Monte San Bartolo Natural Park
An Undulating Series of Spurs and Depressions Degrading towards the Sea…
Monte San Bartolo Park marks the beginning of the coastal hill system in the Center of Italy which immediately follows the famous tourist beaches of the North Adriatic Sea. It faces the Adriatic Sea with a spectacular cliff and it reaches its maximum altitudes on the hills of San Bartolo, Castellaro, and in the villages of Casteldimezzo and Fiorenzuola di Focara. It is an extremely important point for the bird migration and an ideal place for many species of birds which spend the winter here; it is also important from an archaeological and historical point of view, since although it has a limited extension, it is very rich in finds: from the Neolithic finds in the area of Mt. Castellaro to the archaeological site of Colombarone along the ancient Via Flaminia, from the lost ports of Greek origins of S. Marina and Vallugola to the charming system of Renaissance villas and gardens.
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.
Its recovery - carried out in 2002 by the Scavolini Foundation - involved cleaning and restoration of the stone artefacts that indicate the burials and the installation of elements for the visit.
Today, around 140 tombstones emerge among the brambles, a number lower than the actual burials. The reason for this is to be found in the decree of Pope Urban VIII (1652) which forbids any tomb inscription for the Jews of the Papal States except for the distinguished rabbis and men or women of great culture and charity; reiterated in 1775 by Pius VI, the interdiction remains in force until Pius IX.
All the monuments are in local stones or marble. In the highest part of the cemetery, the most archaic, there are only vertical steles and cylindrical stones. In the central belt, real sepulchral monuments of classical taste appear, in the lower one, the most recent, romantic and naturalistic structures.
The most impressive burials are those erected between 1860 and the early twentieth century as evidence of a certain social emancipation of the Jews following the annexation of the Marche to the Kingdom of Italy.
panoramic road San Bartolo c / o n. 161
owned by the Jewish Community of Ancona
management of the Jewish Community of Ancona, Municipality of Pesaro, Monte San Bartolo Natural Park Authority
opening hours June-September every Thursday 17-19; free guided tours from 18 to 19
extraordinary opening 15 August 17-19
disabled access no
tel 0721 400858 - 348 7751596 Monte San Bartolo Natural Park Authority
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?
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.
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
is a spontaneous group of walkers and trekking enthusiasts who organize walks in the most suggestive places in our area and in particular following the paths of the Monte San Bartolo Natural Park. Every week the appointment in Piazza del Municipio in Gabicce Mare for a new adventure immersed in nature.
N.B: these are non-profit activities, everyone is responsible for himself and must have respect and attention for others, the activity takes place outdoors and it is possible to comply with behavioral recommendations issued in these days.
Many years of research, from 1983 to 2008, have allowed us to discover a unique and special area, from which a late antique villa, a basilica and a parish church emerged.
Dating back to the end of the third century AD, the stately home was the country residence of a landowner or state official and many of the mosaics dating from the fourth and sixth centuries are still visible.
In the 6th century, some sections of the structure were abandoned while the representative one was transformed into a Christian church; what was to be the early medieval basilica of San Cristoforo ad Aquilam was born in that period, surrounded by a cemetery area.
In the following centuries (VII-X), the church underwent several changes, assuming considerable dimensions, until it became a simple parish church in the late Middle Ages. At the end of the 12th century the oldest part was demolished and the "Chiesola" (demolished in 1858) was built in its place, of which a portion of the perimeter wall was recovered.
Colombarone's function as a center of worship has never ceased. Not far away, in the nineteenth century a church was built and in the early decades of the twentieth century the current parish.
The Antiquarium is located in the spaces of the nineteenth-century church recovered by the Municipality of Pesaro.
A multimedia video introduces the itinerary with an immersive and suggestive reconstruction of the rooms of the villa, rich in colored coverings and wall decorations.
The small and precious museum tells the story of the excavations, starting from the identification of the site by Annibale Degli Abbati Olivieri, and displays the finds found during the research. Among the materials attributable to the stately home (III-VI century) there are sections of lead pipeline for the supply of water to the thermal sector, ceramics, bronzes, glass, tableware in the dining room, and the amphorae that attest the origin of food from all over the Mediterranean basin.
