Stage 10 2020

Stage 10 | 14 October 2020 | 100 km

Marotta – Mondolfo >

Marotta – Mondolfo

Welcome to the land of “Two holidays in one”. A fishy Adriatic sea that goes from gentian blue to turquoise, to liquid blue, in a promise to go for hills between dilated horizons and straight lines, browned by the gold of the wheat, the sun and the grapes of the vineyards: here are the colors of Mondolfo and Marotta, this is the origin of the history of a town.
The blue and gold municipal banner that flutters in the wind summarizes the events of an ancient castle, built at the decline of the Roman Empire to guard the mouth of the Cesano river, in that stretch of coastline that separates the Senigallia and Fano coast and then enters , towards the mountains, towards the Catria massif.
They are farmers and fishermen, those who reside within the double curtain wall of Mondolfo, they are noble landowners and men dedicated to weapons, who watch over the coast at the Marotta tavern so that the Ottomans do not land in force, to make so much feared raids, and because anyone who pays the gabelle while passing through the territory of the Dukes.

Inhabitants: Marotta and Mondolfo, a town of 14 358 inhabitants
Ancient name: Mala Rupta
Foundation: Since Roman times and the sixteenth century where documented activities are born.

Food and wine

Tasty local specialties linked to the tradition of the families of fishermen and farmers, made famous by typical festivals that take place throughout the year: the garagoi (marine molluscs with a very tasty flavor), fresh fish dishes (from traditional fishing to trawl), tagliolini with broad beans (typical dish of the Marche Region) and spaghetti with red tuna sauce (typical dish of the Marche Region).

Wine: Bianchello del Metauro

Places of interest

  • The waterfront of mosaics, which makes the view more beautiful at every step on the coast
  • “Marotta the City of the Sea in winter” by Enrico Ruggeri
  • The Martiniano Castle of Mondolfo, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy
  • National Monument Abbey of S. Gervasio, with the largest Ravenna sarcophagus in the Marche Region
  • Monumental Complex of Sant’Agostino and Civic Museums
  • Mondolfo Galleria Senza Soffitto, permanent open-air exhibition
  • The Valle dei Tufi, ecological cultural route

Activities on eco-sustainable mobility
The territory is active on the theme with works such as the section of the “Ciclovia Adriatica” project on the Marotta seafront.


Without wishing to refer to highly debated issues, such as the one on the place where the troops of the Carthaginian Asdrubale, brother of Hannibal, were defeated by the Roman army in what has gone down in history as the Battle of Metauro (207 BC) and which Marotta may have seen crucial phases, but we can be sure that this locality was frequented in Roman times, as evidenced by a cistern of that period that stands there.

However, it is with the construction of a post station for the changing of horses, along the bus road that ran along the coast from Fano to Senigallia, that we have in Marotta the birth of a widely documented activity from the sixteenth century. Built by the Community of Mondolfo, the Vecchia Osteria – as the station was called, also giving its name to the place – was a massive building with a hipped roof, with three arches on the facade that led into the garage, where up to six stagecoaches could stay, and alongside the stable, capable of holding about thirty horses. There were also some militias from the Castle of Mondolfo.

In any case, it is due to the decision of Pope Pius IX, in 1846, to build the Ancona-Bologna railway along the Pontifical Adriatic coast, if Marotta becomes the modern seaside resort appreciated today. In 1884 the Municipality of Mondolfo built the Mondolfo-Marotta Station at its own expense and, in a few years, the railway station became not only a reference point for trade and for the transit of travelers from the entire hinterland: the fishing village cultivated in fact very soon its own innate seaside vocation.


Rimini, the ancient Ariminum, is also a city of art with over 22 centuries of history.
Under the Arco d’Augusto (Arch of Augustus), history has passed: here two of the most important roads of ancient Italy joined, the Flaminia, which goes from Rome to Rimini, and the Via Emilia, which from Rimini crosses the whole Po Valley up to Milan.
From here, after crossing Piazza Tre Martiri (Three Martyrs Square) -the ancient Forum – you reach the bridge that, Augustus first and Tiberius later, between 14 and 21 A.D., erected using Istrian stone over the Marecchia, the river that with its ancient name (Ariminus) baptized the city. Emblematic representation of this ancient heritage is the Domus del Chirurgo (Surgeon’s House), the archaeological site in the central Piazza Ferrari, where you can admire a third-century house. Prestigious mosaics and frescoes describe a residence for private use intended for the practice of medical-surgical and pharmaceutical profession.
The medieval city grew within the Roman city. The spectacular Piazza Cavour (Cavour Square), with the Fontana (Fountain) – described by Leonardo da Vinci when he passed through Rimini in 1502)- and the most important public buildings.
Renaissance is not mentioned without mentioning Rimini, the cradle of this European artistic movement that has in Castel Sismondo (Sismondo Castle), to which Filippo Brunelleschi contributed, and in the Tempio Malatestiano (Malatesta Temple) by Leon Battista Alberti, two emblematic monuments.
Both were commissioned by Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, the lord that Piero della Francesca portrayed in prayer in front of St. Sigismund in the fresco kept in the Malatesta Temple.

