Beyond Bertinoro

Beyond Bertinoro

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The Church of St. Donato in Polenta

The Church of St. Donato, 5 Km from Bertinoro, was quoted for the first time in a document dating back to 911. It is a typical roman church with three naves and columns supporting the round arches. The capitals well embodies the architectural style from the 11th century. In 1897, Giosue Carducci wrote the poem Ode alla chiesa di Polenta, where he celebrates the family of the Lord of Ravenna Guido il Vecchio, who was also the patron of Dante Alighieri during his exile in Florence. The poem opens with Francesca from Polenta who was in Dante’s Inferno (canto V), damned for life with her lover Paolo Malatesta as lustful sinners.

Fratta Terme

Fratta Terme is located only 5 km away from Bertinoro and it is a perfect destination for wellness and spas lovers. In the middle of a park, you can find one of the most renowned spa centres of the region (
Thanks to its different 7 types of water, the Grand Hotel Terme della Fratta offers all the modern beauty centres treatments, 2 thermal pools, 1 Turkish bath, hydro-massage, wellness treatments and purpose designed relax treatments.
For those looking for a thrill, the “Indiana Park” offers different types of experiences in one of the biggest adventures park in Italy (


Forlimpopoli, only 5 km away from Bertinoro, is the home of Pellegrino Artusi, the author of The Science of cooking and the art of eating well: a bestseller about Italy’s culinary traditions, which is translated in more than 160 languages. You can wander around the city to visit:

  • The Albornoz Castle, today it hosts the municipality offices and the theatre, it was commissioned by the cardinal Egidio Albornoz in 1354. Afterwards the Castle was modified a little.
  • In the surrounding area it is worth visit to the Sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie di Fornò, one of the most notable circular plan churches in Italy dating back to the 15th century.
  • Casa Artusi it is the first food centre entirely devoted to the Romagna region food tradition. It offers special events and the best food culture tradition according to the recipes of Pellegrino Artusi ( ).

Every year in June, cookers from Italy and abroad invade Forlimpopoli for one week in order to honor the memory of Pellegrino Artusi, during the Festa Artusiana festival.
The local Folk Music School organize high quality music events and promotes the Artusi Jazz Festival, where artists from all over the globe gather each year to perform.


Meldola is located not far from Bertinoro, the city dates back to roman period and today hosts one of the most important scientific-medical centres studying and researching a treatment to cancer (IRST). In the city are not to be missed:

  • The Castle dating back to1000 which dominates the city and was the house of Montefeltro, Ordelaffi and Malatesta noble families.
  • The Scardavilla forest natural area. In the past monks used to live there, nowadays it is possible to see the monastery dating back to the Middle Ages.
  • The Forstress in Rocca delle Caminate, a defensive and guarding fortress. It has been rebuilt in 1929, and afterwards it became the house of Benito Mussolini.
  • The Castle of Teodorano, built in the early 16th century and later modified by Cesare Borgia.
  • St. Cosimo Church, some artistic works used to be part of the convent of St. Domenico (organ, confessionals, choir and wooden crucifix).


Forlì was founded in 188 b.C., it counts more than 100.000 inhabitants and it is located in the heart of the Romagna area, which is according to Dante the meditullium, i.e. the central area.
In the city are not to be missed:

  • Piazza Aurelio Saffi, the main square named after the local patriot Aurelio Saffi, who was also the successor of Mazzini; and the St. Mercuriale Abbey (5th century). These are the symbols of the city and of the Romagna area.
  • St. Domenico Church, destroyed in 1797 by Napoleon and his troops. At the end of the 14th century it used to be the centre of the Dominican friars; nowadays, after its recent renovation, it holds exhibitions and other types of events in the picture gallery and the Civic Museums.
  • Santa Croce Cathedral (cathedral of Forlì), originally it was a gothic cathedral, in 1841 it was rebuilt according to the neoclassic style. Only the chapels of the Santissimo Sacramento and of the Madonna del Fuoco (1614-1636) are original.
  • The local government office, the Monte di Pietà palace and Gaddi palace (Risorgimetno Museum and Romagna Theatre Museum), Orsi Mangelli palace (nowadays, Unviersity centre), Reggiani palace (1652).

