Walking through the ancient Roman roads. Route: via Aretina (1/2 day). Rimini - Secchiano

This itinerary on the Via Aretina - 1/2 day - goes up the valley of the Marecchia River, which is of ancient formation, and was certainly already active in the early Iron Age.

The path that went up the valley of the Marecchia river is of ancient formation, certainly active already in the early Iron Age. In Roman times the road was surely via Aretina, because it connected Rimini with Arretium (Arezzo). The road started out from the Montanara gate and, leaving the town, it crosses a suburban area full of productive plants, among which the one found in the former Agricultural Consortium (via Circonvallazione Meridionale) where the remains of a Roman basin are preserved and where the springs were that fed the entire center of the Rimini area. Located about 17km from Rimini, Verucchio highlights, with the rich patrimony exhibited in the Villanova Archaeological Museum, the ridge that the path of the valley followed as part of the connections between the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic sides. Continuing on for another 12 km, just before reaching Secchiano, the church of Santa Maria in Vico preserves in its name the trace of the ancient vicus located along the route of Via Aretina. Tombstones and funerary inscriptions taken from the center of the street were used to build the church and are still recognizable in the walls of the building.


Porta Montanara | Rimini
In the circle of the Roman walls, at the output of the cardo maximus, a door opened in the direction of the hill known as Porta Montanara. It was a door with two side by side arches, of which today only one remains. It was restored and placed not far from the original site. The door dates back to the first century. B.C. and it was part of a broader defensive equipment with an inner gatehouse. The direct route along the Marecchia valley toward the mountain and the pass in the direction of Arezzo began from here.


Cistern of the Former Agricultural Consortium | Rimini
Just outside the Porta Montanara a major archaeological dig has given back elements of the oldest necropolis in Rimini (exhibited in the Museo della Città (Museum of the City) and traces of production buildings: a large tub paved in a herringbone pattern (opus spicatum) is kept in place.


Parish church of San Lorenzo in Monte | Covignano Rimini
Recent archaeological studies have dated the oldest church in V-VI cent. AD, built by taking advantage of many Roman architectural elements of some existing building. Eight Roman Republican era capitals now housed in the Museo della Città come from the area. They testify the existence of a considerable size temple.


Colle di Covignano (Covignano Hill) | Rimini
Since the sixth century B.C. Covignano Hill, full of woods and springs, was the seat of worship around the water sources, often considered curative. It is, perhaps, the case of Villa Ruffi hole, whose materials can be found at the Museum of Rimini. The hill still retains the springs that feed the source Galvanina: artefacts recovered from the excavation of the ancient Roman fountain and accommodation, including vases, terracotta pipes, and a beautiful head of Roman Augustan age preserved in the small exhibition hall inside of Galvanina spa. Also around the hill slopes there are the water catchment supplying the city aqueduct (Monte La Cava).


Museo Civico Archeologico | Verucchio
Materials found in the rich Villanovan necropolis (IX-VII century BC.) discovered in Verucchio are exposed inside the Museo Civico Archeologico. The city, thanks to its dominant position on the Val Marecchia, during the early Iron Age held a significant control function on the links between the Adriatic and the Tyrrhenian side of the Peninsula. A concrete trace of this preeminent role is given by the rich funerary objects: arms gold and amber jewels, rare elements of wagons and wooden rare furniture.


Pieve di S. Maria in Vico Novafeltria - Parish church of St. Mary | Novafeltria
The village is mentioned for the discovery of numerous Roman sacred and funeral inscriptions, suggesting, perhaps, the presence of a religious site, certainly of a staging postal station along Via Arretina, at the river crossings.