Conca Valley – Valconca
Whilst the valley ofthe River Marecchia is dominated by rocky crags topped with ancient townships, the Valley or the River Conca is characterised by its splendid hills. These softly rounded hummocks form a gentle landscape, interrupted only occasionally by deep ravines, which bring a pleasant contrast of shape and colour to the panorama and add to the variety and fascination of the terrain.
In the Conca Valley, the castles and townships are not perched high on impregnable pinnacles, but are situated on promontories affording an ample view over the surrounding countryside, from which it was easier not only to defend the fortified walls of the town, but also to keep a watchful eye on the fields, and maintain a more tranquil relationship with the rhythms of agriculture and nature.
The River Conca rises on Mount Carpegna, at an altitude of about 1400 metres, and its course down to the coast, where it reaches the Adriatic Sea between Cattolica and Misano Adriatico, is accompanied by a road that passes, through a number of territories with distinct characteristics.
The upper valley, situated in the Marche region, features a typically Apennine landscape of forests and pastures, and the agricultural activities afe those traditionally pursued in this stretch of mountains wedged between Marche, Tuscany and Romagna.
Further down, the forests give way to lofty hills overlooking the whole valley, which were the scene of perpetual border conflicts between the troops ofthe rival dynasties of Montefeltro, Dukes of Urbino, and Malatesta, Lords of Rimini.
The late Middle Ages and Renaissance left a heritage of castles, towers, fortified towns, ancient churches and precious works of art that bave profoundly affected the identity of the Conca Valley, determining its frontiers, dialects and customs. In the plain of Romagna, the countryside becomes, more placid, and oases of natural beauty blend harmoniously with the fields, orchards and vineyards, offering majestic panoramas of the distant mountains and the coast. The sea, much closer at this point, is always visible from these hilltop towns and villages. It is in this area, near Rimini, that the valley presents its most charming surprises, with a host of monuments, art treasures, fairs, festivals and other popular events, and hidden havens where wild animals, luxuriant vegetation and the rural landscape combine form the ideal backdrop for these magnificent jewels of culture, offering a delightful alternative for countryside holidays only a short distance from the sea.
A Guide to Rimini Countryside 1992
Rimini Area Tourist Authority