Fortresses and villages: 7 things to discover in the hinterland of Riccione

Ideas for unexpected trips between curiosities and legends

1. Montebello Castle and the Azzurrina Legend

The Montebello Castle, which dominates the Marecchia valley, is just a few kilometers from Riccione and overlooks a truly indescribable panorama, which gives us a first idea of how wonderful the Romagna hinterland is. The fascinating Rocca is surrounded by a medieval popular legend: the protagonist is Azzurrina, the daughter of Ugolinuccio di Montebello, born in 1370. The legend tells that the little girl, albino and with her mother’s hair dyed blue, disappeared only five years old inside the castle. Since then it has been said that on certain nights the ghost of Azzurrina is heard crying inside the Castle.

2. The Castle of Gradara and the love story of Paolo and Francesca

“Galeotto was the book and who wrote it: that day we no longer read from it” Dante immortalized and made the story of Paolo and Francesca a symbol of passionate and unfortunate love, but perhaps not all of us know the Castle which was the scene of the meeting and the sad end of the two lovers. It is in Gradara, an enchanting village located in an area of exceptional landscape and environmental value. Here there is no shortage of historical artifacts, churches and suggestive views.

3. The fortress of San Leo and its panorama

The fortress of San Leo dominates the Marecchia valley from the height of its 600 meters, from which you can admire a panorama made up of woods, rocky peaks and gullies, up to the sea. Below, we find the small village, collected and suggestive, paved in stone. Ideal, for its relaxing atmosphere, for those fleeing the nightlife of the Riviera.

4. Sogliano al Rubicone and “fossa cheese”


Another village not to be missed in the Romagna hinterland is certainly Sogliano al Rubicone. The village tells of the most authentic Italy, has enchanting glimpses and fascinating views of the sea, but is known above all for its pit cheese, aged for three months in typical oval-shaped pits, carved into the rock. The Fossa di Sogliano cheese is mentioned in documents as early as 1487.

5. The caves of Onferno and the colonies of bats

A small stream that makes its way through the rock and that with its strength creates an unusual and suggestive place. A few kilometers from the Romagna coast, in the hinterland of the Conca Valley, are the Onferno Caves, a perfect destination for those who want to experience the thrill of an underground adventure. You go down for 1350 meters to admire, in a speleological visit that lasts about 90 minutes, crystalline gypsum, a huge colony of bats and all the gypsum caves.

6. The Oasis of Montetiffi, the village and the trays

The Montetiffi Site of Community Interest is hidden between the Savio and Marecchia rivers. Here you can walk in the midst of nature among the hilly landscapes, woods and prairies. Among the holm oaks and maples, wild lime trees and red juniper you can spot porcupines, skunks, green woodpeckers and who knows … maybe even a wolf. A few km from the perched village of Montetiffi, do not miss Maurizio’s small artisan workshop, which produces the famous “teglie di Montetiffi“, the only one left to handcraft the “testo”, or the terracotta pan traditionally used to cook the piadina.

7. Sant’Agata Feltria and the “fairy tale Rocca”

The medieval town of Sant’Agata Feltria is known in the Rimini area for its characteristic Christmas markets and the Truffle Fair (very good truffle!), but what is most surprising is the ancient fortress called Rocca Fregoso, today called Rocca delle Fiabe (fairy tale Rocca). It is an elegant castle built around the year 1000 on top of the Sasso del Lupo, the large sandstone rock with steep and steep walls.


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