In the Montefeltro area of Rimini

There are seven municipalities in the Province of Rimini that are part of the Montefeltro; a name that originates from today’s San Leo that the Romans called Mons Feretrus. This is also where the Montefeltro family, who fought agains tthe Malatesta, alternating at the head of their respective estates, got their name.

Climbing the valley of the Marecchia River along the Marecchiese road, a detour to San Leo is a must. Standingon a rock that reminded Dante Alighieri of Purgatory, it draws the attention, suddenly silhouetted against the sky like an eagle’s nest on which stands the fortress in whose jail the chemist and alchemist Count Cagliostro ended his days. The town is also the cradle of Romanesque art with its parish church (9th century) and cathedral (9th - 12thcentury).

Maiolo, just a few minutes from San Leo, retains the memory of its past in the parish church of Santa Maria d’Antico, below the town, with its splendid sculpture by Luca della Robbia, and its bread ovens, dotted around the farmhouses and celebrated in a fair held in June.

Talamello is home to ambra, the “fossa” cheese that takes its name from the sandstone ditches it is buried in for three months before being sold in November in an important fair. Here visitors can admire a beautiful 14th century cross by Giovanni da Rimini in the sanctuary, 15th-century frescoes by Ferrara-born Alberti in the Cemetery Chapel and the Gualtieri Art Gallery housed in the theatre.

Novafeltria, main town of the upper valley, became a municipality just over a hundred years ago. The historical town has an early 20th-century style and lines, with the exception of the Romanesque Oratory of Santa Marina, the parish church, mentioned as early as 950 and now restored to its former glory and the 17th-century villa of the Segni Counts that now houses the town hall.

The town’s outlying hamlets include Perticara whose mines made it, for centuries, one of the main centres for extracting sulphur in Italy and is today seat of a museum.

Sant’Agata Feltria boasts the fairytale Fregoso Castle and the delightful 17th-century Mariani Theatre. Here, in October, an important fair celebrates Porcini mushrooms and precious white truffles.

Pennabilli is a bishop’s see and home of a poet who has given much to this area; there is even a museum here in his honour called Il mondo di Tonino Guerra - The Worldof Tonino Guerra. There are also some remains of the castles of Penna and Billy, situated on rocky cliffs of the same names, and the Fountain of Peace marks the peace pact that was signed between the two on the spot where the monument stands. Churches, oratories, monasteries and museums characterize this municipality, particularly interesting thanks to the boroughs, castles and old towns dotted around it.

The territory of Casteldelci rises to 1,000 metres above sea level, bordering with Mount Fumaiolo and its imperturbable peaks. Here historyand nature merge and the unspoilt surroundings guarantee a relaxing stay.