Civitella di Romagna
Civitella di Romagna
Ancient walls overhanging the riverbed. A small medieval town gathered around its castle. At the point where the valley narrows along course of the river Bidente, at the foot of the Girone hills.
The name derives from the Latin Civitatula which means small town. In the town’s history there are traces of domination, raids, looting and devastation, by man, but also by the hand of a nature that has shown its power here through earthquakes and other destructions.
But the tenacity, pride and commitment of its inhabitants have always allowed for a timely reconstruction around the core of the castle. The inhabited area between the ancient walls dates back to the X century, mentioned for the first time in 996 as the possession of the church of Ravenna. The fiefdom of Count Giaggiolo, who lost it in the battle of Civitella (1276), it then passed to Manfredi di Faenza, then to the Malatesta, Orsini, Venetians (1462) and later to Napoleon.
Today, Civitella di Romagna retains the urban fabric of the medieval era with the ancient fortress that stands out on a rock spur and acts as a silent sentinel to the valley. The complex was the defensive wall of the walled hamlet. However, of its ancient castle only a handful of remains can be seen today, such as the tower, rebuilt in Neo-Gothic style, with the clock from 1842.
Among the religious sites it is worth visiting the sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of Suasia, designed in 1560 by the Florentine architect Zanobio Lastricati and restored after the war. Inside there is an image of the Madonna and Child from the 15th century. The hills surrounding Civitella are full of footsteps from its past as a defensive bastion: there are twenty-eight different ruins standing in the valley all dated between VIII and IX century.
Between Civitella and Meldola, in particular, the castle of Cusercoli with its village that built on the road to Tuscany was very impressive. Above the main door the coat of arms of the Guidi di Bagno is still visible, also on the bank of the river there we find the oldest paper mill in the area, active up until 1900.
One of the distinctive agricultural vocations and the economic fabric of small businesses survive through the production of rosaries. There is also the fungus festival, celebrated in May, where the famous tuber is exhibited in wicker baskets cleverly intertwined by the hands of skilled artisans in the area and that becomes the protagonist of tasty recipes prepared by experienced gastronomists. There is also a cherry festival in June for both the curious and connoisseurs.