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Art and history in the hills of Rimini

Full-day cultural itineraries in Rimini and the Marecchia and Conca Valleys

3.1 Giotto and the fourteenth-century Rimini School
Rimini, Talamello, Verucchio

Giotto’s stay in Rimini in the late 13th century gave life to an extraordinary school of art that was active in the early 14th century and was marked by Giotto’s solid shaping and elegance of Byzantine origin. Wooden Crucifixes, polyptychs and frescoes are the precious “products” of this school and beautiful examples can be found in numerous museums worldwide. However, it is also still possible to admire some masterpieces in religious buildings and museums in various towns in and around Rimini.

3.2 The search for a lost kiss: places and castles made famous by Francesca da Rimini
Verucchio, Rimini, Santarcangelo

Numerous late-18th century works of art and poems were dedicated to the main character of the V canto of Dante’s Inferno, helping to create a legend that has become famous throughout the world. Although Francesca, a symbol of eternal love and icon of freedom of choice and passion, was from Ravenna her name is linked to Rimini as it was probably there she was killed by her husband, Giangiotto Malatesta. Over the centuries however, legends have arisen regarding exactly where she was murdered, the place where Francesca had abandoned herself to languidly kissing her brother-in-law, Paolo, while reading the “Galehaut” book.

3.3 Lords in battle: castles and fortifications of the Malatesta and Montefeltro
Rimini, Verucchio, San Leo, Montefiore Conca

With their unmistakeable towered profiles, many castles still soar on the rocky spurs of the Marecchia Valley and the gentler hills of the Conca Valley. Military garrisons, in an area that was a borderland as early as the Roman period, they were contended in the late Middle Ages by the Malatesta and Montefeltro. The heads of these families were the famous Sigismondo and Federico, immortalized by the great Piero della Francesca. Imposing towers and curtain walls formed large terraces where artillery could be manoeuvred to protect buildings that housed sophisticated paintings. These castles afford breathtaking views of the hills and coastline.

3.4 Discovering the sensual art of Guido Cagnacci
Santarcangelo, Rimini, Saludecio and Montegridolfo

Guido Cagnacci is considered the undisputed protagonist of 17th-century art. Born in Santarcangelo di Romagna in 1601, he trained artistically in Bologna and Rome and ended his career in the prestigious court of Emperor Leopold of Habsburg in Vienna. In the wake of Caravaggio-style naturalism, his vibrant art featured the extraordinary truth of figures and objects that emerge from dark backgrounds thanks to a masterly use of light.