Surroundings and hinterland

San Marino

One of the oldest republic in the world,  San Marino, is located on Mount Titano, 739 meters high above sea level.
The Sea, from the three strongholds of the city, is seen like a bright blue stripe that frames the green plain below.


It is not only the breathtaking scenery that attracts thousands of tourists here every year : San Marino, according to the legend was  founded in 301 by a Dalmatian stonemason named Marino, the city has a historic and medieval aspect, in which narrow and uphill streets cross together forming a maze in which you can lose yourself while looking through shops of all kinds.
 San Marino was declared a World Heritage Site in 2008.

Santarcangelo di Romagna

In Santarcangelo air consists of nitrogen, oxygen and art. Here poets like Tonino Guerra, Nino and Raffaele Baldini Pedretti were born.

 

Here, for the last  forty years, every July the streets, squares and houses are transformed into stages and host the International  Theatre Festival in the Square.
 Hundreds of caves are carved in Mount Jupiter, penetrating deep into the soft material it is made of , leaving open many questions about their sources. Here stands a fortress where  Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatestais half brother Roberto ,called Roberto the  Beato died at a very young age.

It 's nice to go up the steps leading to the high end of town, observed by well-fed cats dozing on the window sills and enjoy an aperitif or a piadina  in one of the picturesque inns.

Verucchio

Verucchio is a small town with important origins : between the ninth and fourth centuries BC, in fact, this territory was the cradle of a very important civilization, that of Villanovans.
 A visit to the town's archaeological museum is not to be missed: here  valuable objects found within the necropolis are stored.

Male and female remains allow us to reconstruct the daily life of this proud people. In Villa Verucchio there is a  Franciscan convent of the Friars Minor, founded by St. Francis in 1213.
 Legend has it that the ancient cypress tree which stands near the monastery was planted by the Saint.


San Leo


It stands on a steep rocky cliff so harsh ,  that you can enter the town from only one entrance.
 The imposing fortress of the Montefeltro is situated on the highest point of the great mass of rock and overlooks the town: here , tormented Giuseppe Balsamo, better known as Count Cagliostro spent his final days.

You can visit the small cell where he was imprisoned. In  town there are  other masterpieces such as the parish church and the Lombard-Romanesque cathedral of the twelfth century to visit.
 Just outside  town lies the monastery of Sant'Igne recently renovated and charming place surrounded by nature.

Sant'Agata Feltria

Proceeding into Val Marecchia a visit to Sant'Agata Feltria is a must. The protagonist of popular village fairs , like one in  the autumn dedicated to the truffle .The  charming old town is  dominated by Rocca Fregoso, which seems to defy gravity, rising on a rugged rocky outcrop

On the main square stands  the unique theater Mariani, a small theater made ??entirely of wood also chosen by Gassman in 1993  for its particular  acoustics.

Gradara

In Gradara is the castle where  probably  one of the most famous crimes in history took place : that of Paolo and Francesca, who were killed at the hands of her husband and immortalized by the poetry of Dante.

It is precisely the Castle the element that distinguishes Gradara : This is one of the best preserved medieval fortress in Italy. Within its walls lived Giovanni Sforza and Lucrezia Borgia, Sigismondo Malatesta and Isotta.
 The castle is enclosed by a double wall that makes it even more impregnable, interspersed with square towers and battlements  to keep controlled the vast flat land.