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Cesena and the Malatestian Library

Forlì-Cesena

Cesena with its old town centre situated “between the plain and the hills” (“fra ‘l piano e ‘l monte”, Dante Alighieri, XXVII canto, Inferno) is one of the most picturesque cities on the Via Emilia (Emilia Road).

The verdant territory stretches from the hills of the Savio river’s valley to the Adriatic coast, from the offshoots of the Apennines between Romagna and Tuscany to the plain in Ravenna and Rimini, where the Via Emilia crosses the Umbro-Casentinese road, that connects Ravenna with Rome.

Cesena, between art, history and culture…

The city has Umbrian-Etruscan origins and its golden age was under the Malatesta Family (1378-1465). The Family made Cesena as we know it today and gave its citizens the gorgeous Malatestian Library. In 1450 Malatesta Novello accepted the friars’ project and erected his library in their monastery.

The Malatestian Library is one of a kind and is exactly how it was built, 600 years ago, and is since 2005 UNESCO World Heritage. The impressive walnut portal leads to the Aula del Nuti (Nuti Room) with a basilical plant with three naves, divided by two rows of 10 columns.

On the door’s tympanum there is the indian elephant, symbol of the Malatestas, with the family motto “Elephas Indus culices non timet” (“The Indian elephant doesn’t fear mosquitoes”).

Inside the room, eleven spans host the 58 plutei (pine wood desks for readers) that contain 340 valuable codes, decorated with fine miniatures.

Opposite the Malatestian Library there is the Piana Library, a gift to the city from its pope Pius VII, with books of great value and 14 finely decorated choir-books.

Cesena owes its signory the fortress too. It’s one of the most impressive in the whole Romagna, with its courtyard and the two central towers: the Mastio or Maschio (male) and the Femmina or Palatium (female). From the glacis the visitor can enjoy a stunning panorama that embraces a large part of Romagna. The communication trench is very impressive too.

The Benedictine Monastery of Santa Maria del Monte with its collection of votive offerings and the many churches in the city centre are worth a visit too.

Last but not least, on the Lizzano hills there is Villa Silvia Carducci, that hosts “Musicalia”, a museum entirely dedicated to mechanical music, with no equals in Italy. There is also the room of the Nobel prize winner Giosuè Carducci, remained as it was more than a century ago and the picturesque Giardino Parlante in the garden of the house.

Cesena is also full of food-and-wine traditions, worth to be discovered in one of the many restaurants or stands that sell the traditional piadina or in one of the many markets that liven up the city centre, as for example the International Street Food Festival.


NOT TO BE MISSED IN CESENA

-Malatestian Library

-Malatestian Fortress

- Monastery of Santa Maria del Monte

-Piazza del Popolo (main square) with the Masini fountain

-Villa Silvia Carducci and Musicalia Museum

- City theatre Alessandro Bonci

Occurrences: International Street Food Festival, San Giovanni market, piazza di Cinema

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