Fortresses and Castles on the Wines and Dines Route
A journey through some of the castles and fortresses of the Province of Forlì-Cesena it could certainly not be exhaustive, as any thematic path; but each of these castles may become the starting point for the discovery and understanding the history of the Romagna…
Among Forlimpopoli and Predappio
The ideal point of departure of this trip will be Forlimpopoli: the Fortress "Salvaterra" was built by the papal legate Albornoz in 1360, destroying and incorporating some existing buildings including the church used until then as the cathedral. It consists of four corner bastions, moat and barbican. Today are here located the town hall, the Museum Tobia Aldini, an interesting archaeological museum with local finds and the small nineteenth-century theater "Verdi".
Precisely the theater was the target of one of the numerous raids of the notorious bandit Stefano Pelloni (better known as "The Passatore") on the night of January 25, 1851, he showed up with his gang in front of the public, who were robbed. Among the spectators of that tragic night were also present the famous Pellegrino Artusi and his sister Gertrude, who was deeply shocked by the ferocity of that "rude" bandit ...
Precisely the theater was the target of one of the numerous raids of the notorious bandit Stefano Pelloni (better known as "il Passatore") on the night of January 25, 1851, he showed up with his gang in front of the public of middle-class who were robbed. Among the spectators of that tragic night were also present the famous Pellegrino Artusi and his sister Gertrude, who was deeply shocked by the ferocity of that bandit "rude" ...
Behind Forlimpopoli, in a position of privilege and control, the small Bertinoro, silent hill village and headquarters of the Wine and Dine Route throught the Hills of Forlì-Cesena; in addition to numerous wineries of excellence, can not 'miss a visit to the Fortress, long the seat of the local bishops. Thanks to its thick walls it was one of the best defenses in the area.
Inside the old museum of the liturgical furniture has been transformed, in recent years, into the Interreligious Museum, the starting point for a cultural constant and innovative comparison between the monotheistic religions of the world: Christianity, Islam, Judaism reinterpreted by different languages.
With a short detour through the vineyards, you reach the small town of Meldola, characterized by the presence of waters of the river changes its name from Bidente in Ronco. The Fortress of Meldola, built in the eleventh century, then reworked first by Malatesta and then by Pio da Carpi, who transformed it into a princely mansion, has been for long time the subject of a complex restoration.
A few miles on the road to Montecavallo, stands the hamlet of Teodorano with its medieval castle of which remains only the high walls and the donjon.
Left Meldola, a detour permits to reach Rocca delle Caminate, which is occupied by the homonymous fortress. The ancient castle was a private property of Professor Antonio delle Vacche that sold it to a Committee of the citizens from Romagna determined to recover it. When completed in 1926, it was given as present to Benito Mussolini.
The gift played a mainly symbolic value, in a land that intended to fully recognize the values ??of fascism and huddle around the figure, at that time the subject of an ongoing process of mythologizing the Duce.
In the area of Cesena
Down along the Via Emilia to reach Cesena, with its mighty fortress placed in control of the underlying industrious city once known by Pliny the Elder who sang the industriousness and agricultural products, now also a university town.
The fortress of Cesena is located on the hill Garampo. It was in ancient (sixth century) and medieval citadel and iwithin its walls there where even the old cathedral. Only from domination of Malatesta di Galeotto, from 1378, was decided to rebuilt the old fortress.
The fortress of Cesena is one of the most interesting of this area: it is possible to visit the undergrounds, the walkways along the walls that allow to look down on the city and its surroundings and, finally, the donjons that containe collections of the acient agricoltural culture and old weapons.
The new managemen organizes meetings, visits, exhibitions, workshops and concerts that make it a avant-garde.cultural center
After leaving Cesena going to south it is possible to reach the valley of the Rubicon and Longiano.
Longiano and Sorrivoli
Small, composed and huddled around the great Malatesta Castle, Longiano is a beautiful medieval town
The castle looks like a mighty and isolated artifact, surrounded by concentric walls that follow historically the expansion of the ancient village located between Cesena and Rimini and for this reason several times destroyed and rebuilt.
Today the castle, partly transformed during the nineteenth century is seat of one of the most important collections of contemporary art in the region of Emilia Romagna.
The foundation Tito Balestra take its name from the ohmonymous little-known poet of Longiano and offers a glimpse of stunning art (especially graphics) that represents the Roman culture of the forties, fifties and sixties of the twentieth century and the circle of artists including Tito Balestra Mino Maccari , Renzo Vespignani, Tono Zancanaro, Giorgio Morandi.
