[Emilia Romagna Villages] Verucchio, from Etruscans to the Malatesta’s family
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Verucchio, the ancient hamlet that dominates Valmarecchia, is strategically located between the sea and the hill. Cradle of the Malatesta, gave birth to the “Mastin Vecchio” Malatesta by Verucchio, the founder of the dynasty, was also an important center of Villanovian civilization. History, tradition and culture annoverate Verucchio to the most beautiful village of Italy and the orange flag villages. This is a must stop for those who cross the beautiful Romagna!
Verucchio is an ideal destination every season of the year, thanks to its “perched” position that gives glimpses and panoramas always charming and fascinating. It is medieval and rich in historic buildings, nestled between two hills, once crowned by powerful rocks, that of the Passarello – on whose ruins today is a convent – and that of Sasso, today Rocca Malatestiana, built on the domination of the village, the valley and the plain. Below the fortress is the heart of the ancient village with the Malatesta Square overlooking the Town Hall, the eighteenth-century Palazzo Giungi and the neoclassical Bedetti palace. If you are lucky enough to visit it on a beautiful day, you can admire a breathtaking view where the eye ranges from Valmarecchia to the majestic Rimini coast. Visited on a couple of occasions, the first to work a decade ago at a congressional educational tour and the second 3 years ago at the Verucchio Music Festival, a memorable concert by Bregovic, the ancient village is a stage not to be missed for those on vacation wanting to know a true cultural treasure not far from the renowned beaches.
Ps: the village is called Verucchio non Verrucchio as it often happens to be called by strangers
The story of Verucchio has roots that sink into Villanovian civilization, preceded by the Etruscans, before becoming the Cradle of the Malatesta’s family. He knew the sunset of the Etruscan society, was influenced by the Roman goddess enjoying the proximity to Rimini given his position on the Consular routes Flaminia and Emilia and lived the Renaissance splendor under the Malatesta Dynasty. The name derives from the Latin “verrucula-verruculus” which means small escalation and “height” extension, indicating the ability to enjoy a privileged view of the surrounding countryside.
For a visit to Verucchio I suggest a historical time itinerary starting from the Archaeological Civic Museum. Located in the Monastery of the Agostinian Fathers, it exhibits the finds from the Verucchio’s necropolis of the time Villanovian-Etruscan: the richness, exclusivity and exceptional preservation of the finds (amber jewelry, woolen and linen fabrics, woolen baskets, wooden furnishings and food offers) make it a real pearl of Rimini hinterland art. Then go to the Pieve Romanica of Sant’Antonio, dating back to 990, one of the oldest buildings in Verucchio, reachable by the road that leads down to the valley to Villa Verucchio. Remaining in the area you can find the Franciscan convent that the tradition wanted founded by St. Francis in 1213. In its cloister a giant cypress that according to legend was planted by Saint Francis of Assisi. The tour continues with the visit to the Malatesta’s fortress, also known as Rocca del Sasso, one of the largest and best preserved. To reach it, it is necessary to climb on a paved road leading us to the highest part of the village. Inside, the Magna Hall with the imposing Malatesta family tree, the two courtyards, the halls of the Baronale Palace, the secretes and the Mastio, while on the outside from a large terrace you can admire a wonderful panorama that stretches from the Adriatic to Apennine ridge. A look at the fortress of Passarello, whose remains in 1600 were built the Monastery of the Nuns of Santa Chiara. The ancient gateway, from which you enter Verucchio along the walls of San Giorgio, was rebuilt in 2001 with original materials. By the end of the 19th century, the Collegiate Church of St. Martin, though the interior plant resumes baroque and Renaissance motifs. Various works are collected in the Collegiate. Among them is the canvas of the great altar, with San Martino giving the mantle to the poor, painted by Giovan Francesco Nagli, known as the Centino and the Crucifix painted on a table shaped by an unknown artist of Rimini first half of the ‘300. Perfect for relaxing on hot summer days, many tourists and cyclists visiting the village are the Turtle Fountain (dating back to the 1950s) in front of the Town Hall in Piazza Malatesta. In any case, as you have understood, there are so many tourist itineraries that can be made between art, culture and nature.
– Make at least one stop of the Way of Saint Francis: from Rimini to La Verna following our advice.
– Take a leap abroad to visit the Republic of San Marino, which is only a dozen kilometers away.
– Visit the Parco Marecchia bordering the river: a cycle path connects the whole valley and then again to the border with Tuscany.
– Rock the rocky wall beneath the ancient convent of St. Augustine and visit the WWF Ca Brigida Oasis.
– Discover the landscapes that inspired Piero della Francesca, visiting, perhaps with the guides of Montefeltro Rinascimentalal landscape, the Balconi di Piero.
– Learn all the secrets or the first moves by distinguishing the various clubs in the 18 hole golf course of American Villa Verucchio.
– Take a tour of the castles of Malatesta and Montefeltro, including the nearby Sant’Agata Feltria which in December becomes the Country of Christmas.
– Visit the mysterious caves that travel through the long underground tunnels of the old town, used by citizens today as wineries and for a long time to connect the Rocca del Sasso to the Rock of the Passerello.
– Celebrations of the Seventeenth Century of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta’s birth – from June 18th A dense calendar of celebratory events beginning with “A Day in the 15th Century”
– Verucchio Music Festival
Every year in the Sagrato della Collegiata Church takes place one of the most interesting music festivals in Italy. Under the artistic direction of Ludovico Einaudi an unprecedented programming that offers quality music without any gender constraint.
– Medieval dinners – Ed. 2017 4-5-6 August An unmissable appointment for fans of historical recollections, given that they are dinners with old-fashioned food and entertainment performed by a local theater company. Exceptional location is the 14th-century Magna Castle Hall.
– Santa Croce Fair – Fira di Quatorg – Ed. 2017 9 and 10 September The pillar of Verucchie’s folkloric tradition is also known as “The Fair of Livestock and Old Trades”. In the alleys of the village, farm animals and old trades return to rediscover the beauty of the traditions.
– The Bagoin fair – the pork fair – January The ancient peasant tradition of killing the pig, in a two-day holiday where the pork specialties make it a master, cheered by the unmistakable folk-music romagnola.
Food and Wine
From Etruscans to Pascoli, in Romagna you can find the “piada”, which called it the “rude bread of Rome”. And for those who prefer filling it, the recipe you can find it right here. There are also many olive groves in the area, as the extra virgin olive oil is a sign of a secular tradition that has characterized local cuisine since antiquity. Many varieties with a decidedly fruity taste with a bitter taste, almond aftertaste, and a spicy final smell, ideal for cold meals or to accompany the typical dishes of the Romagna cuisine both of meat and fish especially cooked to grid.
Malatesta da Verucchio called “Mastin0 Vecchio” (the “old wardog”) – a leader, considered one of the chief of the family, was Lord of Rimini from 1295 to death. Quoted by Dante in the Divine Comedy because he decreed the expulsion of all rivals ghibelline families, it was considered by the same poet.
Path and pilgrim ways
If you are looking for new excursions to visit, we point out that a few kilometers from Verucchio, at Villa Verucchio, arrives the 1st stage and starts the 2nd stage of the San Francesco Way: from Rimini to La Verna.
For the nature lovers here you can find the monumental trees:
– La Roverella a Villa Verucchio