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Montescudo

Montescudo is set on a steep hill overlooking the Conca Valley, not far from the frontier with the ancient city-state of San Marino. The town’s position, 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.

History

Little is known of the founders of Mons Scutulum. Artefacts found in the area suggest that settlements were established here by the Umbrians, Etruscans and Celts in prehistoric times, and that there was later a small Roman township. The nearby village of Santa Maria del Piano is still famous for its production of excellent pottery, and it is likely that the ample deposits of clay found locally were a great attraction for early settlers, who developed a flourishing commerce of amphorae and vases with the rest of Italy and with Greece, using the city of Crustumium, engulfed by the sea in a violent earthquake, as a trading port.

The first documentary reference to Montescutolo is to be found in a charter which Otto I donated to the Carpegna family in 963 AD, granting them possession of several other local estates as well as the town itself. The Malatesta family later fortified Montescutolo, and it became an important stronghold for the defence of their territory. The town was briefly controlled by the Dukes of Montefeltro, and was annexed to the Papal States in 1528. When it was occupied during the Napoleonic Wars, it became one of several administrative centres of the Rimini area. the ancient name of Montescutolo was changed to Montescudo in 1862, after the foundation of the Kingdom of Italy.

Places and events

The whole territory of Montescudo is rich in traces of the past. The walls, the 14th-century watch-tower and an ice-cellar, once used to preserve food during the summer months, are all in the town centre. Not far from Montescudo itself is the remarkably intact castle of Albereto. The Santi Biagio e Simone Church, in the town centre, has a valuable 12th-century carved wooden cross.

The principal agricultural activities of the past, the production of oil, grain and wine, are still carried on today, and the traditional methods of cultivation have recently been the object of interesting studies. The teachers and pupils of the local Middle School have organised a particularly interesting Rural Heritage Museum in the school itself, where the agricultural implements that were used in the past are on display. The Peace Church at Trarivi has a small museum dedicated to the Second World War in this area. At Santa Maria del Piano there are several pottery workshops. A remarkably popular annual event, held on the second Sunday in August, is the Potato Fair, which features potato specialities accompanied by music, dancing and other entertainment.

Useful information

Area:    19.93 sq. kilometres
Height: 389 metres ahore sea level
Population: 1631
Dialling code: 0541
Postcode: 47040
Town Council: / Via Roma – Tel. 984273
Tourist Information: / Via Roma – Tel. 984273
Civic Centre: / Via Roma – Tel. 984273
Civic Library: Via Roma – Tel. 984273
Rural Heritage Museum (at Middle School): Via Eco (visits by request Tel. 948273 Town Hall)
War Museum (at the Peace Church): Trarivi – Tel. 9842 77 (open Saturdays andSundays
2.3Opm-7.3Opm, other times by request)
Rosaspina Civic Theatre: 1 Via Rosaspina – Tel. 984273
Post offices:
12 Via Borgo Malatesta – Tel. 984275
Via ca Pazzaglia – Trarivi – Tel. 984201
Municipal Police: 1 Via Roma – Tel. 984273
Police: / Via Eco – Tel. 984224
Market: Sunday

Sources
A Guide to Rimini Countryside 1992
Published by
Rimini Area Tourist Authority