Food and wine

You cannot leave Rimini without having tasted a real local piada. Difficult to resist the dozens of kiosks present in the city. The Rimini piada is thinner than that of the rest of Romagna. You can fill it as you wish: ham and squacquerone or wild herbs, vegetables au gratin, up to – but do not tell the purists! – chocolate. These “little kiosks” are protagonists of the travel guide a web app to find the best place to taste local street food. Key player of the typical cuisine is the blue fish from the Adriatic. Mackerels, mullets, mantis shrimps, sardines, tub gurnards and the legendary sardoncini. The most famous wine? Everyone knows it: Sangiovese, the red that warms hearts. Olive oil from Rimini hills is among the best in Italy. For those who want to take a tour through the flavours, we recommend to depart from Ponte di Tiberio (Tiberius Bridge) and cross the entire Region. The bridge is the starting point of the Via Emilia, the Roman road founded by Consul Marco Emilio Lepido in 187 B.C., that leads to Milan crossing the most famous food valley in Italy. Walking along it, you will find enogastronomical heritage of absolute value, from Parma ham to culatello di Zibello, from Modena’s traditional balsamic vinegar to Parmigiano Reggiano, plus tastings, international renowned chefs, starred restaurants, visits to production and processing places and cooking classes for everyone.

Places of interest


  • Arco d’Augusto (Arch of Augustus). The Arch, the oldest preserved in northern Italy, marks the entrance to the city for those coming from the Flaminia, the route traced by the consul Flaminio in 220 B.C. to connect Rome to Rimini. City gate and honorary arch, it was erected in 27 B.C. by the will of the Senate in celebration of Octavianus Augustus, as manifested by the inscription placed above the arch. Perhaps not everyone knows that the current Via del Corso in Rome is the ancient Via Flaminia, which starts in the capital and ends in Rimini.
  • Piazza Tre Martiri, Il Foro (Three Martyrs Square, the Forum). At the crossroads between the cardo and decumanus, in the current Piazza Tre Martiri, the Foro appears, the heart of public and economic life in ancient Ariminum. In the center there is a 16th century memorial which recalls the tradition according to which Julius Caesar, climbed on a stone, harangued his soldiers on the occasion of the historic passage of the Rubicon, during which he pronounced the famous phrase “The die is cast”.
  • Rimini Caput Viarum (Visitor Center). A multimedia and interactive itinerary that leads tourists to discover Ariminum, offering a unique experience of reliving its history accompanied by an exceptional guide, Julius Caesar himself. Located in the deconsacrated church Santa Maria ad Nives (church of St. Mary ad Nives), the Visitor Center is a “magnifying glass” for the cultural beauty of the territory, ideal for a first introduction to the many cultural itineraries in ancient Rimini, an authentic Caput Viarum.
  • Ponte di Tiberio (Tiberius Bridge). The bridge, in Istrian stone, was begun by Augustus in 14 A.D. and completed by Tiberius in 21 A.D., as the inscription on the internal parapets reminds us. It spreads over more than 70 meters on 5 arches placed on massive pillars. The bridge, starting point of the Via Emilia and the Via Popilia, excels for its engineering and architectural design that combine functionality, harmony of forms and the exaltation of Emperors. A stop not to miss is the new square on the water which, facing the reservoir, allows a suggestive view of Ponte di Tiberio and a pedestrian walk along the edge of the basin. Next to it, the new archaeological park “Le pietre raccontano” leads one to discover the long history of the bridge. A new floating walkway connects the left and right docks of the ancient port facing Ponte di Tiberio, considered one of the most beautiful in the world.
  • Domus del chirurgo (Surgeon’s House). An archaeological museum area open to the public, over 700 square meters that reveal 2000 years of the city’s history. The most important discovery concerns the imperial age house (today called domus del “chirurgo” from the profession of the last owner) that housed a taberna medica, as revealed by the finding of an extraordinary surgical kit with over 150 instruments, exhibited in the nearby Museo della Città (City Museum).
  • Anfiteatro Romano (Roman Amphitheater). The construction of the Anfiteatro Romano in the 2nd century A.D. by Emperor Adrian interprets the strategy of the ‘panem et circenses’ in the search for the broader consensus and the loosening of social tensions with the granting of moments of collective evasion. The ruins of the grandiose building that housed the gladiators, are the most significant of the whole Region. The north-eastern sector of the structure, the only part remaining today, had a clay arena slightly inferior in size to the Colosseo (Colosseum).
  • Porta Montanara (St. Andrew’s Door). The construction of the Porta Montanara, also called St. Andrew’s Door, dates back to the I century B.C. The rounded arch, in blocks of sandstone, was one of the two entrances of the door that allowed access to the city for those coming from Via Aretina. The double arch facilitated the traffic.


