where there is a beautiful panorama over the city and valleys beneath. Urbino is quite a lively place, thanks also to the presence of numerous students attending the city's prestigious and ancient University.
Information: I.A.T. - Tourist Office, tel. 0722 2613.
Sant'Angelo in Vado ⬆️355 ➡️63
A town in the Upper Metaurus Valley built on the ruins of the ancient Roman Tiphernum Mataurense. Sant'Angelo in Vado is the birthplace of the brothers Taddeo and Federico Zuccari, famous painters who were active in XVI Century Rome. The town's numerous monuments include: the fourteenth century Palazzo della Ragione overlooked by the Torre Civica from the same period, Palazzo Grifoni, the Cathedral dedicated to San Michele Arcangelo (St. Michael the Archangel), the town's patron saint, and the church of San Francesco. The area is also truffle country and each year hosts the important “Marche White Truffle National Show”.
Information: Tourist Office, tel. 0722 88455.
Cascata del Sasso ⬆️359 ➡️63
In the area of the industrial estate of Sant'Angelo in Vado, the Metaurus River falls naturally to form the Cascata del Sasso, one of the ten largest natural falls in Italy, 60 metres wide and dropping a distance of 15 metres. The rather abrupt change in level that produces this spectacular scenario is the result of heterogeneous rock formations along the course of the river. Along this stretch, in particular, the Metaurus crosses, in this order, the Schlier, Biscario and Scaglia Cinerea formations. A convenient parking area with services for campers is located opposite the waterfall.
Piandimeleto ⬆️319 ➡️56
The town is situated on the upland plain of the Upper Foglia Valley (Alta Valle del Foglia). Immersed in lush greenery, it is a haven for nature loving tourists and day-trippers. A characteristic feature of Piandimeleto is the “Castello dei Conti Oliva” located in the medieval heart of the old centre and dating back to the XV Century. Another place worth visiting is the parish church of San Biagio where there are two gothic tombstones and a fresco dated 1576. The mushroom festival and fair is held every year in San Sisto.
Information: Town Hall, tel. 0722 721121; Town museums, tel. 0722 721528.
in museums - or by the typical products of the territory, the wines and the recipes that richly dress up the table, this place
lives both in and out of time. In Terre Roveresche ancient castles rise on the top of hills designing the profile of the landscape and hide in their narrow alleys little and incredibly unique jewels by an inestimable historical and artistic value.
Carpegna, Palazzo Carpegna.
In the center of the village stands the Palazzo dei Principi di Carpegna Falconieri, designed by the Roman architect Giovanni Antonio De 'Rossi for Cardinal Gaspare di Carpegna. The palace, which began in 1675 and ended after more than twenty years, is inspired by the fortified villas of Florentine origin and the large stately homes in the Roman countryside. It is still inhabited by the descendants of the millennial family and has remained almost intact after over 300 years, a fire and some strong earthquake (1781).
The Ancient Fountain
Next to the Palace there is a fountain consisting of an ancient sepulcher carved from a limestone monolith, which came to light centuries ago and still undated, which contained inside the body of a mysterious and gigantic warrior with helmet and sword. The lid, rich in ancient carved characters, has been lost over the centuries.
Parish church of San Giovanni Battista
Carpegna, Pieve di San Giovanni Battista
A little more than two kilometers from the town center and on the border with the municipality of Frontino we find the Romanesque church of San Giovanni Battista.
Dating back to the 12th century, the church retains its shape from the Romanesque style even though the renovations carried out over the centuries have profoundly changed the original appearance.
Near the church is the Antica Stamperia Carpegna
for six generations it has been hand-printed on canvas using wooden stencils and the traditional rust color.
Visiting the shop you can admire, on the old wooden shelves over a thousand different matrices, which mark the passage of generations, floral, pictorial and traditional motifs that testify to a popular religiosity such as the classic icon of S. Antonio Abate, protector of pets , once printed on the blankets of oxen. Ancient molds with ornamental patterns and cashmere, instead bring to mind what was the hand print on canvas practiced throughout Europe in the first half of the nineteenth century behind the wake of William Morris and the "Arts and Crafts".
