[Emilia Romagna Villages] Bertinoro, the city of wine
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
The usual appointment with the most beautiful villages in Emilia-Romagna returns! This week we arrive in Romagna, precisely in the province of Forlì, in a place rich of good and green wine and sweet hills… we are talking about Bertinoro. A medieval village, originally built in the hills, to enjoy that magnificent panorama, from the Apennines to the sea, that gives the nickname of “Balcony of Romagna”. The town also belongs to the Group of Authentic Villages of Italy.
The name of the small village of Forlì hides two different stories to tell: the first one wants Galla Placidia, daughter of Emperor Theodosius, tasted a wine of this area in a simple poor cup to pronounce the expression ” So dreary goblet you are worthy, or wine, but of drink you in a gold cup (the expression drink you in a gold cup is in Italianberti-in-oro). A second hypothesis instead wants Bertinoro to derive from the Latin, britannorum, for the British monks who lived here long in the past. A village that has been equipped with a defensive fortification, the splendid Castle, overhanging the whole valley since the Middle Ages. At that time the influence of the city of Ravenna came to these lands. From Hapsburg until the Church’s control in 1177, up to the unity of Italy.
The small hamlet of Bertinoro has several interesting locations starting from its beautiful fortress, built around the second century, which in 1302 even hosted Dante Alighieri, as Carducci remembers in his ode “The Church of Polenta”. The medieval heart of Bertinoro is identified with Palazzo Ordelaffi, an ancient municipal building dating back to 1306 and its two halls: the Sala del Popolo and the Sala della Fama. Also famous is the cathedral of Bertinoro, dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria, patron saint of the village, with three aisles and bramantesque style. In the heart of the village lies one of the main monuments, the Colonna delle Anella (column with a ring), also known as the Column of Hospitality. It was built by the will of Guido del Duca and Arrigo Mainardi, to end the constant clashes between the noble families of the place. The column had 12 rings each with a family: when a pilgrim came to Bertinoro and tied his stick or his horse to one of the rings, he was hosted by the family he represented.
Summer: escape the heat of the summer in search of a cool place will certainly bring you to discover the rooms of the castle of Bertinoro. Since 1994, it has been home to the University Residential Center and hosts each year high-level courses, seminars, conferences and numerous cultural initiatives, as well as the Interreligious Museum dedicated to studies, researches and works of art on the three great monotheistic religions.
Autumn: at the foot of the Bertinoro hill, and now enclosed in the great Fratta Terme Park, hot waters flow in the spa center, an ideal place to find harmony and balance. If you are stressed out and want to have a relaxing weekend this is just what it takes for you!
Winter: 5 km from Bertinoro meets the famous Pieve di San Donato in Polenta, a Romanesque church dating back to the X century, sung by Giosuè Carducci in the poem “La chiesa di Polenta”, in which the poet remembers the hospitality received by Dante Alighieri by Guido da Polenta, whose daughter Francesca da Polenta Malatesta will then be inserted by the top poet in the 5th song of Hell.
Spring: a beautiful walk through the road of Harvest and the Lost Crafts will allow you to do so much physical activity and then take a break at Ca ‘de Be, the regional wine bar, where you will discover why Bertinoro is the city of wine!
Summer: many interesting fates this summer like Berti’n Jazz, the traveling Jam sessions on the streets of the old town, and Berti’n Love on the night of San Lorenzo in the historic center of the borgo illuminated for the occasion by candles, lanterns and lampshades.
Autumn: The first Sunday of September is celebrated by the Festa Ospitalità (the hospitality party), which recalls a tradition of 1200, when the noble families of Bertinoro raised a column in the central square of the village, incorporating each one ring. The stranger, staring at the bridle of the horse at the column, was immediately invited to be a guest of the family to which the ring was used.
Winter: “The Pomeriggi del bicchiere” (the afternoons of glass) are appointments that have the taste and the scent of hospitality, to find the taste of good food and good wine in a pleasant and convivial atmosphere, making a mix of food and wine, between meetings with authors, poets, music and tasting local products!
Spring: on a regular basis, in May, it is up to the appointment with white wine that most of all characterizes Romagna: Albana Dèi. Tasty, often amateur tasters, are the protagonists of an event that, with tastings and tastings, allows to choose the best white wine of the year, in a celebration of joviality and all the typical products of the Romagna hamlet.
Food and Wine
Like every other Romagna village, there are a number of really interesting food and wine products, but Bertinoro’s excellence is surely in its tradition and wine production: we speak of Albana, also called “Bertinoro gold”, a white DOCG wine product from native Romagna’s vines. There is also the Sangiovese, which here produces the “king” of wines: the Romagna Sangiovese DOC Riserva. There are also two very special wines: the Pagadebit and the Cagnina di Romagna, local wines survived thanks to the will of the winegrowers to preserve and value them. Typical of Bertinoro are also the Saba, a grape syrup used to flavor drinks and foods; Savor, a homemade homemade jam, produced in the following period after harvest.
– Guido Novello da Polenta (circa 1275 – 1333), was the podestà who gave hospitality and shelter to Dante during his Romagna exile.
– Ermete Novelli (1851 – 1919), theatrical actor.
– Aldo Spallicci (1886 – 1973), politician and poet dialect.
– Alessandro Cervellati (1892 – 1974), painter, graphic artist, illustrator and writer.
– Francesco Babini (1914 – 1944), presbyter, partisan, gold medal for civilian value.
– Dante Arfelli (1921 – 1995), writer.