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The hills of Cattolica

Cattolica

Cattolica is history, art and culture, it is a deep link with its surroundings, green hills which hide amazing and unexpected treasures. Castles, land and sea meet themselves to express the suggestions and emotions of the parfumes and tastes of a century – old gourmet tradition. An enchanting holiday on the beach includes also a trip to Gradara to discover the love of Paolo and Francesca or to the Castle of Montefiore and Montegridolfo or to Saludecio and Mondaino where you can delight your palate.

Gradara
The Rock of Gradara and its fortified village is one of the best preserved medieval structures in Italy. The fortunate position of Gradara makes it, since ancient times, a crossroads of traffic and people: during the Middle Ages the fortress was one of the main theaters of conflict between the Pope and the families of Romagna and Marche.

The main event of Gradara is “Assedio al Castello” (Siege of the Castle), the historical reenactment of the terrible siege of 1446, when Francesco Sforza and Federico da Montefeltro tried to storm the castle of Gradara for 43 days. The commemoration takes place on the penultimate weekend of July and is open to a great mistletoes show.

In the castle of Gradara stayed Lucrezia Borgia and Francesca da Rimini. It is here that took place the tragic love story between Paolo and Francesca, mentioned by Dante in The Divine Comedy. A tradition that gives Gradara a unique atmosphere of mystery and romance.

Montegridolfo
Historically it became a landmark contended among Malatesta, Montefeltro, Borgia, the Venetians and the Church. It is composed of three centers: the castle facing southward while the parish of San Pietro northward and Madonna del Trebbio. Montegridolfo was home of Pope Clemente XIV, who suppressed the powerful society of Jesus and, during the few years of his pontificate, reestablished the international prestige of the Church.

It can be visited the walled village, which kept unaltered since1338 ordered by Galeotto Matatesta, so as to give the impression that life of the old times hasn't gone lost.
The Town Hall is located next to the Tower and farther from here can be found Palazzo Viviani, earlier an old mansion while nowadays turned into a prestigious hotel. Viviani Chapel and the Statue of the Black Virgin are the remains of the Church of S. Agostino (dating back to thirteenth century) destroyed during the battle of the Gothic Line (1944).

Saludecio
On the side of Malatesta Lordship's territory, hills have a gentle and stretched outline, perfect for building castles and towns where purposes of civil defense and development always co-existed. So it was Saludecio, that from year '500 to '800 became the most important town in this part of Conca Valley.
A small capital where elegant mansions and small houses created a popular and noble style, which remained intact until now. Around the thirteenth century lived, in Saludecio, a character who brought fame to the town and in all the surrounding areas: Beato Amato Ronconi.

Mondaino
The first evidence proving the existence of the settlement known as Mondaino dates back to Etruscan times, even if Romans were the ones to link the town to the hunting goddess Diana, for whom they built a temple, a Vicus Dianensis. The village was soon fortified, because of the growing strategic and military importance acquired during Malatesta's conquests and the wars against its neighbor Montefeltro. The first works on the walls and the drawbridge (today made static, but you can still enjoy the original support beams) were specifically demanded by the family of Rimini and date back to 1289.

Do not miss Maggiore Square, located behind the Malatesta Castle, semicircular and remarkably scenic. Nowadays this spot is used, every summer, for the reenactment of duels between the districts: "Palio De Lo Daino". The castle dates back to the late 12th century during the settlement of Malatesta family. Today the castle hosts the Paleontological Museum, the Museum of Renaissance Majolicas and the City Hall.

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