Highlights of this trip

  • To discover one of the most beautiful villages in the hinterland of Cattolica
  • To understand what underground pits or granaries are
  • To spend a day away from the beaches
  • For wine lovers it is an opportunity to drink local wines
  • To understand what Romagna hospitality is
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Your must-have travel gadget for this trip

It would have been nice to have the Drone to film the village from above

Best things to do in San Giovanni in Marignano

Let's go to the discovery of the underground pits or the granary pits of the Malatesta village of San Giovanni in Marignano

San Giovanni in Marignano, moat and Palazzo Corbucci in the background

San Giovanni in Marignano, moat and Palazzo Corbucci in the background

San Giovanni in Marignano is the gateway to Valconca, but this village in the province of Rimini has linked its name to agriculture and enology. We are in one of the places of the Malatesta dominion characterized by grains dug into the ground that tells a fairy tale of man's work and sacrifice.

Travel tips

Staying in Cattolica, enjoying the Adriatic sea, and not visiting San Giovanni in Marignano is like taking a holiday in half. We are in one of the most significant villages in Romagna, and the only curiosity to see the underground graves for wheat is worth the visit. This village has preserved a historic center linked to the period in which the Malatestas ruled here. We are in the hinterland of Cattolica, where Sangiovese wine flows in the veins and where the cuisine is genuine from the Romagna Riviera. For this trip, the idea is to combine a stay in a hotel in Cattolica so as to experience the sea and visit the hinterland. Cattolica is a destination for all budgets and if you go away from the summer season you can save too. If you love photography, here you will find good ideas for fabulous shots.


An ancient grain fund, San Giovanni in Marignano dates back to the 12th century and to the first church of the village, that of San Giovanni Battista in Castelvecchio. The origins of this village, however, go back to the Paleolithic, while in Roman times several colonies were founded here, including Ariminum, along the Via Flaminia. The Roman settlement of San Giovanni in Marignano was characterized by agricultural production and trade. But it is with the lordship of the Malatesta that the village knows its most important expansion. In the first half of 1400, Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta endowed the town with a new wall which included six towers and two tower doors for city access equipped with a drawbridge. Furthermore, the village had been equipped with underground pits for the conservation of grain

San Giovanni in Marignano, the ancient granary of Romagna

San Giovanni in Marignano, Civic Tower

Corbucci Palace

You enter the village from the bridge over the Ventena and immediately admire Palazzo Corbucci. This building accompanies with its history the most significant moments in the life of the town. It was the main residence of the Rimini families. Here lived the Malatesta de ’Malatesti, lord of Pesaro, in the second half of the fourteenth century. In the name of the building, it refers to the last family owner of the property until the 1980s, the Corbucci family.
Originally this building was detached from the castle walls and adjacent to the ancient door, known as the fort, which opened onto the village of Sant'Antonio, a structure that was demolished in the nineteenth century. The changes that we can see today, however, are the result of the works carried out by Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, lord of Rimini, between 1438 and 1442.
On the three floors of the building, there are the service rooms, the stables, the cellar, and the shed for the carriages on the ground floor, while on the first and second floors the noble floors.
The ceilings were frescoed by Antonio Mosconi in the second half of the nineteenth century and portray views of San Giovanni in Marignano, floral and animal landscapes.

The fortified village

After the bridge over the Ventena we are in the fortified village, in the street where you can admire beautiful buildings dating back to the period between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Underground ditches or grains

San Giovanni in Marignano, the ancient granary of Romagna

San Giovanni in Marignano, map of the Hypogeum or grains

The flooring highlights the presence of grain pits. It is a system built with defensive functions to conserve the grain in the basement of the castle. It is no coincidence that this locality was called the "Granaio dei Malatesta". In the 15th century, there were as many as 200-grain pits within the settlement, while in 1800 there were at least 128 along the main road. Today in Via XX Settembre you can still see some of these pits. Along the artery leading to the civic tower, there are numbered circles to indicate the position of the underground granary

Church of San Pietro

San Giovanni in Marignano, the ancient granary of Romagna

San Giovanni in Marignano, church of San Pietro

Before entering the village, here is the church of San Pietro. Mentioned as early as 1348, its construction, however, dates back to a century earlier. It was renovated in 1515 by the monks of the monastery of San Vitale in Ravenna, who were the owners of the building, while in 1534 the bell tower was added. The current building of worship dates back to the period at the turn of the mid-1700s. During some works, an ancient altar came to light. For the eighteenth-century reconstruction of the church, materials from the Pieve di Conca were also used, including the baptismal font.

