Santarcangelo di Romagna
Santarcangelo di Romagna - Foto: PH. Paritani

Santarcangelo di Romagna is situated in the hinterland of Rimini. Due to its position it is considered “the door to the Valmarecchia” and is a lively and very charming village, with its Malatesta fortress, the underground caves and the bell tower that stands on the highest point of Colle Giove (Giove Hill), from which you can enjoy a splendid panoramic sea view.
Here a “sferisterio” from the Renaissance period is preserved in its original form. It is a field for “tamburello”, a ball game. Santarcangelo is also a mysterious town because in the subsoil of Colle Giove there is another underground village of ancient origins: about 150 caves excavated in the sandstone and clay. Some of them have a very elaborate and attractive architectural structure. It is not clear which are the origins of these hypogeums, but it is certain that they were used for different purposes throughout history: from early Christian places of worship to shelters during the Second World War, and also cellars for the conservation of wine. In this regard it is interesting to mention that according to a local legend the name “Sangiovese” derives from sanguis Jovis, where the underground galleries, filled with red liquid, were metaphorically compared to the veins in which the blood of Jupiter flows.
Besides being renowned for its wine and good cuisine, Santarcangelo is also famous for being the birthplace of Pope Clement XIV, in whose honour its citizens erected the majestic arch still to be seen. Among its cobblestone streets you can find taverns, bars and restaurants where you can taste the genuine Romagna cuisine. Other interesting places are the Collegiata Church, the Bell Tower, Porta Cervese, the monastery of Santa Caterina and Barbara, the Parish Church of San Michele Arcangelo, the Historical Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Romagna folklore.
Not to be missed are the numerous festivals and fairs that still mark the pattern of life of the inhabitants, such as the Fiera di San Martino, the Fiera di San Michele (an ancient Bird Fair), “Calici” a summer wine-event and the open-air Theatre Festival.