Malatesta Fortresses and Castles

The territory around Rimini is flat only in part.

Covignano Hill stands guard immediately at the back of the town, and only a little further away is Mount Titano, a forward sentry of the Apennine hills to the south.The  hilly countryside is enlivened by numerous torrential streams with broad gravel beds.

Two of these are notable: the Marecchia, which rises in Tuscany, close to the source of the Tiber, in the hills known as Alpe della Luna; and the Conca, which rises in the Montefeltro region, on the slopes of Mount Carpegna. The valleys and conoids of these two rivers, separated and kept apart by Mount Titano, make up the territory of Rimini, tapering gently off into the Lombard Plain on the one hand and wedged tightly between the Adriatic sea and the Apennine hills on the other, bordering on Le Marche and the Montefeltro region.

Montefeltro has its own special character and history, stemming partly from the morphology of the terrain, essentially hilly and mountainous, and partly from one particular diocese, the Montefeltro diocese, which held sway here from at least the sixth or seventh century onwards; in mediaeval times the jurisdiction of the diocese extended as far as the Savio and Foglia valleys, occupying a strategic position as regards communications between the Lombard Plain and the central and southern regions of the Italian peninsula. Ever since the early Middle Ages, Montefeltro has been a region of strong sectarian interests, making true political and administrative unification impossible; and so the various communities within the region guarded their autonomy down the centuries, aided by the absence of any central power capable of subjugating and organising them. It is significant that until the seventeenth century the diocese of Montefeltro did not have a stable See: San Leo, San Marino, Talamello, Montetassi, Valle Sant'Anastasio and Pennabilli were all at one time or another home to the Bishop of Montefeltro, and sometimes to his chancellery and his court of law as well.

One of these communities, owing to a series of favourable circumstances, has kept its autonomy right down to the present day: the Republic of San Marino, which belongs to the diocese of Montefeltro and which throughout its long history has always leaned more towards Urbino and Le Marche than towards Rimini and the Romagna region.

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Author: Pier Giorgio Pasini

Keywords: Malatesta,Fortifications,Castles,Rimini,Italy



Pier Giorgio Pasini

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