The Rabbi Valley
Even if the continued existence of a medieval road that joined, starting from Forlì, the Sieve Valley to that of the Rabbi is historically uncertain, it is in any case legitimate to assume that in the 1300s this route was used by our pilgrims. A favorable clue regarding its existence at the time has recently been uncovered in the 14th century statues of Predappio, with the reference to a “strata magistra seu francisca”, that is to say a Roman road, which passed through this area.
So it seems plausible to at least hypothesis that, starting in the 1300s, this valley could be crossed from Forlì up to Tuscany via San Godenzo.
Along this route, about 15 kilometers past Forlì, there is one of the most famous places of Romagna, as it is the birthplace of Benito Mussolini. Higher up, and a few kilometers farther down the road going towards the Montone Valley, is Predappio Alta which was probably called as such (“Pietra d'Appia” or Appia’s Stone) because in 1288 Giovanni d’Appia built the Calboli castle here.
Of great historical interest is the cathedral of S. Cassiano in Pennino, cited in documents as early as the 11th century. Even if it was heavily remodeled in 1934, in its median apse it still has sculpted decorations that belong to the original Romanesque fabrication; the façade is crowned with double lancet windows.
Much higher up the valley and not so far from the Tuscan border and nearby Mugello region, Premilcuore still has its well-preserved medieval center, encircled by walls, and dominated by remains of the ancient Fortress, which belonged to the noble Guidi family. On the other side of Rabbi, the old parish church of S. Martino dell’Oppio stands. Founded around the 10th century, it has undergone various remodeling, and the actual structure dates back to the second half of the 1500s. Inside, the style is prevalently Romanesque even if contrasted by the Baroque forms of the altars, and the rock columns, all made from one piece, which hold up the lateral arcades. The trussed roof is noteworthy as is the paneled ceiling above the choir. Also some oil paintings from the 16th century are worth mentioning, among which is the Madonna del Carmine by Jacopo Vignali.
Premilcuore is also important because today it is the gateway to the National Park of the Casentinesi Forests, Monte Falterona, Campigna.
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