Just a few km away from Cattolica, moving away from the coast and heading inland, you will have the opportunity to admire the many beauties of this land, its breathtaking landscapes, charming villages and medieval castles.
Some of the most picturesque destinations are:
Did you know that the famous love story between Paolo and Francesca (also mentioned by Dante) took place right in the castle of Gradara? This old fortified village is located in the hinterland of the Marche-Romagna Riviera, not far from Cattolica and the coast. It is also surrounded by beautiful hills. It is known for Rocca Malatestiana, a historic fortress which still contains an armoury, a torture room, a chapel and some rooms with the original furniture from the 15th and the 16th centuries.
San Marino is the third smallest country in Europe and the oldest republic in the world. Located on the side of Mount Titano, San Marino has its own coin, its own stamps, a football team and an army. In all parts of its territory, especially from the top of its mountain, it is possible to admire a breathtaking and unique panorama which ranges from the countryside of Emilia-Romagna to the hills of the Marche and to the Adriatic Sea.
At an altitude of 485 metres, over the centuries Urbino has been able to maintain its status as centre of art and culture. Its best example of Renaissance art is the Palazzo Ducale, the symbol of the city. The building is now home to the National Gallery of the Marche and houses a large number of masterpieces including paintings by Piero Della Francesca and Titian. Other noteworthy attractions are: Raphael’s house, where the painter was born, which still contains one of his earliest frescoes and fifteenth-century rooms and furnishings; the neoclassical cathedral; the historic University; the churches of San Domenico, San Francesco and San Sergio.
San Leo is located in the heart of Val Marecchia about 30 km from Rimini and can be reached by a road carved out of the rock. Its impregnable fortress stands on the highest point of the rocky spur. Around 1600, it became a prison with illustrious prisoners such as the Count of Cagliostro and Felice Orsini. The view from San Leo is one of the most beautiful and characteristic in the whole region: a panorama that stretches from the surrounding mountains to the Marecchia valley, and to the sea.
The caves of Frasassi, located in the regional nature park of Gola della Rossa and Frasassi in the province of Ancona, extend for 30 km and represent one of the largest and most fascinating network of underground tunnels in the world. These underground karstic caves were discovered in 1948. You can choose between taking a more accessible tourist itinerary or experiencing the thrill of a real tour of the caves.
Loreto has been a place of worship and pilgrimage for millions of faithful Christians since the Middle Ages. Inside its imposing Cathedral, it contains the most important Christian relic, the house inhabited by the Holy Family in Nazareth, where Mary was born and where Jesus lived until the age of 30.
This Marche town boasts a wonderful coast. With its crystal-clear sea, several times chosen as a Blue Flag beach, the local restaurants serving fresh fish and its beautiful equipped beaches, Fano represents the ideal destination for a very relaxing beach holiday. The historic centre of Fano also offers many artistic beauties: the Augustus walls, the Arch of Augustus and the Church of S. Agostino; remains of the Roman era which constitute real architectural gems. Going for a stroll in the centre, you will have the opportunity to admire churches, convents, medieval and renaissance buildings, the Teatro della Fortuna, a wonderful neoclassical theatre, and the Fountain with the goddess of fortune which gave the city the ancient name of Fanum Fortunae.
This valley is crossed in the centre by the Conca, a short stream of water which starts in the Marche (on Mount Carpegna) and after only 47 km flows into the Adriatic sea between Cattolica and Misano. It is surrounded by low round hills with many villages on the top, fortified fortresses and hamlets which between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance were the centre of an internal struggle between two of the most powerful Italian lords: the Montefeltro of Urbino and the Malatesta of Rimini.
You will have the opportunity to visit Saludecio, Montefiore, Gemmano, Mondaino, Montegridolfo and many other villages following an itinerary between two wonderful regions, Emilia Romagna and Marche.