A fragment of Jewish society enclosed between two ancient hills. Roman soldiers marching to the rhythm of the drums, the dramatisation and the procession with the priests of the Sanhedrin and the penitents who implore Jesus to follow them. The traditional Good Friday procession is not just a folkloric representation, but it is an ancient and particularly well-known ritual that encapsulates the essence of this ancient medieval village.
The story of Cantiano is intertwined with that of the birth, life and disappearance of Luceoli, the ancient village of the Umbri, dominated by italics, an important centre along the Via Flaminia under the Romans that was finally destroyed in 1137 by the Emperor Lotario . It was a bastion of the "Byzantine corridor" that connected the territory to the duchies of Rome and Naples, its fortification began in the 9th century, when the survivors of Luceoli fled to the Colmetrano and Cantian hills and built a mighty ten metre high city wall that laid the foundations for the future community of Cantiano.
Desired, invaded and besieged several times due to its strategic position, it passed under the domains of Barbarossa, Federico II, Gubbio, and finally the Church. Even the Malatesta from Rimini and Counts of Montefeltro fought for the castle of Cantiano: It fell in 1393 under the rule of the latter, and eventually belonged to the duchy of Urbino until 1631.
Of the imposing twenty four metre tall tower that was once clutched to the Colmetrano hill, nothing remains. The ruins of the Cantiano Castle, today called Sant'Ubaldo, and the ancient church dedicated to the same Saint has a basilica and the bell tower erected in 1571.
The Torre Pagella, originally for pigeons, is the only example of a quadrangular tower still standing along the city wall. At the top of the fortress are the remains of the castle of Count Gabrielli, restored by Francesco di Giorgio Martini during the rule of the Montefeltro.
In the Apennine territory crossed by the ancient Consular road Via Flaminia, nature explodes in a game of ever-changing shapes and colours along the rugged and trampled paths. The eleven protected floristic areas, present in the area of Monte Catria, contain plant species typical of rocky areas and rugged meadows.
Approximately 180 hectares of the Bosco di Tecchie nature park are a kingdom of beautiful orchid blooms, meadows alternating with beech and oak woods. In the crevices, the spotted salamander lives, whilst five species of woodpecker can be found among the trees, at the top of the mountains it is not uncommon to follow the flight of the majestic golden eagle. At night the area is the realm of barn owls and their unmistakable calls. The mountain trails are perfect for horses, the animal that is a symbol of Cantiano, and that are used for excursions.