In the hills in the province of Rimini to discover an enchanted castle in a magical village (especially at Christmas). Sant’Agata Feltria, a little treasure set in the hills of the Rimini hinterland, is a hive of fascinating attractions. Starting with its enchanting castle, the Mariani Theater, the Museum of Rural Arts, and the lovely churches are all worth visiting. The Truffle Fair and the Christmas markets are two events that draw a large number of visitors to Sant’Agata Feltria each year. But you don’t have to wait till Christmas to go. Indeed, during the spring or summer, this pastoral town becomes the ideal place for a tiny Italian getaway for a pleasant day in nature.
Follow our mini-guide and get ready for a fantastic trip to Sant’Agata Feltria.
Where is it? 🌍
The municipality of Sant’Agata Feltria is located in the middle of Montefeltro, between the Savio and Marecchia river basins. The surrounds are lovely, a natural environment with pastoral contours where it’s not unusual to come across Sant’Agata Feltria’s signature product: truffles.
The Solonati, an Italic people, were the first to settle in what is now Sant’Agata Feltria. The town was part of the fiefs of the Malatesta, Montefeltro, and Fregoso families following the Roman conquest and later barbarian assaults, and the magnificent stronghold that overlooks the town is named after them.
The fortress itself, an enormous defensive barrier, is the first thing you’ll notice when you arrive in Romagna. It was built in the 11th century and has through various renovations and transformations before being given to the architect Giorgio Martini, who rebuilt it into a princely palace for Gentile Feltria, Federico’s daughter, and the aristocratic Agostino Giovanni Fregoso. For their wedding, celebrated in 1506, the hexagonal chapel, rich in frescoes, and the coffered ceilings on the first floor of the structure were built.
The heritage of city churches is extensive and diverse. The Collegiate Church is the oldest, with a 7th-century crypt and a wooden crucifix from the German-style from the 1400s on show within. The altarpiece by Centino with the Madonna, Child, and St. Anthony of Padua is also noteworthy. The churches of San Francesco della Rosa and San Girolamo, which also houses a convent, are noteworthy since they are both obviously inspired by the late sixteenth century. The Poor Clares’ convent holds a collection of parchments, and the evocative Sanctuary of the Madonna del Soccorso is located close outside the city.
Since 2008, the Museum of Rural Arts has been housed within the monastery of San Girolamo, preserving the memory and witness of historic peasant civilization as well as the arts and crafts of the past. It’s split into two sections: holy art and rural art, with workshops dedicated to historical vocations.
Another sight not to be missed is the Mariani Theater, one of Italy’s oldest wooden monuments, which is fully contained within the Palazzone at the village’s center. It is a type of court theater that is currently utilized as a museum and is made up of three rows of artistically adorned boxes.
The Truffle Fair of Sant’Agata Feltria
Every year in October, on Sundays, a festival honoring the district’s traditional product is held. Sant’Agata Feltria’s truffle is the Precious White, the most sought after, and during the holidays – the dates for 2018 are October 7, 14, 21, and 28 – the town changes into a fair with products on exhibit, stalls, banquets, music, and square dances.
During the winter months, the town hosts one of Emilia Romagna’s top Christmas markets. The scene is also distinguished by stands, food and wine, and artisan objects on exhibit, as well as the traditional musical accompaniment.