A day in San Giovanni in Marignano amidst history, art, nature and magic
San Giovanni in Marignano, also known as “Granaio dei Malatesta” for the fertility of the land and the presence of over two hundred underground pits for the conservation of wheat, still today preserves a wall erected thanks to the suggestions of illustrious names such as Filippo Brunelleschi and Leon Battista Alberti.
It is a city of ancient origins, rich in history and culture.
THE HISTORIC CENTRE
We start the itinerary from the historic centre of San Giovanni, where one can admire the remains of the medieval walls (two towers, of which only one surviving, and 6/8 bastions, still partly visible), the ancient moat, but also the recovery of over 128 underground containers for the conservation of wheat that represented the true treasure of the Malatesta Lordship.
Upon arriving in the historic centre, we are immediately struck by Piazza Silvagni, the main square of the village, a market square dating back to the eighteenth century, bordered on one side by the Church of Santa Lucia (Beata Vergine delle Grazie), and on the other, by the ancient tower of the medieval castle, now a civic tower, 24 metres high.
Passing the tower, we immerse ourselves in the fortified village, crossed by the “middle road” surrounded on both sides by exquisite buildings of the 1700s-1800s, in particular the church of San Pietro which is presented today in the final renovation of the mid-eighteenth century, after the sixteenth-century ones by the monks of San Vitale in Ravenna.
The splendid theatre of the village, Teatro A. Massari, is instead one of the oldest historical theatres of Romagna, still active with an excellent theatrical season. Originally, it was an oratory of the Confraternity of the Rosary, then transformed for performances in 1821 and radically restored in 1855, until it was transformed into the typical Italian horseshoe-shaped theatre with a double order of stages.
Finally, Palazzo Malatesta-Carpegna-Corbucci was the residence of Malatesta de’ Malatesti, Lord of Pesaro, in the second half of the fourteenth century. After several changes of ownership, it was purchased by Pietro Corbucci in 1812, and it is now owned by the municipality. It is an imposing structure that has also incorporated part of the Malatesta walls and currently is the home of an exhibition of Romagna’s peasant culture.
EVENTS AND TRADITIONS OF THE VILLAGE
Popular folklore is still particularly alive in San Giovanni in Marignano: just think that the main events take place according to the “wheel of the year” cycle: “The Night of the Witches” and “Ancient Fair of Saint Lucia” fall respectively on the dates of the Summer Solstice and Winter Solstice, while the “New Year’s Eve of Wine and Palio of the Grape Pressing” and the Fogheraccia of San Giuseppe fall on the occasion of the Equinoxes.
The peasant world and popular folklore are still particularly vital, so much so that rituals, traditions and stories continue to be handed down. There are several traces that tell this story, which can be further understood in particular in the ethnographic exhibition on the ground floor of Palazzo Corbucci, “Cum a simie”, which tells the story of the culture, history, life, habits and customs of peasant people between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, thus narrating how we were, or rather, “cum a simie”.
Among the traditional initiatives we can not forget the antiques and modern collectables market, “Il Vecchio e l’Antico” held every fourth Sunday of the month and “La Notte dei Talenti”, an event organised by Aps Pro Loco that focuses on the discovery of new talent.
FOOD & WINE ROUTES
The agricultural vocation in San Giovanni has always been extremely vital. Born from a rustic Roman villa on the hill of Castelvecchio, the castle was then refounded in Castelnuovo in the plain, following the reclamation work of the monks. Wheat, wine and oil have always accompanied the history of Marignano, which even today boasts the presence in the territory of farms with certified quality productions.
Wineries and oil mills are always ready to welcome tourists and visitors with guided tours and tastings.
In 2022 San Giovanni in Marignano even opened Piadina Experience, an exhibition that allows one to make a journey through history and the rural tradition by means of the piadina.
ROUTE ON THE CONCA
For those who love nature, we recommend the nature trail along the Conca River that can be travelled by foot, by bike and on horseback.
The route winds through several municipalities in a natural landscape rich in vegetation. It is easy to traverse and allows one to reach both the sea and the first hills, following the course of the “crustumium rapax” of Roman memory.
In San Giovanni there are also sports facilities that allow one to relax and enjoy the landscapes of the village. In particular, horse riding grounds where international competitions are held and an 18-hole regulation golf course completely surrounded by greenery stand out.
The new nature trail that winds along the two banks of the Conca stream, in the province of Rimini, extends for about 13 km from the mouth to the hinterland, connecting the coastal municipalities of Cattolica and Misano Adriatico to those in the hinterland of San Clemente, Morciano di Romagna and San Giovanni in Marignano. It crosses a large portion of territory where the agricultural and natural landscapes, once predominant and intact, are now found to coexist with a fragmented urban fabric, dispersed and often characterised by the lack of architectural quality.
In this way, a new narration of the local landscape was born, which brings together, for the first time in a single circuit, numerous places with an identitarian value: the Conca basin with its wetlands and the WWF oasis, ideal for bird watching; vineyards; the ancient “fossa dei mulini” and the old quarry “Asmara”; the abbey of Moscolo; some riding stables and the urban park of Morciano di Romagna.
San Giovanni in Marignano remains a destination rich in history, art, nature and magic. It’s hard to think of being able to visit everything in just one day. Much more likely to think of going back again and more than once!
For info: 0541 828124