But it is the basilica (6th-8th century) that returns the most singular finds including a stained glass window, fragments of the marble iconostasis of the church (separation between the choir and aisles consisting of an architrave supported by columns) and a rare example of a chandelier suspension with several lights (polycandilon), found together with a monetary treasure and glass chalices of the liturgical apparatus.
Finally, there are interesting objects from the private life of the ancient inhabitants of the site (ornaments and clothing, coins, simple household utensils).
The Colombarone Archaeological Area reopened to the public in 2016 and the Antiquarium in 2019.
Project promoted by MIBAC / Superintendence of Archeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of the Marches, Ales arte lavoro e servizi spa, Municipality of Pesaro, Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, San Bartolo Park Authority. Managed by the Museum System.
June 1 - September 30
Saturday, Sunday and holidays h 10-13 / 16.30-19.30
Entrance € 5
Reduced € 3 groups min. 15 people, Pesaro Cult Card holders, agreements
Free for children under 19 years, holders of a single ticket Pesaro Museums
closed December 25 and January 1
INFO T +39 0721 387 541
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.
Gabicce Mare offers a truly suggestive view of the landscape: in the area directly on the sea, the tourist finds hotels and equipped bathing establishments, while in the hilly part of Gabicce there is a panoramic glimpse surrounded by greenery, from which you can observe the whole coast, wonderful at sunset!
Also in Gabicce Monte there are elite hotels and typical bed and breakfasts and restaurants where you can spend peaceful summer evenings, enjoying an exclusive panorama.
The beach of fine sand, the hotels by the sea, the ideal climate for a holiday in the sun, the welcome and the kindness of the villagers characterize Gabicce Mare.
Gabicce Mare is synonymous with hospitality and friendliness, in this place guests experience a holiday full of emotions.
The location is enviable, a small gulf overlooking the Adriatic, with clean sea, equipped beaches - umbrellas and camp beds - games, parties and entertainment from sunrise to sunset.
From the greenery of the park you go directly to the blue of the sea; you thus have a suggestive panoramic view from Gabicce Monte: a unique postcard to admire. The influence of Mount Gabicce gives well-being and healthy air recommended by family doctors to parents with young children.
The cliff emerges from the beach, an unusual seascape for the sandy coast of the Marche region.
The colors of the cliff and the gorse, right next to the water, make the beaches located at the foot of the Monte San Bartolo park even more suggestive. This protected area offers unprecedented natural scenarios. Photography enthusiasts can easily grasp the flowering of the gorse, the expanses of Pliny straws, the Aleppo pine and the rare maritime linen, not to mention the fauna, which the tourist is lucky enough to glimpse: roe deer, foxes, badgers, porcupines, sea birds and birds of prey.
Gabicce Mare is also the city of cycling tourism since 1980 - www.gabiccemarebike.it and since 1992 it has been the favorite city of historic MG cars, so much so that every two years the legendary "ladies" gather in Gabicce Mare, 200 crews, to participate in the MG BY THE SEA event.
From April to October, the cycle-tourists choose to spend their holidays in Gabicce Mare, where day after day they discover, in the saddle of their bicycle, the Pesaro hinterland.
Many food and wine delicacies are typical of our land, the tastiest dishes are particularly appreciated and sought after by sportsmen, but also by their families, while the excellent fish cooked with the most genuine flavors is the favorite dish by all tourists.
Speaking of sports, an excellent sports facility with regular football fields is available to football fans.
The sports fields of Gabicce Mare represent the ideal location for events not only related to sport, but to music, to great shows, in short, to the fun most sought after by event organizers.
These are just a few hints of the beauty of Gabicce Mare, all to be discovered!
Gabicce Monte Tourist Information Center in via Montegrappa, which will be active until 10 September 2020, with the following shifts and times:
⌚️Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 15 to 19;
⌚️Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9 to 13.
Covid-19 emergency: users are informed that one person at a time can access the information center and the use of a mask is mandatory.