Where the via Emilia crosses the river Montone, there is the historic center of the ancient Roman colony “Forum Livi” founded between the 3rd and 4th centuries BC, then during the Middle Ages it became a large town with a vast civil and ecclesiastic territory.
In the centuries around the year 100, Forlì was subject to the supremacy of the bishops of Ravenna, and maybe as a reaction to this, it then went through a period as a Ghibelline, pro-imperial municipal, in contrast with the numerous Guelph municipals of the region. The Ordelaffi family ended this; this was the noble family of the city until 1480.
The Romei of that time could visit San Mercuriale that, built up on the site of a very ancient religious building dedicated to the protomatyr Stephen, took shape at the end of the 12th century. Of historic-monumental interest are the uses of the building, first a monastery then a parish church, located outside the walls of the city, which had S. Croce as its spiritual guide, in its dual function as a cathedral and a plebian center.
Additions and remodeling in the 1500-1600s, and later two restorations, never modified the original floor plan. More importantly, is the high relief of the Antelami School – with the Support and Adoration of the Magi – in the lunette of the door, inside the works are mostly dated to after the age of the pilgrims.
Also noteworthy and dating to the 12th century and is the door of the Church of S. Maria dei Servi, not far from the municipal Pinacotheca.
From Forlì the pilgrimage then went on through the valleys of Montone and Rabbi, or it moved on to the nearby Forlimpopoli by crossing through the Bidente valley.
For tourist information:
Local site: Turismo forlivese