  • Tempio Malatestiano (Malatesta Temple). Around the middle of the fifteenth century Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta radically transformed the existing building into the solemn forms designed by Leon Battista Alberti that make it a masterpiece of the Renaissance. Inside, you can admire the Crocifisso di Giotto (Giotto’s Crucifix). Matteo de’ Pasti and Agostino di Duccio worked with an almost pictorial sensitivity on the marble covering of the six side chapels. The fresco with the prince kneeling in front of St. Sigismund in the last chapel on the right is by Piero della Francesca.
  • Chiesa di Sant’Agostino (The Church of St. Augustine). The Chiesa di Sant’Agostino is for dimensions and for enshrined treasures of art, one of the most important in the city. The inside preserves the best examples of the 14th century Rimini paint – ing school in the apse and in the bell tower chapel, which marked a fundamental chapter in art history. The exterior of the church reveals the original Gothic layout.
  • Castel Sismondo (Sismondo Castle) or Rocca Malatestiana (Malatesta Fortress). Residence-fortress (1437) of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, to which collaborated also Filippo Brunelleschi. Only the central core of the original structure has survived the passing centuries, but the original palace can still be seen today on the medals of Sigismondo and in the fresco by Piero della Francesca in the Malatesta Temple. The entrance portal is still surmounted by an inscription and the coat of arms with the elephant, the rose and the chessboard, symbols of the Malatesta. Works for restoration of the ancient moat perimeter and the walls and for redevelopment of the square facing the castle that bears its name, have just been completed.
  • San Fortunato (St. Fortunatus). Established in 1418, the chiesa di San Fortunato (church of St. Fortunatus), on Covignano hill, under the name of Santa Maria in Scolca, was a rich abbey of the Olivetan Benedictines. It was built on the ruins of a castle that Carlo Malatesta had donated to St. Paul the Hermit monks. It represents one of the most important historical-artistic-ecclesial places in the history of the city. The golden age of Scolca was the sixteenth century, starting from the frescoes, still visible, by Benedetto Coda. In 1547, Giorgio Vasari went to Scolca to have the manuscript of his Celebri Vite reduced to a final copy. Here Vasari executed the splendid Adoration of the Magi panel painting.
  • Piazza Cavour (Cavour Square), Palazzo dell’Arengo e del Podestà (Arengo and Podestà Palaces), Fontana della Pigna (Pigna Fountain). Piazza Cavour has had a primary role ever since the Middle Ages. Three buildings overlook the square, the oldest is Palazzo dell’Arengo, built in 1204: under the wide portico, justice was administered and the municipal assembly met in the hall with multi-mullioned windows situated on the first floor. Next to it, the Podestà residence was built in the fourteenth century. An arch at the entrance, on the short side, highlighted the symbols of the new Lords, the Malatesta. Palazzo Garampi (Garampi Palace), which is now the town hall residence, was built at the end of the sixteenth century. The fountain is a unifying element: of the medieval images remain the one reproduced in the basrelief of Agostino di Duccio in the Tempio Malatestiano (Malatesta Temple). Leonardo da Vinci was enchanted by the harmony of the various waterfalls when he passed through Rimini in 1502. From the square you enter the eighteenth-century fish market, one of the most characteristic corners of the city and a meeting point for the Rimini “movida”.


The official date of foundation of Rimini is 268 B.C. when the Senate of Rome sent 6000 settlers to establish the new settlement. The colony was called Ariminum, named after the river Marecchia (Ariminus).
In the Middle Ages (12th century) Rimini became a Comune (Municipality) and during that period great artists worked in Rimini, starting with Giotto and the 14th-century Rimini School.
In the Renaissance, Rimini became the “Signoria”(Lordship) of the Malatestas. The most famous is Sigismondo Pandolfo, who built Castel Sismondo and the Tempio Malatestiano. Many artists arrived in Rimini. among these Piero della Francesca, Leon Battista Alberti, Giovanni Bellini.
Between 1500 and 1600 Rimini is part of the Papal State.
In 1843 the first bathing establishment was inaugurated and so began the Italian and international history of seaside tourism. The symbol of this identity is the Grand Hotel, a place dear to Maestro Fellini and a superb example of liberty architecture.