A Eulogy to Slowness, Art and Museums. The fascination of its long history still reveals the evocative power today. Located along Via Emilia, at the foot of the Tuscan Romagna Apennines, Forlì is the green heart of Romagna, a centre of great cultural fermentation that stands out in Italy for its high quality of life.
A quiet city, but at the same time alive, active and accessible thanks to its geographical position. Particularly interesting from the historical and architectural point of view, since it has been able to preserve significant traces of the various eras that marked its history. The layout adjusts to the original nucleus of the Roman city, with the four main roads that correspond to the axes of the castrum and converge on the central Saffi square. The town was widened, both in Medieval and Renaissance times, when the city lived one of its golden periods with Ordelaffi family first and with The "Leonessa di Romagna" Caterina Sforza afterwards.
The stylistic dimension and the structural balance are reflected in the alternation of the styles of the majestic buildings that emerge in the different corners of an exquisitely irregular city centre: the Romanesque basilica of San Mercuriale, a splendid example of Romanesque architecture with its sunken bell tower that rises seventy-five meters high, the municipal building with the Clock Tower, the 15th century Palazzo della Podestà and Palazzo Albertini and the twentieth-century Palazzo delle Poste, an example of fascist architecture. Also noteworthy are the baroque buildings, the Church of Suffragio and the Church of San Filippo Neri.
The number of museums is reflected in the variety of art collections preserved between the halls of the Pinacotheca, the museum complex of San Domenico (dedicated to hosting the famous Ebe of Canova), the Risorgimento Museum Aurelio Saffi, the Archaeological Civic Museum Antonio Santarelli, The Ethnographic Museum Benedetto Pergoli, The Ornithological Museum Ferrante Foschi, Villa Saffi, The Historical Museum and The Romagnolo Theatre Museum.
A very long list, but that does not do justice to the immense artistic heritage of a city that has always reserved a significant space for culture, history and tradition. During the summer season, for instance, with the Summer Squares show, the old town opens its doors to the most hidden corners of the city, usually closed to the public. It is worth making a stop at the Franco Agosto urban park, a handful of steps from Saffi square: a green area of twenty-five hectares next to the Montone River, with a pond that is home to geese and ducks, a sports centre, a riding school and spaces for children.
One should not forget the examples of industrial archeology such as the Filanda Maiani - founded in 1898, which covers an area of nine thousand square meters, with three thousand for the buildings, employing six hundred people in silk production for American, English and German customers. Today it is an art gallery specially dedicated to the artists of the city; and the factory Orsi Mangelli - which opened in 1926, employs a one thousand and fifty workers, and more than six hundred in a cellophane production plant.
Surrounded by spectacular landscapes, immersed in the hills, the Forlìvesi and Cesenate Apennines reach the Adriatic coast at Forlì - "The land that has already been the long test" (Inferno Canto XXVII) where Dante was welcomed during exile by the Ordelaffi, gentlemen of the Ghibelline Family. Forlì is an ideal destination for diving into nature and experiencing an activity holiday to discover villages and castles, springs and waterfalls. As always Dante himself remembered the area in the passage devoted to the valley of the river Montone, known as the (river) Aquacta Valley with its mighty waterfall.