Where it is
On 1 January 2014 this municipality was created from the merger of Poggio Berni and Torriana. The town once belonged to the territory of the Malatesta Seignory.
The territory of Poggio Berni, partly situated on three small hills which are the continuation of the hill of Santarcangelo, has a distinguishing feature: the variety of historic buildings dotted around the countryside. Here you can find great houses of notable beauty and fascinating history, but also rural buildings of outstanding interest, with many features illustrating the traditional culture of these lands.
Why visit it
In Poggio Berni, the historic houses include aristocratic mansions and villas whose origins go back many centuries, once the property of the most powerful local families; while the rural buildings are mostly mills, which once served a vast agricultural area which can still be seen around the main centre. The great number of both historic houses and mills in such a relatively small area is unusual, but the two features are in fact two sides of the same coin: both bear witness to the wealth generated by this fertile and densely populated countryside.
The two fortresses of Torriana and Montebello stand perched on two of the rocky cliffs so typical of the Marecchia valley, excellent natural defences in times of war and invasions. Invincible fortresses which witnessed the splendours of the Malatesta Seignory and the bitter battles against the castles and troops of Montefeltro, the adjoining region which includes the middle and upper parts of the valley.
There are mysterious legends too, and the richness of the environment has led to the creation of a nature reserve complete with a study and research centre.
Sapignoli mill museum
It is a museum of milling art, and gives the thrill of seeing it in perfect working order.
Fortress of the Guidi of Bagno Family
This is certainly one of the most interesting historic buildings in the whole of the Malatesta Seignory. The aristocratic residence dates from the latter part of the 15th century when the Malatestas were replaced by the Counts Guidi di Bagno, who still own the castle. There are many surprises in store for visitors of the castle, which is full of treasures and secrets.
Mysterious tunnels and dark passages, deep wells and strange happenings have nourished the legend that the castle is haunted by the ghost of Azzurrina, the daughter of the retainer, a little girl about five years old with strange bluish hair, who disappeared without a trace in 1375 in the underground passages of the castle. It is said she still wanders within the castle walls.
On the table
Torriana is the city of honey for its historical and valuable production: in September this nectar is celebrated with a dedicated festival.
Torriana and Montebello are surrounded by lush green countryside, and the local “Comunità Montana” association has created a network of paths, well-kept and well-signposted, for hikers, mountain bikes, and horse-riders.
The paths cover the entire territory, with links to Verucchio and the middle and upper Marecchia valley, and are interesting not only to nature enthusiasts but also to history lovers, since they pass close by to a number of historic buildings.
One of the best walks is to the Church of Our Lady in Saiano.
In the surroundings
Church of Our Lady in Saiano
The church, dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, can be reached on foot. Inside the church is a 15th-century plaster statue of the Madonna and Child, much venerated by the women of the valley, who called on her to protect them in childbirth. The bronze door of the church was designed by the sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro.
Marecchia valley natural observatory Oasi Montebello
Founded in 1993, the reserve protects an area important for a number of reasons: geological (chalk formations), botanical (oak woods, orchids, water plants) and above all for its fauna.
Shrine of Our Lady of Saiano
It is a unique complex that stands on the top of a rocky outcrop that rises right over the bed of the Marecchia River, within the Nature Oasis. The shrine is within walking distance and its church is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel.
Established in1993, it protects a part of the territory that is interesting for its geological aspects (presence of chalk formations), vegetation aspects (oak groves, orchids, pond vegetation, etc.) and, above all, wildlife aspects.