The museum is located inside the deconsecrated church of S. Maria della Misericordia, or della Pietà, in Castacciaro di Carpegna, a small building built at the behest of Cardinal Gaspare di Carpegna towards the end of the 17th century.
Inside, thanks to the symbolic objects, the photographs and the paintings on display, it is possible to discover those peculiarities typical of the rural environment, of the activities and of the peasant life of the fifteen villages of Carpegna, a real visual, tactile "Hyper journey" and sound that, also thanks to a model positioned in the center of the building, allows you to discover the territory of Carpegna.
Inside you can also find a rare fourteenth-century bell and worked stones found during the restoration and coming from the Ancient Rock.
The Cippo di Carpegna
Located about halfway between the inhabited area of Carpegna and the summit of the mountain, the Cippo del Monte Carpegna takes its name from the monument erected in memory of Sandro Italico Mussolini, nephew of Benito Mussolini who died prematurely of leukemia at 20 years of age.
Also in Cippo, the last place open to traffic, there is the Pineta Museum, obtained from an ex-forestry house, where it is possible to observe, listen and touch the "signs" characteristic of the forest that covers Mount Carpegna: audio recordings of the verses of wild animals, distinctive signs of the animals that populate the forest, stratigraphy of plants and many other small curiosities.
In this place you can find a work by the local artist Francesco Maria Tigli, a commemorative monument to Marco Pantani, who often trained on these roads before his great endeavors in stage races.
of life reigns undisputed, enriched with harmony and enthusiasm: In such a land lies Sant’Angelo in Vado, a romantic, ancient small city, capable of satisfying the inner wishes of those who walk along its centuries-old alleys and breath an air rich with history, culture, art and the perfume of delicious products of the earth. Here, by the high valley of the Metauro river, in the middle of a bucolic landscape, time appears to have stopped; and visiting the old town centre, rich with buildings which mark the passage of the ages, unique archaeological and artistic wonders can be found; wonders surrounded by an uncontaminated Nature, by the typical perfumes of His Majesty the fine White Truffle, and by the inebriating and original flavours of the Santangiolino wine or of the only smoked Vin Santo (literally: Holy Wine) in the world, produced right here, in Sant’Angelo in Vado.
Rimini is rich in monuments from all eras, with very important examples of the architecture of Roman civilization, such as the Arch of Augustus, the Bridge of Tiberius, the amphitheater and the Domus del Chirurgo, from the Middle Ages , such as the Palazzo Arengo, the Church of S. Agostino and Castel Sismondo, and the Renaissance, with the Malatesta temple, a masterpiece by Leon Battista Alberti.
The city, with its villages and its marina, also preserves a vast architectural heritage of the Baroque, neoclassical and freedom period, including churches, palaces, stately villas, historic navy buildings, hotels and period villas, proof of its role as a cultural, political, commercial center and, since the mid-19th century, a renowned seaside resort.
The city has preserved its Roman structure for centuries, with the regular arrangement of its blocks, while preserving the great Roman monuments which have demonstrated its ancient origins. Rimini has always been characterized by the experience of contemporaneity by reviving its past together: the medieval transformations, the major urban renewal works of the Malatesta family, the earthquakes, the abolition of conventual orders determined a continuous evolution, legible in the stratification of historical testimonies. The bombings of the Second World War destroyed the city, seriously compromising the monumental heritage and the integrity of the historic center, which was reconstructed and restored to improve the spaces and the many precious buildings.
Rimini appears for the first time on screen in certain films on seaside life, including the documentary Rimini l'Ostenda d'Italia (1912). In the 1930s, Luce news celebrated the conquest of free time and the birth of mass tourism, making the image of the city public for the first time. However, it was Federico Fellini, one of the best-known directors in the history of cinema, who made the characters, places and atmospheres of Rimini famous throughout the world through his films, inspired by his hometown , even if they were shot almost entirely in Cinecittà studios in Rome: I Vitelloni (drama of 1953), 8½ (drama of 1963, Oscar 1964), I clowns (documentary of 1970) and especially Amarcord (drama of 1973, Oscar Prize of 1975). The director's films and writings reveal the conflict in his relationship with Rimini. Fellini admitted that he had not come back willingly: a sort of embarrassment arose in him for having "speculated" on his city, which represented for him more a "dimension of memory" than a real place. Autobiographical themes and dreamlike reconstructions of the sea, symbol of adventure and travel, of the peasant and popular world, of the wealth and pomp of the Grand Hotel, of the city that disappears on the banks of the fog of winter days .
