A journey through the flavours of the Marecchia Valley

"Let every bite be an adventure, and every dish tell a story."  (Federico Fellini)


Discovering the traditional flavours of Romagna is a journey into taste.

Today, we will take you to the Marecchia Valley with an itinerary that starts in Santarcangelo di Romagna, passes through Poggio Torriana, and arrives in Maiolo.

Bon voyage and bon appétit!


A Just a few kilometres from the golden beaches of the Rimini Riviera, we find Santarcangelo di Romagna, famous for its strong Romagna identity, for its atmosphere of a large village punctuated by the right pace of life, and for the international events that enliven it, no less than the village festivals full of fragrances and flavours.

The gastronomic offerings of Romagna are immense, and Santarcangelo has a very special one: that of the Water Onion whose history dates back to the first half of the 20th century.

Small ditches were dug between one bed of onions and another, and irrigation was by flow. Water taken from the Marecchia river flowed abundantly, and onions were cultivated everywhere in the town of Santarcangelo. For this very reason, its inhabitants were called cipolloni, zvùléun, by their neighbours from Rimini.


The cultivation of this product continues to this day and the 'Water Onion', which has become a Slow Food Presidium, can be found in the preparation of various dishes. It can be eaten raw in salads because it is so sweet, cooked on a wood-burning stove, wrapped in tin foil and grilled; we find it in soups, in piadina and even in the preparation of some desserts.


From Santarcangelo we move on to nearby Poggio Torriana - Montebello, where two other typical products with a strong identity trait can be found: honey and snails.

Honey is the main product of the bees' gathering activity and the links between man and these insects date back to the first millennia of history.

The Poggio Torriana - Montebello honey, acacia, chestnut and millefiori, is an unforgettable sensory experience. It can be purchased all year round from the various local producers, but it is in September, during the Montebello Honey Festival, that it is possible to find and taste numerous fine and genuine local products.

During the festival, in fact, honeys produced by local beehives can be tasted, accompanied by stands serving wines, cheeses, cold meats, bread, pasta, beer and many other typical products.


Also, in Poggio Torriana we find another traditional local product that is part of a perhaps lesser known but equally important Romagna tradition: land snails.


This product is not only a delicacy on the plate - in its stewed or fried version - because natural cosmetics based on snail slime are also produced in the Rimini hills. On the first weekend in June, at the Facciamo la Festa alla Lumaca event, snails cooked Romagnola style can be tasted along with other specialities and cosmetic products can be purchased.



The last stop on this itinerary takes us to Maiolo, in the green heart of the Marecchia Valley, where we find another product of great excellence: bread.

Maiolo bread, made with characteristic local flours and ancient methods, with no industrial production and no artisan workshops, is a basic element of Maiolo's cultural identity. Its secret ingredients are water, flour, 'mother dough', i.e. the piece of dough from the previous bread-making process left to ferment overnight, a sparing modus operandi and an almost brotherly relationship with the oven, made up of tricks of the trade.


Since 2005, one can enjoy a product made exclusively with local flour, from the cultivation of an ancient variety of wheat. This is 'gentilrosso', of which there is evidence from the first half of the last century. It is a soft wheat that was widely used in central Italy for the production of flour, characterised by a yellow-red ear, considerable size (a height of 1.65 metres), resistance to disease (rust primarily), and good rusticity and adaptability.


The 'gentilrosso' of Maiolo is sown at a local farm, which also stores the product, and is processed at a local stone mill to be tasted during the Bread Festival held every year towards the end of June.


Each dish on this journey tells a story of tradition and passion, handed down from generation to generation. A journey through authentic flavours that is also an immersion in the local traditions and culture of a generous land that always has so much to offer.