Why visit it
Mondaino stands up on a hilltop in the middle of the Conca Valley, where fallow deer once roamed and there was a temple to Diana, goddess of hunting and of woodland.
The hilltop became a fortified village, a Malatesta stronghold on the borders of the rival Duchy of Urbino.
Fortified walls and gates and a mighty fortress all bear witness to a past, which is brought to life every summer in wonderfully evocative pageantry.
Successive centuries too left their mark on Mondaino: an unusual circular market place, fine mansions and churches.
The surrounding countryside is still very green and peaceful, charming in every season.
The most unusual market place in the area, and the most interesting of 19th-century squares; semi-circular with a neo-Classic portico, it was designed by the architect Francesco Cosci. The main street of the town leads into the market place like a handle, giving rise to the townspeople’s affectionate nickname, “Frying-Pan Square”.
The Museum is inside the Fortress and contains fossils found in and around Mondaino, a fine collection with some spectacular exhibits including 21 species of fish, and animals and plants four million years old.
The particular rock type and fossilisation process has left outstandingly clear traces of the organisms captured.
On the table
Good cheese is produced around Mondaino, and an interesting event is "Fossa, Tartufo e Venere", held on the third and fourth Sundays in November with the exhibition of white truffles and fossa cheese. Mondaino will once again become a "town for gluttons" with the prized white truffle and fossa cheese from the hills around Rimini.
Palio del Daino - Historical Festival
In August, for four days, the different "contrade" vie with one another in games, challenges, and contests of mediaeval and Renaissance inspiration. The old town centre makes a wonderful backdrop, and places are transformed to make taverns, wine cellars, and places of entertainment.
Great attention is paid to scenery, lighting, costumes and all the food featured at the event, one of the major and most evocative events in this entire area.