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Cesena, 15 Km away from Bertinoro, was founded in the 6th-5th centuries b.C.. The richest period for the city was during the reign of the Malatesta family (5th century); at that time Cesena was the capital of the Romagna dukedom.
In the city are not to be missed:

  • The Malatestiana Library, it was built by a pupil of the artist Leon Battista Alberti and it opened in 1452. In Italy and in Europe, it was the first civic library open to the public; it is the only one humanist library in the world which has preserved the original structure, fittings and codices since its opening. The Library is included in the Memory of the World Programme Register of the UNESCO (
  • The Malatestiana Castle, it dominates the main square, Piazza del Popolo (with Loggetta Veneziana and the fountain of Masini, today it holds the Museum of Natural Sciences.
  • The Bonci Theatre, opened in 1846 and today shows nationals plays.
  • Palazzo del Ridotto (1401), there is the only bronze statue of pope Pio VI.
  • Ponte Vecchio, in English “the old bridge”, it dates back to 1733.
  • Abbazia del Monte, the Abbey of the Mount, it is house to choirs of the abbey.
  • Albornoz Palace (second half of the 14th century), Chiaramonti Palace and Ghini Palace.

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Rimini, 40 Km away from Bertinoro, was founded by the Romans in 264 b.C.. Today it is a major touristic spot in the Romagna region: monuments, thematic parks, beaches and nightlife.
In the city are not to be missed:

  • The Malatesta Temple, built by Leon Battista Alberti in the 15th century, there are some artworks by Giotto, Piero della Francesca and Agostino di Duccio.
  • St. Agostino Church, built in 1247 and renovated in the 17th and 18th centuries.
  • The Church of St. Giuliano, the Benedict Abbey, during the Middle Ages it was a main centre near the entry-doors to the city.
  • Arch of Augustus, built in 27 b.C., it is one of the main monuments in the city, it is the ancient roman arch.
  • the Bridge of Tiberius, dates back to 14 a.C., it was commissioned by Augustus but the works ended in 21 a.C. during Tiberio’s reign.
  • Castel Sismondo, house and fortress of the Malatesta Family, built between 1437 and 1446 by Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta.
  • Palazzo dell’Arengo, it is one of the main monuments and house of the local government during the Middle Ages; it was built in 1207 in Piazza Cavour.
  • The city presents many domus romane,dating back to the period of the Republic and to the imperial period. The most famous is called “the Surgeon’s house”, which dates back to 2nd– 3rd century a.C.
  • Italy in Miniature: it is a theme park which includes more than 270 Italian and European monuments faithfully reproduced in miniature (

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Ravenna, 40 Km away from Bertinoro, is one of the biggest and most important cities of the Romagna region, with many sites included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. In recent years it became also an important international touristic target.
In the city are not to be missed:

  • The Basilica of San Vitale dating back to 525 a.C. was completed by the emperor Giustiniano. It is a masterpiece of the Early Christian art, with its mosaics renowned all over the world.
  • Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, the structure served as burial place for the Empress Galla Placidia daughter of the roman emperor Theodosius.
  • Battistero Noeniano, it dates back to 450, the bishop Neone contributed to the project (chapel with mosaics).
  • Mausoleum of Theodoric, the most well known tomb built by the Ostrogoth; it was built by Theodoric the Great in 520, with white marble from Istria.
  • Battistero degli Ariani, the baptistery was commissioned by Theodoric in the 6th century to promote a pacific dialogue between the Goths (the “Arians”) and the Latins (the “Orthodox”).
  • The Basilica of St. Apollinare in Classe, 5 Km from Ravenna, this church dates back to 547 and it is devoted to the first bishop of the city. The three aisles show one of a kind polychrome mosaics dating back to different periods.
  • Theodoric palace, the oldest building in Ravenna. The entrance was part of the former church of St. Salvatore, the palace preserves the original mosaics of the Ostrogoth emperor.
  • Basilica Cattedrale Metropolitana della Santa Resurrezione, church built in 18th century. Before there was a five-aisle cathedral.
  • Basilica di San Francesco, church rebuilt in the 10th -11th century. The mosaic floors were part of the previous building. In this church took place the funeral mass for Dante Alighieri in 1321.
  • Palazzo Rasponi, on the main square Piazza del Popolo, recently renovated.
  • Dante Alighieri tomb, next to St. Francis Convent.
  • Dante Alighieri Theatre, works ended in 1852 with neoclassic style, similar to La Fenice Theatre in Venice.
  • Villas from Roman and Byzantine period, the most famous is called the “House of the stone carpets” dating back to 5th – 6th century. The mosaics are very well preserved and can be accessed through the adjacent church of St. Eufemia.
  • Mirabilandia, the biggest entertainment theme park in Italy and one of the biggest in Europe, it is very close to the city. There you can find all kinds of attractions. For more info, please visit

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