[Emilia Romagna Villages] Longiano: the Romagna character
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Overlooking the Rubicone Valley and surrounded by vineyards, orchards and olive groves stands the historic hamlet of Longiano, an ancient fortified village of medieval origins dominating the lush territories of Cesena and Rimini from the Romagna hills.
This is one of the places where it is still possible find the authentic character of Romagna with its cuisine, its jovial character and its effervescent sociality and culture life due to the presence of a beautiful Castle, 5 Museums, the Petrella Theatre and a plenty of events and cultural places which make Longiano an ideal destination for artistic, cultural and even religious tourism.
Searching for the origins of the fortified village of Longiano we have to go back to the time of descent in Italy of Lombards, in VII-VIII century AD, when it was necessary to escape the barbarian invasions. The village then assumed greater military and strategic importance at the time of the wars between the cities of Cesena and Rimini, an era which saw Longiano at the center of many struggles.
Around the year 1290 the city of Rimini was subjected to the power of the House of Malatesta, which also included the Longiano territory but, despite the strong power of the family, conflicts with the other cities of Romagna (Cesena, Imola, Faenza and Forlì) they never ended until the annexation of the Romagna Region in the Papal State.
It is in this period of local and bloody wars that the village of Longiano acquires the physiognomy we can still admire today; a place surrounded by imposing ramparts and overwhelmed by the mighty Malatestian Castle.
The story saw also the Longiano’s people opposed to the Valentino‘s power – Cesare Borgia – who had decided to create a ducat on Romagna’s land with the approval of his father Pope Alessandro VI Borgia. In 1503 the people of Longiano refused loyalty to the self-proclaimed Lord of Romagna Cesare Borgia; as a consequence Longiano was destroyed by the Valentino’s Army.
After a few years of dominance of the Serenissima Republic, a supremacy that can still be traced back in the Bathtub located in the Castle Court, in 1581 the territory of Longiano returned under the direct influences of the Church, where it remained until 1790, when General Napoleon Bonaparte occupied the Romagna Region.
In 1859, after the victory of Solferino and San Martino, the Longiano territory passed definitively under the nascent Italian Kingdom, it was precisely during this period that the Teatro Petrella was builded and inaugurated that remains still today the true nevralgic point of the Longianese culture.
Talking about the Longaino history we must to mention also the atrocious suffering that the village underwent during the final stages of World War II. The 1944 will remain in history as one of the darkest periods for Longiano, who suffered violent bombings because of its proximity to the German Defense Line, the Gothic Line.
Today, the town of Longiano has about 7000 inhabitants and has known, during the post-war period and to date, an economic development of considerable interest, while maintaining the air of a small Italian center of a good life, typical of the hilly villages of Romagna.
The Historic Center of Longiano is characterized by its medieval origins, which with its 5 museums offers the visitor a lot of historical and artistic testimonies to be discovered. First of all, we recommend a visit to the Malatesta Castle, a typical medieval Italian castle that also houses the Tito Balestra Foundation, which displays about five thousand works of 20th-century artists like De Pisis, Morandi, Guttuso, Maccari, Mafai, Sironi and many others.
The town’s museum system also includes the Museum of Sacred Art, housed in the Baroque Oratory of San Giuseppe, the original Italian Museum of Cast Iron, with urban furnishings produced between the twentieth and twentieth centuries; the Museum of the Territory, which collects tools of ancient crafts and testimonies of the agricultural world; the Art Gallery Gallery and the Petrella Theater, a delightful jewel of the nineteenth century, still one of the small centers of the national theater culture that every year hosts national and international artists.
Worth also a visit the Second World War Refuge, which crosses the historic center and witnesses a dramatic era for Longiano and Romagna.
Probably the best season to capture the atmospheres that the mix of plain, hilly and foggy nature create around Longiano’s village. In some days, looking out from the terrace of the village it seems to be on an island enclosed by the fog while in clear days it is possible to catch the horizon over the Adriatic Sea.
Autumn is a special season to visit Longiano and if it is bad weather you can always take refuge in the fabulous local cuisine.
The slow life of Italian hill towns paired with a climate mitigated by the nearby Adriatic Sea make Longiano a great destination to discover in winter. Every year, at Christmas you could find the Nativity Fair, which until the end of January shows hundreds of cribs presented by numerous local and national artists.
Biking, hiking in hilly nature, good living and good food, if we should summarize in a few words the Longiano Spring we would have no doubts. And then the extraordinary and colorful flowering of the fruit trees, the panoramas on Romagna, in short, an authentic paradise with sea view.
All Romagna’s taste, without the heat and traffic of seaside. Summer in Longiano can be your pick from the city chaos or the starting base for fantastic hiking across the territory and the beaches. And then, have you ever tried the cool evenings on the Italian hills?
Food and wine
Longiano rises in a generous territory offering many typical products: from honey to wines of Romagna, such as Sangiovese and Trebbiano, and a fragrant extra virgin olive oil. Also many fruit trees color the campaign in the spring: cherries, plums, apricots and nectarine DOP fishing. The gastronomic specialties of local cuisine are the simple and tasty ones of Romagna. Among the first dishes, cappelletti, pastatelli, tagliatelle with ragù, lasagne, strozzapreti, maltagliati. Among the classic second courses we suggest rabbit with baked potatoes, grilled chicken, game and the meat and salami of the typical “Mora romagnola”.
How to Reach
St. Porta del Girone, 2 – 47020 Longiano (FC)
Tel. ++39 0547-665484
Opening: Open troughout the year