Civic Tower

San Giovanni in Marignano, the ancient granary of Romagna

San Giovanni in Marignano, Civic Tower seen from Piazza Silvagni

The Civic Tower is the most prominent element that allows access to Piazza Silvagni. It is one of the two gate towers that allowed access to the medieval castle. The civic tower is 24 meters high and is the only surviving tower, the other gate tower was demolished in 1854 to widen the road. From the nineteenth century, it represents the clock tower and the belfry. And the insertion of these elements led to the raising of the tower, which can also be seen by observing the difference in the color of the masonry. The entrance arch is pointed in the Gothic style.

Piazza Silvagni

The Civic Tower leads to Piazza Silvagni. As we see it today, it dates back to 1700. Since the 16th century, the open space where the food and livestock market takes place has been used. But it was in 1786 that work began for the construction of the square that extends from the civic tower to the church of Santa Lucia. In this period the facades of the buildings were redesigned and the portico was built. The moat that surrounded the castle was covered only during the last recent renovation

Massari Theater

Still active today, the Massari theater was originally the oratory of the Confraternita del Rosario. Purchased by the municipality, it was initially used as accommodation for widows and orphans. Later as a shed, woodshed, and also as a peeler for pigs.
The nineteenth-century restructuring has transformed it into one of the most beautiful theaters in Romagna. It has a horseshoe-shaped structure with two tiers of boxes.

Church of Santa Lucia

San Giovanni in Marignano, the ancient granary of Romagna

San Giovanni in Marignano, church of Santa Lucia

The Church of Santa Lucia is located on the opposite side of Piazza Silvagni. In pastel tones, it dates back to 1786 and was built on a pre-existing sixteenth-century religious building. Today, part of the architectural structure and a fresco by an unknown Romagna artist, depicting the Madonna and Child, remain of the ancient church. The recently restored eighteenth-century organ is used for concerts and musical reviews. In the sixteenth century, this church was called Santa Maria Nuova, to distinguish it from the older church of Santa Maria in Pietrafitta.

Church of Santa Maria in Pietrafitta

San Giovanni in Marignano, the ancient granary of Romagna

San Giovanni in Marignano, church of Santa Maria in Pietrafitta

The church of Santa Maria in Pietrafitta is located outside the village, on the road that leads to Pesaro. Its origin is very ancient and is documented by a Roman funerary inscription. The church has a simple structure and was rebuilt in 1730. Inside it preserves an altarpiece with the Assumption of the Virgin by the Rimini painter Giuseppe Soleri Brancaleoni, one of the most important artists of the area in the second half of the 1700s.

The kitchen

We are in the land of Romagna, a place of excellence for wine, Sangiovese stands out here, but this is also an area of olive oil and honey production. Among the dishes stand out the passatelli in broth.

How do I get to San Giovanni in Marignano?

San Giovanni in Marignano can be reached from the A14 motorway, Bologna-Taranto, Cattolica exit, then follow the Sp 17

Where to stay in San Giovanni in Marignano?

Hotel in Cattolica, so as to combine walks by the sea and visits in the hinterland

Recommended tours in San Giovanni in Marignano

There is no need to book any tour, the village of San Giovanni in Marignano can be visited in perfect harmony

Hiking tips

Where to hike?

There is no well-defined path, you go around the historic center admiring the beauty of the buildings, churches and civic tower

Distance and time

The beauty of slow trekking is that I enjoyed it without looking at the clock

How challenging is this hike?

Visiting San Giovanni in Marignano is not demanding, you walk and when you are tired you stop in a bar for a drink or a coffee and then resume

Photography tips

Where to photograph?

There is no better place to photograph, every corner is suggestive and allows, having a clinical eye, to take excellent shots

My Camera

Panasoni z1000

Is any special equipment needed?

I used a zoom, but it would have been better to have a wide angle. GoPro is fine too

3. Travel Insurance

Why WorldNomads has impressed us so much?

  1. Backed by specialized insurance providers and global assistance partners
  2. You can always buy the insurance online, even if you are already traveling
  3. You can adjust your insurance coverage during the trip and claim online
  4. They cover a range of adventure sports and activities
  5. Very high availability worldwide

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