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Hamlets in Italy - San Leo

Visiting Marecchia valley

In province of Rimini there are 7 municipality that are part of Montefeltro area, in the Marecchia Valley. One of those is San Leo with its wonderful medieval fortress, a popular tourist destination in Emilia Romagna region. Driving the valley along the Marecchiese road (SS258), after 26 km from Rimini you will find after Pietracuta suburb the San Leo road sign on your left. It is not difficult to drive for San Leo and a detour on the top of the castle is a must-do in your holiday in Romagna land.

It is important to know that Dante Alighieri mentioned San Leo in Divine Comedy and the famous chemist and alchemist Count Cagliostro ended his life in the jail of the fortress. Walking for a tour on the top of the medieval village you have the possibility to visit many historical building. I suggest you someone.

The Fortress

It is a mighty defensive building designed by Francesco di Giorgio Martini. It is the postcard of the city, a world famous fortress.

Under the rule of the Papal State the fortress became an important prison: as we said before Count Cagliostro ended his days in its cells, and you can visit it walking inside the castle.

After the unification of Italy the fortress continued to be used as a prison, but now inside the fortress you will find an historical museum, collections of armour and weaponry.

It’s amazing standing on the top of fortifications during the sunset.

Town Hall & Medici Palace

In the centre of San Leo you can visit the Town Hall building. It was the residence of the Counts of Montefeltro.

Another building is the Medici Palace, once a residence for the governor of San Leo it is now home to the Museum of Sacred Art.

San Leone Cathedral

The Cathedral is an ancient foundation, rebuilt and a fine example of Romanesque architecture.

Inside you can see sculptures illustrating symbols of early Christian beliefs. The church consists in a Latin cross, three aisles and a transept, a crypt and a spacious presbytery.

The Bell tower

It is located solitary on the hill known as ‘Monte della Guardia‘.

From the top you can appreciate the attractive panoramas of Marecchia valley full of contrasts, alternating green hills, calcareous rocks and harmonious woods.

It is possible to enjoy amazing views both toward the mountains and toward the Adriatic sea.

Historical event

Al tempo del Duca‘ (i.e. in the time of the Duke) is an historical event which takes place in summer inside the powerful fortress. During the weekends, visitors and tourits will have the opporunity to step back in time to the late XV century by visiting the rooms, which will be taken back to their original functions, and by meeting soldiers and garrison officers living in the fortress, sutlers busy in the kitchen and craftsmen creating their products.

Important notes

During the summer season you will be forced to park the car outside the entrance of the village. Don’t worry because the centre is not so far. You can choose to walk for 5 minutes or take a little bus near the parking area.

Here some costs for the visit of the main monuments:

  • Bell Towers – 3.00 euros
  • Cathedral of San Leone – free entrance;
  • Fortress and museum – 8.00 euros.

Eleonora

I'm a Italy lover, mom of two, living in central Italy and I love travelling. I have a degree in Tourism economics and management and now I'm a consultant helping businesses working in tourism.

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