The extraordinary fortified village of Gradara, among the Rocca, the ancient walls, the story of Paolo and Francesca, the medieval caves, a bigol dish, the village of Montegridolfo, the museum of the Goti Line, the tagliatelle with meat sauce and the oil.


Pesaro: trip to the villages of Gradara and Montegridolfo
Tue, 10 Apr 2018

Pesaro: trip to the villages of Gradara and Montegridolfo

It is from the city that Gioacchino Rossini, the great Italian composer of "Il barbiere di Siviglia", where our journey begin to discover the lands at the turn of the extreme north of the Marches and Romagna, and in particular two of the villages most beautiful in the area, Gradara and Montegridolfo.

About twenty kilometers divide the city of Pesaro from the first stop of the itinerary, a stretch of road that we travel to the sight of rolling hills dotted with villages and valleys.

Perched on a hillock, Gradara is one of the most beautiful fortified villages in Italy.

From the Romagna coast, from Riccione and Cattolica, one can see the outline of its fortress, the historical and architectural heart of the center from which one can see the sea that almost touches it with one's hand.

La rocca di Gradara
Photo by ℒNico aka La Svedese @nicoandtheunderground

Located 142 meters above sea level, the village is an extraordinary example of medieval architecture, history deeply linked to the events of the castle, gathered between the walls and leaning against the ancient manor, located in a lucky position between sea and hills, ancient crossroads of traffics and people.

Medieval theater of the clashes between the Papal State and the noble families of Romagna and Marche, the town is enclosed within a double wall of crenellated walls characterized by fourteen towers and a fortified gate with the coats of arms of the Sforza, Della Rovere and Farnese.

Enchanting the picturesque interweaving of alleys full of charming artisan and local shops that opens as soon as we cross the entrance located in the lower part, the Porta dell'Orologio; par to make a leap in time, being catapulted into the heart of the Middle Ages, in the middle of one of the most beautiful hill areas of our peninsula.

Photo by ℒNico aka La Svedese @nicoandtheunderground

Do not miss the visit to the historical museum, a collection of historical documents and ancient objects, and to the medieval caves, an intriguing interweaving of underground tunnels.

Characteristic element is the Fortress, of square plan and with a mighty polygonal tower on the north-eastern side, erected by the Griffo family in the second half of the 12th century, linked to the story of Paolo and Francesca and to the fatal kiss narrated by Dante in the Inferno, where to see are the internal courtyard, with portico and loggia, and the various rooms furnished with furniture of the fifteenth and sixteenth century and embellished with precious frescoes.

Photo by aka La Svedese @nicoandtheunderground

History, art, literature but also excellent cuisine. Gradara is indeed also to be appreciated at the table. We stop and allow ourselves the typical local dish, the bigol, the handmade spaghettoni by the housewives of the villsge and seasoned with local porcini mushrooms sauce or, possibly, with meat sauce of the Marche.

We leave Gradara giving us more than one stop along the way, to enjoy the view of the village nestled in its hills. We continue towards the second stage of the itinerary, Montegridolfo.

Photo by Catia Magagnini @maga_catia

It is the continuous up and down between hills and valleys to accompany us to the small village in Romagna, from which passes the "Road of the hills of Romagna", on the border with the lands of the province of Pesaro and Urbino.

Montegridolfo is mentioned already in the year one thousand. Located between the Valle del Foglia and the Conca valley, it was often involved in the battles of the two noble local seigniories, the Malatesta and the Montefeltro. Land of battles and dominations, Montegridolfo and its people experienced dramatic raids and assaults, dominated by the Malatesta before passing into the hands of the Duke Valentino Borgia, the Venetian Republic and the Papal State.

Montegridolfo Gabriella Saltarelli @gabriellasaltarelli
Photo by Gabriella Saltarelli @gabriellasaltarelli

Beautiful scenery that presents itself on arrival with the excellent architectural integration of the medieval town with the surrounding landscape context.

To see the church of San Rocco, which houses three paintings, one of the first half of the fifteenth century, one of the first half of the sixteenth century and one of the early seventeenth century.

Do not miss the Museum of the Linea dei Goti, an interesting exhibition of relics and weapons of the battle between the Allies and the Germans, originally known as Linea dei Goti and then Linea Gotica. Even in Montegridolfo we do not give up a gastronomic break to enjoy a nice platter of meats and cheeses and enjoy a nice plate of tagliatelle with meat sauce and mushrooms to be served with a good glass of Sangiovese.

Photo by Luca Tamantini @luke_tama

Montegridolfo, however, is also a land of oil which we buy a bottle to take with us on the way back, the one that takes us back to Pesaro, still in the rolling hills of the urban area to the sea.

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