Equipped with a first medieval defense tower (the 'Mastio') in 1150, the "castle" of Gradara (Castrum Cretarie) was made independent by the Pesaro administration by Piero and Rodolfo De Grifo. Subsequently the Malatesta family, after having purchased the castle from the De Grifo family, transformed the tower into a fortress complete with the first group of walls; subsequently they added also the seven hundred meters of the second group with the seventeen crenellated towers and the three drawbridges that made the fort impregnable.
Once the Malatesta domination ceased, the castle passed to the Sforza family who left their mark on it, adding the beautiful internal loggia, the staircase and the frescoes that still adorn some rooms, including those of the apartment where Lucrezia Borgia lived for three years after the wedding. with Giovanni Sforza (1493). After the Sforzesco period, it passed to the Della Rovere family until the devolution of the aducato of Urbino lla Chiesa (1631).
Only after almost three centuries of neglect and neglect was the engineer Umberto Zanvectors who in 1920 devoted all his substances to the recovery of the fort: what happened gradually, also by his wife Alberta Porta Natale until (1983) it passed into Italian state property.
Today Gradara, in addition to the monumental Rocca, offers the visitor its double wall and towers with the battlements and the recessed eaves walkways. Within the walls, the inhabited area preserves its ancient houses and the church of S.Giovanni Battista where a valuable 15th-century wooden crucifix is kept, while in the church of SS.Sacramento an altarpiece is visible ("Last Supper" ) by Antonio Cimatori (1595).
The precious altarpiece ("Enthroned Madonna with the Child and Saints") painted by Giovanni Santi in 1484 for the ancient parish church of S.Sofia was instead transferred to the Rocca.
It takes an ancient tradition that the ferocious assassination of Paolo Malatesta and Francesca da Polenta by the betrayed Giovanni (Gianciotto) Malatesta called "Lo Sciancato" took place within the walls of the fortress of Gradara. Ancient blood story immortalized by the famous verses of Dante Alighieri.
It is the territory of the Colli al Metauro municipality, born in 2017 from the union of Saltara, Serrungarina and Montemaggiore al Metauro, crossed by the waters of its great protagonist, the Metauro river, the longest in Marche: a glorious child of the Appenine mountains, as Torquato Tasso called it. Its crystal waters flow down in the valley under the soft hills on whose tops raise small hamlets. Always a strategic transit point, along which run both the the river and path of the ancient Via Flaminia, a Roman road built in 220 b.C. by Gaius Flaminius Nepote, which for centuries was the only link between Rome and Northern Italy. The presence of these fundamental threads gave Colli al Metauro a story rich with important events which intertwined, without ever breaking them, with the humble rural habits of its population, who keep protecting and loving this land, working its farmland and respecting its historical monuments, with the
cheerful but solid calm of people tied to their land by strong roots.
The toponym traditionally derives from a pergola that adorned the ancient entrance of one of its churches, Santa Maria della Pergola but, according to another hypothesis, Pergola was that territory that could be reached through a “gorge”, inhabited since prehistoric times by Celts, Gauls and Romans.
The landscape opens up on an enchanting scenery: hills and farmhouses, vineyards and woods, churches and ancient villages, in the distance the imposing profile of Mount Catria, at the foot of which Dante stopped. The old town is rich in medieval buildings with stone, pointed arch portals and tower-houses, confirming the importance that the city gained over time. For centuries, it has jealously guarded its appearance with narrow streets and the buildings with the characteristic “doors of the dead”, doors raised above street level, to which they were connected by retractable wooden steps from which an internal staircase started, very steep, to the top floor, so narrow as to allow only one person to walk, which had a purely defensive purpose, because, thanks to their shape, a single man could defend their home from attackers.