Not far from Longiano, dominates the territory the scenic castle of Sorrivoli (Roncofreddo), which with its micro-village is a picturesque complex where are held periodically exhibitions, concerts, ethnic dinners and the famous Festival of Puppet.
In the domains of the Romagna Toscana
The second path winds entirely behind the city of Forlì, where historically they were the boundaries that separated the Papal States and the Republic of Florence, Grand Duchy of Tuscany and then finally the Province of Florence which Benito Mussolini in 1923 returned to the Province of Forlì.
In this area there are numerous castles and fortresses as evidence of the need for Medici to control the Adriatic coast.
In this area, the atmosphere is different, but not totally even Tuscan Romagna: an original hybrid, identifiable in architecture characterized by the prevalence of the use of stone, in the kitchen and in the accent in which the people of Romagna can hardly fully recognize.
OUtposts of this territory was Modigliana, wonderful village in the valley of Tramazzo. La Rocca, called "the Roccaccia", not overlooking the small town that has developed in a decentralized manner.
Today, there is a stump that can not be reached for safety reasons. This is enough, however, to have become a symbol of the place that according to the tradition in the tenth century gave rise to the famous dynasty of Guidi through the marriage between the countess Englarata resident there, with the Earl of Tuscan origin Teudegrimo.
The Counts Guidi ruled there until 1377 when the castle became part of the Republic of Florence.
The village was the birthplace of the famous painter Silvestro Lega, the patriot priest Don Giovanni Truth, the soprano Pia Tassinari.
Among Dovadola and Monte Poggiolo...
The Fortress of Dovadola, currently undergoing restoration, was also known as the "Rocca dei Conti Guidi" and overlooks on a spur the little center, a place that since ancient times played an important role in the control of the Apennine passes.
The whole valley of Montone was a strategic place for the outposts of the Medici who conquered Monte Poggiolo and then Castrocaro and Terra del Sole.
Monte Poggiolo, in particular, is datable to the tenth century; after the Ordelaffi, was ceded to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in the early fifteenth century.
The Fortress is built in brick and still has a irregular quadrilateral shape. It has four cylindrical towers at the corners of the fort characterized by large scarp walls.
Today it is in a state of neglect and structural deterioration even if various interventions of restoration were initiated across time.
The Rocca of Monte Poggiolo is linked to a legend that tells of the existence, at the time of Caterina Sforza, of a tunnel that led up to the fortress to the Ravaldino in Forlì.
Castrocaro and Terra del Sole, Fortress and Ideal City ...
Not far from Monte Poggiolo is located Castrocaro with one of the most interesting examples of castles: after a decade of work of recovery the Fortress of Castrocaro may today be visited. The plant, protected by walls and place on the top of a hill that controls the thermal town below, is an "assemblage" of defensive structures from different eras.
The local pro loco has provided to put it in safety and furnish, bringing it to new life.
Inside there is also a permanent exposition ("The Keys and the Lily"), which tells the handover dates back to 1403 with which the fortress was sold to the Florentines, who were the owners until 1923.
Arouse astonishment the great "Arsenali medicei": they consist in three large halls, the first in the open air, the other two with large vaulted ceilings. In the wall of the third is located a large and spectacular fireplace and a collection tank for drinking water.
Inside the fortress was set up a tasting area with products of the Wine and Dine Route which offers the opportunity of buying and tasting local products (especially wine) maybe while you admire the panorama that goes from the sea to Mount Falterona.
Just a kilometer from Castrocaro lays Terra del Sole, founded December 8, 1564 by Cosimo de’ Medici.
Here, on the magnificent and elegant Piazza d'Armi atmosphere is less noisy than the nearby spa.
It seems that historically runs bad blood between the two centers: in fact Terra del Sole was founded with the express aim of becoming the new defensive center of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany instead of the old Fortress of Castrocaro.
In effect Terra del Sole was never used for offensive purposes and intended for disarmament in the late eighteenth century.
However, it remains one of the most admirable and completed ??examples of ideal city designed by the architect Baldassarre Lanci of Urbino, his son Marino, from Buontalenti and from the eclectic Girolamo Genga.
Within the perimeter of the walls (2 km and 87 m) develops the city whit its simmentyical plan and divided into two hemlets, Romano and Fiorentino.
Near by the gates two castles in stellar form. In the center the large Piazza d'Armi, which is overlooked by monumental buildings: the Church of S. Reparata, the Palazzo dei Commissari or Pretorio,
the Palazzo dei Provveditori and that of the Provincia (Cancelleria).
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