Forli - San Mercuriale
From the sea to the hills, from the mountains and thermal treatment spas to art: in the green heart of Romagna, visitors will discover unusual places and exceptional treasures.
Located in the Region of Emilia Romagna's east, the Province of Forlì-Cesena extends towards the coast.
This area presents a varied landscape, ranging from broad hills to the Forlì and Cesena Apennines and beyond to the Adriatic coast.
The city's central position on Via Emilia, and the fact that it is surrounded by such diverse landscapes, has over the years made this Province an important trading hub and a favorite of its conquerors.
The Province is continuous discovery of villages and fortresses, springs and waterfalls, nature, sports and entertainment.
In other words, its versatility means that even the most exacting traveler will not go disappointed.
The urban architecture in Forlì speaks loudly and clearly of its history.
The center of the city's life is Piazza Aurelio Saffi, with a monument dedicated to Saffi himself. Here, one notices the modern marks left by the heavy interventions of the Fascist era. The Palazzo del Municipio's origins hark back to the Middle Ages, while the Palazzo del Potestà dates back to the 15th Century.
The monument that typifies the city the most is the Basilica of San Mercuriale, an old abbey with an impressive, Romanesque bell tower and numerous artworks inside. Not far from here is the Cathedral, subjected to several repairs around 1970.
Stroll along Corso Diaz, Corso Garibaldi, Corso della Repubblica and Corso Mazzini, all traversing the city and united by their elegance and harmony, although each one holds its own peculiarities. Forlì is also culturally important and is the lcoation many museums, including the A. Santarelli Archaeological Museum, the Civic Painting Gallery, the Pergoli Romagna Ethnographic Museum, Villa Saffi, the Aurelio Saffi Risorgimento Museum and the Romagna Theatre Museum.
Moving toward the countryside, be sure to visit the ancient Sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie, also called di Fornò, rebuilt during the 1500s. The church of the Sanctuary is considered to be one of the most singular rotund churches in Italy.
In Cesena, Piazza del Popolo is where the city's wheels turn, and where Francesco Masini's 16th-Century fountain and the City Hall - dating back to the 14th Century - charm.
In the vicinity is the Malatestian Fortress, surrounded by a superb park. It houses the Museum of Agriculture, one of the most important in the region. The Cathedral is said to be built on a Roman temple and is the central point of the city, whilst the Malatestian Library is a precious trove of humanistic culture that is still intact today
Moving on from Cesena, one can visit Longiano, a Medieval village surrounded by two walls with three gateways. A fortress and Venetian basin at its entrance commemmorate the Most Serene Republic's brief domination.
Halfway between Forlì and Cesena is the town of Forlimpopoli. Its imposing fortress is also the site of the Civic Archaeological Museum. The name of the town is tied to Pellegrino Artusi, author of the first book codifying Italian cuisine. His Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well was first published over one hundred years ago.
In Montepoggiolo, near the Terra del Sole lies one of the richest prehistoric sites in northern Italy, with thousands of finds from the Paleolithic era. It was discovered in 1983, in the Cà Belvedere area.
Inextricably tied to the sea and exhibiting a vivacious and hospitable personality is Cesenatico. Notice the fishing boats and houses on Porto Canale, the structure was designed by Leonardo da Vinci in 1502 on behalf of Cesare Borgia.
Not to be missed are also Savignano sul Rubicone, Gatteo and San Mauro Pascoli.
Sport activities such as trekking, tourism on horseback, mountain-biking and cycle tourism signify complete the panoply of modes to appreciate the beauty of Forlì and Cesena. Birdwatching in the Four Towns Coastal Oasis is a fast-growing tourist attraction, as are downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, Alpine skiing and hiking on Monte Fumaiolo, one of the highest peaks in the Tosco-Romagnolo Apennines. Visitors will find that they can cultivate unforgettable vacations amidst the hospitable people of this terrain.
The best local thermal springs and spa structures in the Province are without a doubt Castrocaro Terme and Terra del Sole, Bagno di Romagna and Bertinoro. Their modern, state-of-the art spas, along with the verdant surroundings give a delightful boost to personal care and wellness.
For sea lovers, rather, the resort of Cesenatico awaits between Rimini and Ravenna.
The Wine and Dine Route through the Forlì and Cesena Hills is an itinerary in discovery of the typical enogastronomy, often accompanied by displays of local craftsmanship, festivals, folk traditions, and more in a zone that shows it knows how to accommodate travelers.
Celebrations and festivals include the Suoni del Tempo, an internationally-renowned concert festival held every summer in Cesena.
In Cesenatico, the International Easter Sail Regatta takes place each spring, while the Festa di Garibaldi recalls the passage through these lands of the Hero of Italian Unification.
Forlì is home to the Sagra of the Madonna del Fuoco, featuring music and gastronomic stands as well as the special aniseed Piadina.
Forlimpopoli's Festival of the Segavecchia welcomes the arrival of spring through a show of many colors, while Castrocaro Terme celebrates its From the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, a series of historical re-enactments.
Finally, Terra del Sole hosts the Palio of Santa Reparata, where two districts of the town compete in games of tug-of-war and crossbows.
In the Province of Forlì and Cesena it is possible to taste all the typical specialties of Romagna, such as stuffed cappelletti, passatelli, pasticcio alla romagnola and tagliatelle.
Also on the menu, sardines, anchovies, paganelli, mackerels, and mazzola (or canocchie) represent a wide variety of fish dishes to taste in the Cesenatico area, all boasting large quantity and high quality.
Pizza comes in thousands of varieties here; seafood toppings are a quite popular way to go.
The famous piadina (flatbread resembling a Mexican tortilla) is the most famous item on any table in Romagnola.
It usually goes paired with squacquerone cheese, progenitor of the divine stracchino; and salame.
Among the typical wines are: Albana, Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Pagadebit and the Cagnina.
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