The numerous churches have attributed to the City the appellative of “Holy Pergoletta” or “City from the hundred churches”, sign of religiousness and strong traditions.
Pergola is also the city of the Golden Bronzes, the only example of gilded bronze group of the Roman era in the world. The sculptures, for their grandeur, beauty and suggestion, have no equal and are kept in a museum full of unforgettable testimonies.
Pergola still today is nicknamed “the City of One Hundred Churches“, for the many places of worship dating back to the time of the long dependence on the Church State.
The Gothic Church of San Giacomo, dating back to the twelfth century, is one of the oldest: with a rectangular plan, it houses an interesting wooden crucifix of the early ‘400. Not far away, the Church of San Francesco, founded by the Franciscans in 1255 and transformed in the following century, is characterized by a beautiful fourteenth-century portal with a pointed sandstone arch.
The magnificent Cathedral, built by the Augustinian monks in 1258, combines the original Romanesque-Gothic style of the bell tower with the late Baroque interior and the neoclassical facade. The co-cathedral with its three naves and the relic containing the head of San Secondo, a rare example of late Gothic jewellery.
The interiors of three other churches are also baroque: that of the Three Kings in Santa Maria dell’Assunta, that of Santa Maria delle Tinte and that of San Biagio. Not to mention the Church of Santa Maria di Piazza, one of the oldest in the city, with frescoes of the fifteenth century or the Oratory of the Ascension to Palazzolo, which houses frescoes that represent one of the highest moments of fresco painting of the fifteenth century in the Marche.
In this religious itinerary, worth mentioning are the ancient “doors of the dead“. Present in many medieval towns in central Italy, they have ancient origins, probably dating back to the Etruscans. Doors raised above street level, to which they were connected by retractable wooden steps from which an internal staircase started, very steep, to the top floor. Doors, so narrow as to allow only one person to walk, which had a purely defensive purpose, because, thanks to their shape, a single man could defend their home from attackers. Subsequently, when their defensive function failed, they were used to let out, with their feet in front, the deceased from their home, and then promptly walled up again.
It is also worth taking some time to visit the Palazzo Comunale, built to a design by Rimini’s G. Good friends after 1750.
The Museum of the Golden Bronzes and the City of Pergola preserves precious and unique assets, the Golden Bronzes from Cartoceto di Pergola, the only group of gilded bronze of the Roman era existing in the world. Nine quintals of bronze and gold were masterfully forged two thousand years ago and are exhibited in this museum.
The city’s architectural excellence is the Angel Dal Foco Theatre, set inside the ancient warehouses of Monte di Pietà. Particularly interesting is the plan made of mule iron, with three tiers of boxes, stalls and gallery. The reconstruction of the ‘700 dates back to when Pergola was elevated to the rank of City. For this privilege, in fact, it was necessary for the community to have a Town Hall and a Theatre in which hosts a very prestigious theatre season.
Finally, the historical Gardens of the City represent a pleasant and elegant walk in a green lung of the center.
In Casteldimezzo part of the walls are preserved, once interspersed with numerous towers while the fortress has now disappeared and has given way to a well-known restaurant.
Particularly interesting is the Church dedicated to the Saints of Ravenna Apollinare and Cristoforo, which houses an ancient 15th century Crucifix around which an adventurous story is told, remembered by a plaque dated 1652 placed in the Church itself.
From here the view takes your breath away.
On clear days the blue of the sea is so immense that the gaze finds itself twirling on the placid surface in a state of complete and total serenity. This castle has become famous throughout the region and also outside of it, for the history of the miraculous "crucifix from the sea". We enter the small church of the village, in front of us a beautiful wooden crucifix of Venetian manufacture dating back to the early 1500s.
In those years it had been shipped by sea and transported in a crate but, involved in a shipwreck, landed on the coast between Fiorenzuola and Casteldimezzo. To contend for the object of devotion, the two cities decided to load it on an ox cart and leave the choice to fate. The oxen walked without hesitation towards Casteldimezzo and stopped in front of the church.
Since then the crucifix is said to have been the promoter of numerous miracles, including a narrow siege by the Medici Lordship against the Duchy of Montefeltro.
