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Sunday, August 07, 2022

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I am realizing more and more just how beautiful and special our country of Italy is! Perhaps the times we’re living in have made me want to get to know my birthplace and discover my origins even more. Last weekend, I was in Santarcangelo di Romagna, a medieval village in the province of Rimini. I was really struck by how such a small and little-known place can actually be so charming and welcoming.

rimini-santarcangelo

Enclosed by Walls

The village is truly a hidden gem nestled between the walls, full of amazing views and unique cafes and bars where you can have an excellent aperitif, but we’ll get to that in a while! An interesting tidbit about Santarcangelo di Romagna is that it was built on subsoil, where caves have been dug out of the sandstone and clay from Giove hill. Some of these caves can be visited, while others belong to private individuals. While you’re here, take a closer look at the material of some of these houses in sandstone and clay. “La grotta dei piaceri”, a typical local shop, is a prime example. Marked by its medieval style, it offers all kinds of goodies, from Santarcangelo honey, to the classic Cervia salt, and of course, the inevitable Sangiovese wine.

santarcangelo-romagna-rimini

Upon entering the city, you will immediately find yourself in the main square: Piazza Ganganelli, characterized by the arch of the same name that serves as a perfect welcome into the village. The arch was called “Arco dei Becchi”, because every year, on 11 November on the feast of San Martino, large horns are hung under the arch. In Italy, horns are associated with many things, one of which includes infidelity. Tradition states that if you walk beneath the arch and the horns sway, then it means your partner is cheating on you! If you dare!

As soon as you enter the main square, you will notice how many modern and welcoming bars Santarcangelo offers, including some American-style ones. We stopped for a coffee break and got a hazelnut cappuccino (for my travel companion) and blackberry fruit juice with mint for me. The atmosphere of the bar was super youthful and jovial, and would be great for brunch and snacks and, of course, to enjoy an excellent view of Santarcangelo’s historic center.

Our tour continued towards one of the main streets of Santarcangelo: Via dell’Amore (or Vicolo Amaduzzi). The village is full of romantic views and this is just one example. So, here, after a triumphal entry under the “arch of the horns”, I invite you to take a walk on this road for a lovely view. The route is a bit uphill, but I assure you that the landscape on the Romagna Riviera will repay you tenfold for your effort! From here, you can see the neighboring villages, such as San Leo, Verucchio, and Rimini and the entire Adriatic coast.

Our day in Santarcangelo di Romagna ended with an excellent aperitif right on the staircase that leads from the main square to Via dell’Amore. As I have already said, the village is full of lots of spots to have an aperitif, so the choice is yours! Have fun finding the one that suits you best!

Santarcangelo di Romagna pleasantly surprised me and I must say that it is one of the most beautiful villages that I’ve ever visited. I highly recommend that you give it a chance for the sake of romantic views and delicious food! Cheers! 

 

Article and photos by Alice Cavalieri (for more by this author, read her blog in Italian)

 

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