Just behind Rimini the Valmarecchia Valley begins, which, unlike the Valconca, is characterized by the contrast between a harmonious landscape and unexpected spurs of rock where the Malatesta built towers and fortresses to control the territory. This valley is a land of poets, artists and dreamers, and its heart beats in Santarcangelo di Romagna, well-known for its theater festival. The town has preserved a historic center that deserves a visit of at least a few hours and definitely a stop for a meal: ancient buildings, stairways, alleys and squares, the village is dominated by a fortress of Malatesta era and is full of places that mix memory and future, where you can taste the authentic traditional and revisited Romagna cuisine. Do not miss a visit to the underground caves, where you’ll find beautiful tufaceous caves, and the incredible Mutonia, a community of artists who create sculptures composed only of scrap metal materials – pieces of cars, engines, pipes… – which become automata, mythological animals, post-atomic insects, cyborg-monsters.
A few kilometers away is Verucchio, clearly visible from a distance on the spur of rock that dominates the plain and that contends for Pennabilli the fame of “cradle of the Malatesta”. The signs of its glorious history can be seen above all in the historic center that has preserved the typical medieval imprint. Among the prestigious palaces and ancient churches, the beautiful fortress stands. Testimonies of an important past are collected in the Archaeological Park and the Villanovan Museum, which houses a splendid wooden throne from the Etruscan era
An authentic gem is the village of Montebello with its fortress and the legends that legends that inhabit it. From here it’s just a short distance to reach the Alta Valmarecchia, which is impossible not to fall in love with: the unspoiled nature, the landscapes, the art and the history, the famous and sought-after typical products all over the world make it a unique and unmissable travel destination. The first town you meet going up the valley, after Verucchio and Torriana, is San Leo, the gateway to Montefeltro. It has an intact historic center anchored to a massive and unmistakable rock overhanging, where you’ll find a beautiful Romanesque church next to the Cathedral and the Medici Palace, as well as the majestic fortress that once imprisoned Cagliostro.
In the Sasso Simone and Simoncello Natural Park, you’ll find Pennabilli, elected residence by Tonino Guerra, a poet and writer who created the I luoghi dell’anima (Places of the soul), a poetic museum spread throughout the territory. Don’t miss the Orto dei frutti dimenticati (Garden of forgotten fruits) and the walk to the panoramic point where an incredible Tibetan bell can be found. Continuing along the course of the Marecchia River, you’ll reach Sant’Agata Feltria, with its monumental fairy-tale-like fortress, famous not only for its natural beauty but also for its prized white truffles. This excellence is celebrated every year in October. Alongside truffles, we must also mention Talamello amber, the famous “formaggio di fossa” (cheese aged in underground pits), a product of ancient tradition that owes its rich and unique flavor to the environment created in the hermetically sealed pits where it is stored.
On the visitrimini.com website, you can purchase the Rimini Country Card, which offers discounted admission to art sites.