And you, do you believe in miracles?
of San Pier Damiani: the prior of the nearby Abbey of Fonte Avellana who in the 11th century boiled the showy architecture like a pride oculorum. From the monumental factories and from the squares that rhythm the urban spaces, the gaze is attracted by the verdant Apennines: an admirable backdrop for every glimpse that in autumn, with the colors from the yellow
red, it becomes the protagonist of the foliage.
Cagli, which in the 6th century was one of the
cornerstones of the Byzantine Pentapoli, it is repeatedly mentioned in Roman itineraries.
In the fourth century, Servius Honored, commenting on Virgil's Aeneid, also clarified a possible misunderstanding by affirming "Cales civitatis [today's Calvi] est Campaniae, nam in Flaminia est, quae Cale [Cagli precisely] dicitur".
Established since the twelfth century, the free municipality
di Cagli soon subjugated over 52 castles, rousing the rural nobility and facing the feudal policy of the abbots. Its expansion followed the boundaries of the jurisdiction of the diocese of Cagli which in Greciano (4th century) includes its first bishop.
Partially destroyed by fire, set by the Ghibellines in 1287, the city is moved, from the offshoots of Mount Petrano, and rebuilt from scratch
on the plateau incorporating the pre-existing village. For
the refoundation, under the protective wing of Nicholas IV,
Arnolfo di Cambio's urban plan with orthogonal axes was used in 1289. The advanced urban fabric would have provided ideas to Leon Battista Alberti to trace the design of the ideal city.
Of this would be some elements in the famous table attributed to Laurana (close collaborator of Alberti) among which one, in the background, would match the plateau made up of Mount Petrano.
The existing ones are not simple coincidences
between the ideal city and Cagli: a city for which
the Montefeltro family showed particular attention for a long time. On the other hand, Franceschini writes, that of the Montefeltro family at its birth in the territories of the Church is "a regional state, an expression of the princely family and of the cities of Urbino
and Cagli and their suburbs ". In fact "in the alliance of February 1376 the cities of Urbino and Cagli
they participated in the covenant with the Lord on a foot of equality ”.
Despite the setback set by the fire of 1287, Cagli soon returned to being a thriving center. In fact, in a register of payment of taxes to the Church of 1312, revised following the sharp demographic decline due to famines,
Cagli was made up of about 7,200 inhabitants. Moreover, shortly after, in the Constitutiones Aegidianae of 1357, Cagli appears between
the nine cities of the Marca (together for today's Province in Pesaro, Fano
It was above all the manufactures, consisting in particular in the processing of woolen cloths (later also in silk) and in the tanning of the hides, which developed considerably under the Dukes of Urbino supported the economic development of the city.
The devolution of the Duchy of Urbino to the Papal States, in 1631, subjects Cagli to the same economic policy dictated for the Marches: primarily cereal agriculture.
The low yields in the Apennine areas would have led to an unstoppable economic retreat.
It happens that the city slowly comes out
from the new paths of art history. The substantial historical and artistic heritage, which had been defaced by the violent earthquake of 1781, underwent various Napoleonic 'looting'. The Unification of Italy ignites anti-clerical hearts. The construction of the Fano-Fabriano-Rome railway, the erection of the new Municipal Theater and new public spaces give consistency
to progressive vision. Next to this there is the chapter on the dispossession of the brotherhoods and confiscated monasteries.
The events of the city of Cagli are now diluted within the vast framework of national history. The destruction of the railway by the Nazi army in 1944 and the loss of the role of great connecting artery of the Flaminia mark a long period of decline for Cagli and the valleys which stops and changes direction, finally, towards the last part of the second Millennium.
Tourist Information Office - Municipality of Cagli
Via Alessandri, 4 - 61043 Cagli (PU)
tel. 0721 780773
www.comune.cagli.ps.it email@example.com http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cagli
Ufficio Cultura - Comune di Cagli
Piazza Matteotti, 1 - 61043 Cagli (PU)
tel. 0721 780731
Associazione Turistica Pro Loco
Via Leopardi, 3 - 61043 Cagli (PU)
tel. 0721 787457