The Montefeltro is a truly charming land, made by tiny villages immersed in the green. Hidden in there, you’ll find incredibile treasures, parks with a luxuriant nature and many other food and wine interesting discoveries.
The Montefeltro is a land where joy of living is the daily philosophy: a place where every single natural corner is about beauty, and the village’s walls tells scraps of ancient stories lost in the centuries. To discover them all over again, you just need to listen to the wind: among the mountains, when it blows louder, you can clearly hear its voice. It reveals secrets of an ancient era, telling what Montefeltro meant in the past centuries and what it will mean in the future.
Many of natural sites of Montefeltro deserves to be visited, such as some wonderful hermitages, centre of spirituality of this land. Here some interesting site:
- URBANIA: its origins are to be found in Medieval times, but the town was re-designed in 1300 by Guglielmo Durand upon Papal order. Since architects from Bologna worked on the renovations, the town now appears very similar to Bologna, especially for the porticos. The town was first named “Casteldurante” after Durant, became part of the Urbino duchy in the early ‘400, and was then ruled by the Della Rovere family. Today, tourists are attracter here by the Palace, the churches, the city walls and the Mummies Cemetery.
- MERCATELLO SUL METAURO: situated close to the border between Umbria and Tuscany, Mercatello is characterized by its hills and houses that looks like typical Tuscany homes. On a hill upon the Metauro valley, it is possible to recognize the influence of the Umbria and Tuscany Regions. Worth mentioning: the monuments of della Pieve Collegiata, Saint Francis Church, the Ducal Palace and the Gasparini Palace. Mercatello is recognized by the Italian Touring Club with its Orange Flag for its tourism and environment quality.
- BORGO PACE: a little mountain village, developed around the main square Piazza del Pino, where the Santa Maria Nuova church is situated. Worth mentioning: San Michele Arcangelo Basilica, a Benedictine church situated in the whereabouts, just like the small San Leone church.
- FERMIGNANO: Legends claim that the town was founded by Firmidio, a roman legionnaire. Here, the famour Metauro battle was fought, where Romans won against Cartago. Still today, the bridge upon the Metauro river and the Medieval tower are among the most characteristic monuments of the area. The famous architect Donato Bramante was born here.
- PEGLIO: The town was claimed by the Vatican through Cardinal Egidio Albornoz; was then proclaimed Urbino territory during the ‘300s. Among the monuments to see, we find San Fortunato Church and the Medieval Bell tower.
- SANT’ANGELO IN VADO: Originally a Roman town, was rebuilt by the Longobardi to honor Michele the Archangel. The word ”vado” could come from “guado” a very common aquatic plant used to make a dark ink. Giuseppe Garibaldi stopped here in 1849. The roman archaeological site is really fascinating.
- GOLA DEL FURLO – A Natural masterpiece, visited every year by many passionate by hiking because of its peculiar conformation. A place where to find again a deep contact with the natural environment and yourself.
- FONTE AVELLANA – One of the most charming hermitages in the Marche Region. Here, silence found its home, and everything talks about spirituality and inwardness. To pop in Fonte Avellana, it means to face an exceptional experience, cuddled by the spiritual magic and the beauty of deep values.
- PARCO SASSO SIMONE E SIMONCELLO – Surrounded by Marche, Toscana and Umbria, there is this amazing Park, pride of Montefeltro Area. The landscape surrounding Carpegna Mountain, the highest top in the park, is dominating here. This is the ideal place for any genuine mountain lovers. In fact, during the winter, you’ll find excellent ski resorts, while during summer you can enjoy interesting hiking experiences.
Typical Food Products
Cured meats, cheeses and many others: the area sourrounding Urbino is rich of excellent products, made with very high quality ingredients, all from local farms.
Here some of the most popular:
- CASCIOTTA OF URBINO D.O.P.: this local type of cheese is known for its particularly thin crust and soft texture. The flavor is round and sweet, made only with cow milk. The DOP certification attests that the CASCIOTTA can only be made in the Pesaro-Urbino area with consolidated techniques.
- OLIO DI CARTOCETO D.O.P: the Cartoceto olive tree is a typical environment element of the territory. In ancient times, this oil was used as currency or sold even outside of town. Cartoceto is part of the National Association “City of Olive Oil”, which counts 29 associates only in the Marche Region, to promote extra-virgin olive oil and its territories.
- FORMAGGIO DI FOSSA: this cheese has been produced in S. Agata Feltria and in Talamello since the years 1200-1300. It’s an aged kind of “Pecorino cheese” that rests from springtime to November. The result is a very aromatic cheese with a strong, spicy taste. It takes its name from the custom to age cheese in tuff caves to protect it from the enemy.
- VINO DI VISCIOLE: this particular kind of wine is obtained by sour cherries called “visciole”, darker and sweeter than a normal sour cherry. It is a dessert wine, and it is produced by preparing first a visciole syrup with sugar and must, or by maceration with sugar, typically in the northen part of the region when it’s called “visner”.
- VINO BIANCHELLO DEL METAURO: this wine is produced in the Pesaro-Urbino Province with Biancame and Malvasia. The term “bianchello” refers to these grapes, while “metauro” is the river that runs among 18 towns in the Province, all known for their DOP wines. Bianchello goes well with menu, starters and fish.
- ACQUALAGNA TRUFFLE – One of the Montefeltro’s food excellences, well known around the world. A fine product that is the main topic of many fairs and events, attracting many food and wines experts. We count several varieties, each of them ripening up in different times of the year: in February there is the regional fair of Fine Black Truffle, while in October and November the Fine White Truffle, then, most important, the national summer one in August, for the Black Truffle.
- CARPEGNA HAM – A product that finds his pride in a very ancient tradition, as the land around Carpegna village, rich of oaks, are the ideal place for a successful swine breeding. This is a very high quality ham, and is certainly well appreciated everywhere because of its sweet taste and its genuineness: a product that has to be tasted.
- “CRESCIA SFOGLIATA” OF URBINO – Similar to “piadina” frm the very close Romagna, is a typical version, and in Urbino has its unique production. At the end of cooking, the dough is crumbly and extremely tasty. It’s delicious combined with veggies, cured meats and cheeses. Just taste it to see it!
Now, you only have to pick one of the many places where to taste them!
- POTTERY: The Province of Pesaro-Urbino has a rich pottery tradition, especially well-known in Pesaro, Urbino, Urbania, Fratte Rosa, Fano. Since 1500 pottery was a very important art and was well appreciated in all Italian and European courts. The Ducal Palast in Urbino and the Pottery Museum in Pesaro are worth a visit in order to get acquainted with pottery techniques, materials and styles all over the centuries.
- PRINT: Urbino is strongly linked to the art printing, thanks to the “Scuola del Libro” (Book School), founded in 1923 and developed in the following years. The school counted, among its teachers, Francesco Carnevali, Leonardo Castellani, Renato Bruscaglia, Carlo Ceci, Umberto Franci, Pietro Sanchini, Enrico Ricci. Their creative talent and their teaching ability had a great influence on youngs, who became teachers and artists too. In Urbino, chalcography has nowadays a great quality with some print houses which still use old engraving techniques.