Among churches and monasteries

An itinerary among monasteries and parish churches, whose events are often linked to those of great saints who, during their wanderings, have characterized the history of these places, performing some miracles and giving life to places of great spirituality.


We start off from the center of Rimini where we can find the most important of the Augustinian convents, dedicated however to Saint John the Evangelist, founded in 1200. It is one of the largest churches in the city and in the apse and in the bell tower chapel, it preserves the greatest and best evidence of the 14th-century school of painting in Rimini.


Moving towards Santarcangelo di Romagna we find the oldest parish church in the province of Rimini, dedicated to the Archangel Michael, patron saint of the city. The construction of the building dates back to the sixth century and takes up the style of the Byzantine churches of Ravenna. Unfortunately, today it no longer has its mosaic floor and only a few fragments of the marble decorations remain. The place is still extremely fascinating and inspires recollection and meditation.


Going a few kilometers further along, we arrive at the foot of the Verucchio hill, where a hermitage once stood. Here St. Francis of Assisi stopped and performed some miracles. The hermitage was transformed into a convent, dating back to 1215 and it is considered the oldest Franciscan building in Romagna. A chapel was built on the place where the Saint's cell was located. The church has a 14th-century portal and a neoclassical interior, with an inlaid Renaissance choir.


Also on the grounds of Villa Verucchio lies the ancient Parish Church of Saint Martin, of rustic Romanesque-Gothic architectural style dating back to around the year 990. The Parish church stands on a slope shaded by olive trees at the foot of the rock on which Verucchio stands.


Also worth a visit is the Monastery of Saint Lawrence in Talamello, an ancient parish church and convent of the Augustinians dating from 1300, where there is a crucifix attributed to Giotto but actually done by Giovanni da Rimini. This crucifix repeatedly became the protagonist of inexplicable healings and is therefore considered miraculous.


Finally, we move on to San Leo where the Convent of Sant'Igne stands, dating back to the 13th century and whose foundation is attributed to Saint Frances. The small church, with a single hall, retains a segment of the trunk of the elm tree under which Francis preached to San Leo, demolished in 1662. On the side of the church a simple but fascinating cloister and on the east side the chapter house typical of the Gothic style.


In the town of Valmarecchia we can also find the Franciscan Convent of Montemaggio, organized around two cloisters and characterized by an underground neviera (an area where snow was kept for keeping food and beverages cool in the summer months), and the 11th-century Parish Church dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption, the oldest religious monument in Montefeltro. Tradition has it that the building was built on the cell where St. Leo retired in prayer. The parish church has a basilica plan with three naves with a crypt and raised presbytery on which the valuable 9th-century ciborium stands.