Small town gems – small but worth a visit
SMALL TOWN GEMS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE OF CATTOLICA
Here are a few ideas for your free time in Cattolica, make a trip into the countryside, discover sleepy villages, medieval fortifications, churches and pilgrimage sites nestled in a beautiful landscape with vineyards and olive groves. Enjoy incredible panoramic views from the hilltops to the Adriatic Sea and the Apennines. Here you can enjoy the specialties of the area, such as wine, cheese, honey, truffles, extra virgin olive oil, hams, salami and more.
Caves of Onferno
26 KM – the Oriented Natural Reserve appears to be a world away from the liveliness of the Riviera: tranquillity, relaxation and immersion in nature are its main characteristics. At the Reserve, you can visit one of the most striking regional karst formations. On guided tours you can explore the underground system and admire the rock pendants, big colourful creations, the biggest round-topped hanging rocks in Europe and huge masses of crystals on the ceilings of the caves. The biggest regional bat colony can be found in these caves.
A few kilometres away from the coast, following the Conca Valley, the town of Saludecio can be seen on the skyline, with its towers and fortified walls. Entrance to this picturesque township built on a hilltop is gained by an ancient gate that faces the sea, and once inside, the harmony of the stately mansions and the streets and alleys can easily be noticed.
San Clemente is a small town set on the first hill that rise inland from the coast, offering a tranquil view over cultivated fields and the nearby sea. Infact, the pleasurable country life is the most attractive feature of San Clemente, and one of the leading local products is Sangiovese, an excellent red wine.
The fertility and beauty of its countryside earned San Giovanni the name of the 'Granary of the Malatesta '. Situated at the centre of the lower valley, where the landscape broadens out and the River Conca prepares to meet the Adriatic Sea near Cattolica, San Giovanni' s ancient walls encompass a small but important town where agriculture and modern industries live together in perfect harmony.
Coriano offers the peace and tranquillity of a country town, despite being only a short distance from the busy coast, right at the centre of the triangle formed by the lively beaches of Rimini and Riccione and the soaring towers of San Marino.
Gemmano, the Onferno Caves, the Ventana Valley, its ravines, country paths and excellent views make the town a special attraction for visitors who wish to discover the pleasures of a remarkably intact natural environment.
Only a short stroll from the Adriatic beach resorts, Gradara the charming medieval castle, vies with San Marino as one of the most popular day-tripper destinations for the guests of the riviera.
Mondaino is a place full of pleasant surprises, such as the attractive square, the castle with its panorama stretching away to the mountains and down to the sea, and mysterious tunnels beneath the town itself that are said to be haunted.
Along the central part of the Conca Valley on a pleasant hilltop is Monlecolombo. A good part of the fortifications of its ancient castle have survived, dominating a panorama that stretches over the valley, down to the coast and over the countryside to San Marino.
From as far away as Rimini, a massive fortress can be seen crouched on the horizon, a solid and perhaps even sinister tower fet among the splendid greenery of the surrounding hills. This is the castle of Montefiore, one of the most interesting medieval towns of the Rimini area.
The castle of Montegridolfo, one of the best preserved in the Rimini area. Around the town there is a landscape of mellow hills that lead gently down to the plain.
The position of Montescudo, its medieval buildings and its unspoilt rural landscape make it the ideal place in which to rediscover the hidden attractions of the Rimini countryside and investigate the traditions of rustic life as it was once lived amongst the local farming community.
Morciano is the most important centre of commerce in the Conca Valley, and it has witnessed a steady process of economic growth since the end of the past century. Here the famous St Gregory' s Fair, heldevery year in the second week of March.