GRADARA KM 14
It is situated on a hill to the south-east of Cattolica, at an altitude of 142 m . There is agricultural activity connected with food production as well as activity tourism. It is a picturesque medieval village closed within fourteenth century city walls. It is dominated by the Rocca (fortress), equipped with towers and keep, built by Malatesta of Verrucchio (1307 – 1325) on an existing settlement of the XI-XII centuries. It was restored in 1494 by Sforza and then again in 1923-1925. Inside there is an interesting earthenware shovel made by A. Della Robbia; In the “chamber Francesca” tradition says that the tragedy of Francesca da Rimini took place. Of interest is the picture gallery in the City Hall.
URBINO KM 36
The greatest resources are tourism and the university. Homeland of Raffaello Sanzio, of the Baroccio and of the Brandani. The Roman remains are scarce, while from the Gothic age there is the St. Domenico church (prior to 1365), with a Renaissance portal and the interior remade by Luigi Vanvitelli (1727 – 1732) and the San Francesco church, from the second half of XIV century, remade on the interior also by Vantivelli (1740). You can also find gothic forms on the oratory of San Giovanni Battista in which are preserved frescos (1416) of their Salimbeni brothers. The Palazzo Ducale, the greatest monument of Urbino, was started shortly after 1450, for Duke Federico from Montefeltro on the remains of the ancient fortress. It was built over time by Luciano Laurana (1468-1472) and Francis of George Martini and much later (in 1563) Girolamo Genga added a new plan to the construction. To Bramante have been attributed two small chapels of the Muse and the Forgiveness that are inside the building while to Francesco di Giorgio Martini is attributed the work of the church of San Bernardino that is out of the city and hold the tombs of Dukes Federico and Guidobaldo from Montefeltro. Important to visit is the birthplace of Raphael and the centre of the academy of Raphael, where among other things is preserved a signed fresco. Urbino is the birthplace of Bramante and Raphael, symbol of the Italian Renaissance, with its original historical centre and the majority of the buildings from the golden age. Sets on two hills, it is surrounded by ancient walls and bastions. Four principal roads connect the two hills and these with the lowland. Every year, in August, Urbino celebrates with the Festival of the Duke with reenactment s in the streets of the centre with costumes, acrobats and fire eaters, culminating in the challenge of the counts in the presence of the Ducal Court.
SAN MARINO KM 60
The city was founded by Saint Marinus and several Christian refugees in the year 301. From then on the city became a center of Christian refugees who fled from Roman persecution. As a result, the city become the oldest republic in Europe, for the republic’s territory at that time only included the single city of San Marino. The urban heart of the city was protected by three towers: the first, Guaita, constructed in the 11th century, was famous for being impenetrable, which to a great extent discouraged attacks on the city. Due to the Crusades, it was felt necessary to construct a second tower, Cesta (13th century). But the Sanmarinense defensive system was not completed until the construction of a third tower, the Montale (14th century) – the smallest of all and constructed on the last of the summits of Monte Titano.With the population of the city increasing, the territory of the country was extended by a few square kilometers. Since the Sanmarinese policy was not to invade or to use war to obtain new territories, it was by means of purchases and treaties that San Marino obtained the other nine castelli which make up San Marino. There are more than a thousand retail outlets, where one can find a great variety of products.
SAN LEO KM 72
At an altitude of 539 m. In Montefeltro, located on a rocky shelf on the right side of the Marecchia valley, St Leo is the last northern extension of Mount Carpegna. It is a tourist destination as well as a producer of cereals, grapes (wine); animal fodder; livestock (for cheese and salami), wood and footwear. It was mentioned by Dante (Purg., IV, 25). The town has maintained the original medieval structure, with a single access road and the village gathered around the central square. Overlooking the piazza is the Della Rovere Palace, now City Hall (early seventeenth century.) The Medici palace from the Renaissance has been greatly restructured, and the apse of the parish is an interesting example of pre-Romanesque architecture, with three naves and a crypt (IX sec.). In a remote location, flanked by the sturdy Romanesque bell tower, is the cathedral (1173), with three aisles and a wide crypt, in which the Lombard Romanesque style is enriched by Gothic accents. On the highest point of the cliff stands the huge fortress, one of the most famous examples of Italian military architecture. Of ancient origin, it was restructured several times, and in the Renaissance Francesco di Giorgio Martini added the angular towers and a bulwark curtain. It was turned into a prison by the papal government, and Cagliostro (who died there), Felice Orsini and A. Saffi were imprisoned, among others. Also in the area is the beautiful convent Sant’Igne (fifteenth century frescoes in the cloisters) and in the village of Pietracuta, the medieval fortress.
FANO KM 12
IIn Fano there are the remains of the Augustan walls, the August Arch ( 2 A .D.) on which there are the St. Michael’s loggias, the Malatesta palace with its court (the nice loggia of Sansovino), the civic museum (art gallery; the Numismatic collection), Luca Sangallo and Nuti’s bastions, the Malatesta Fortress (1438-1452) that these days is used as the prison, the Romanesque-Gothic “Palazzo della Ragione” (1299), the “Teatro della Fortuna” (rebuilt during the XIX century) and the Romanesque cathedral (rebuilt several times during the XII century). Also important are St. Paterniano’s Basilica (1547) with the church tower by Jacopo Sansovino, the Romanesque-Gothic San Domenico church of the XIV century (which was rebuilt and contains an important work of St. Thomas D’Aquino di Palma the young), the two churches of St. August (XIII-XIV centuries, several times restored) and that of St. Maria Nuova (XVI century restored) in which there are some paintings by Perugino and G. Santi. Some beautiful mansions are: Castracane (with Renaissance frescos), Martinozzi, assigned to Sansovino (1564) and Montevecchio (XVIII century). Only part of the façade remains of the semi-destroyed church of St. Francis which has, under the front portico, the Malatesta arches and tomb monuments of the XV century. Really sumptuous is the Federician town library. This area also includes the Camaldolese hermitage of Monte Giove (223m) and a small spa in Fonti di Carignano (salt bromine-ionic waters).