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Palmezzano and the lands of Romagna

Itinerary - Forll, Forlimpopoli, Bertinoro, Castrocaro, Terra del Sole, Predappio

DAY 1 ARRIVE IN FORLI Transfer to your hotel and check-in. The rest of the day is free for you to start exploring the area on your own. Dinner and accommodation.

DAY 2 Morning Forli. The day begins with a visit to the exhibit of the Forli painter Marco Palmezzano, where one can admire some of the artist's best depictions for the first time reunited on the occasion of this extraordinary event. The works are on display in the recently restored rooms of the San Domenico convent complex, the city's new museum centre, which also hosts other fine paintings and sculptures including the famous "Ebe" by Antonio Canova. The morning's program continues with a tour of Forli's most important Renaissance sights, in order to comprehend the sort of artistic and cultural atmosphere in which Marco Palmezzano and his master, Melozzo degli Ambrogi, better known as Melozzo da Forli, were trained and worked. Adjacent to the Domenican convent is the Oratorio di San Sebastiano designed by Pace Bombace, the most important architect working in Forli between the 15th and 16th centuries. By way of the streets of the historic town centre we reach the main square, which is bordered by some of the most significant buildings in Forli such as Palazzo Albertini and "Palazzo del Podesta". Particular attention will be reserved for the Romanesque Chiesa di San Mercuriale, which contains three of Palmezzano's works: the "Madonna in trono con Bambino tra i santi Giovanni Evangelista e Caterina d'Alessandria", the alter-piece depicting the "Immacolata con Padre Eterno e Santi" and the "Crocifisso fra i Santi G. Gualberto e Maddalena". Not to be missed are the extraordinary buildings constructed during the twenty years of Fascism by the well-known architect Cesare Bazzani: the Palazzo delle Poste and the Palazzo degli Uffici Statali. Lunch at a typical restaurant.

Afternoon Forlimpopoli and Bertinoro. In the afternoon we will visit the town of Forlimpopoli, birthplace of Pellegrino Artusi, whose book "La scienza in cucina e l'arte di mangiar bene" ("Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well"), made traditional Romagna cuisine famous throughout Italy. Piazza Garibaldi, heart of the historic town centre, is dominated by the imposing 14th century castle constructed under Bishop Egidio Albornoz on the ruins of the ancient Cathedral. A splendid example of a city fortress, within its walls the castle hosts the small Verdi theatre, in Liberty style. Located in the castle's cellars is the Archaeological Museum, which preserves valuable testimony to the Roman "Forum Popili". After crossing the historic town centre, we will reach the Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Servi: built on a central plan with a high tambour featuring the "Annunciazione" by Marco Palmezzano, painted in 1533. The afternoon will proceed with a visit to Bertinoro, balcony of Romagna, a delightful hilltop town whose main square, dotted with typical inns, looks out over the surrounding countryside. Here rises up the Colonna delle Anella, symbol of Romagna hospitality and the starting point of a pleasant walk. Through narrow cobblestone streets, we reach the ancient Jewish quarter, with stone row houses built one on top of another; from here we proceed to the castle, which is surrounded by a beautiful park with a panoramic view. The day will conclude with a local wine tasting in one of the area's many wine cellars, famous for the wine Albana, indeed called of Bertinoro. Dinner and accommodation.

2nd DAY Morning Castrocaro and Terra del Sole. In the morning we will visit Castrocaro. At the foot of this medieval town rises the Chiesa dei SS. Nicolo e Francesco, where Palmezzano painted another alter-piece entitled "La Madonna e il Bambino fra Sant'Antonio da Padova e Sant'Agostino".
Passing through narrow streets and the old town gate, we admire the Palazzo dei Commissari and the Battistero di San Giovanni, after which we reach the medieval fortress that dominates the town with its massive structure. The nearly thousand-year-old structure is preserved in its original form: the circular tower, the small and large courtyard and the Palazzo della Guarnigione, which has an interesting exhibition illustrating the origins of the castle from its construction up until it was abandoned in the 17th century. The morning continues with a visit to the city-fortress of Terra del Sole, ancient capital of Romagna-Tuscany, built in 1564 by Cosimo I de Medici to administer the territories of Romagna under Florentine rule. On Piazza d'Armi, cornerstone of the town, stand the original buildings that make this town a tiny jewel by the well-known architect Cesare Bazzani: the Palazzo delle Poste and the Palazzo degli Uffici Statali. Lunch at a typical restaurant.

Afternoon Predappio Bassa and Predappio Alta. In the afternoon we will visit Predappio, the New Town (Predappio Bassa). Founded between 1925 and 1942, the town is like an open-air museum of architecture and town planning from the Rationalist period. Passing along the main road, we'll observe buildings designed by the major architects of the era; particularly noteworthy is the Ex Casa del Fascio, the Case economiche e ultraeconomiche, the elementary school and the imposing Chiesa di Sant'Antonio.
Finally we will reach the birthplace of Benito Mussolini, who preserved the typical appearance of this 18th century Romagna country house. The house, recently renovated, is now the site of interesting historical and artistic exhibits.
We will continue on our way to the small village of Predappio Alta, thus named in 1936 to differentiate it from the New Town. Facing the small town square is the Santuario della Beata Vergine della Maesta and the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta, which contains a beautiful canvas with the "Ascensione" attributed to the school of the famous Bolognese painter Carlo Cignani. On a walk through Predappio Alta, birthplace of the Sangiovese wine of Romagna, one cannot miss a visit to the many fourteenth century cellars. Dinner and accommodation.

DAY 4 DEPARTURE Breakfast in hotel and departure from Forli.

(Route advised by Lorenza Montanari, Benedetta Orlati and Lisa Rodi - Tourist Guides)


THE PRICE INCLUDES: 3 nights in hotel 3* with breakfast, 3 dinners in restaurant (no beverage), transfer by private boat from airport to Venice (not to the hotel) and back, transport of luggage from airport to hotel and back, assistence, guided tour. THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE: Flights, Beverages, Tips.
RATES: Minimum of 30 participants. [Contact us ]

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