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Home The Via dei Romei The Marecchia Valley

The Marecchia Valley

Crossing through the hinterland near Rimini, the pilgrims could go through the Marecchia Valley and back up towards the Apennines – headed towards their final destination, Rome.  Sticking to the right side meant crossing through towns and going past the fortress of Santarcangelo di Romagna.


Santarcangelo di Romagna - Foto by Andrea Samaritani


This town still has a medieval layout and it has conserved some of its medieval atmosphere.  Its name comes from the noteworthy parish church of S. Michael Archangel, famous among the pilgrims of that time, and dating back presumably to the 6th century.  Historical sources confirm the importance of this place as an initial leg of the ancient “iter Tiberinum” between Rimini and Rome.


On the left side, instead, one stopped at the parish church of S. Martino, in Verucchio; a beautiful Romanesque church, today in ruins.  It is possible that this town, once an ancient Villanovan settlement, was known as the hometown of the Malatesta family which would soon become the ruling noble family of Romagna.  Its first significant member was, between 1150 and 1190, Giovanni della Penna dei Billi, nicknamed, of course, “Malatesta”.


The parish church is quite interesting; a beautiful Romanesque church which is now, however, in bad condition.  We know from sources that beginning in 1230 this church inherited its legacy from the older and more important parish church of San Giovanni in Bulgaria Nova, which was located near Corpolò but of which nothing remains.


Another religious object from the 1200s is the cypress of Saint Francis – according to legend it was planted by the saint himself – in the 14th century cloister of the Villa Verucchio monastery.


On the opposite side, there are the hills of Torriana and Montebello, and the ancient “Mount of the War” with manors and fortified towers of various epochs.


On the shore of the river, the Marian sanctuary of Saiano, a triple lancet church with a very rare layout, and an immense civic tower are proof of the existence of the “Castrum Sagliani Maricule” noted as early as 962.


From Verucchio, the pilgrims continued going up the Marecchia Valley passing through the high Montefeltro, headed towards the fortresses of Pietracuta, Maiolo and Talamello, to then continue on through Santo Stefano parish, now in the province of Arezzo.


For tourist information:

Local site: Rimini Riviera

Last modified Feb 02, 2017

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