Montescudo is a small, well preserved town on a rise between Rimini and San Marino, in the media Valconca through which flow the Rivers Conca and Marano. The Romans took advantage of its strategic position connecting the coast and the mountains, and established a horse station here for military communications between Rimini and Rome via the Furlo Pass. Centuries later, in 1460, Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta fortified the town with thick walls which were made particularly high and steep to make the fortifications impregnable and, as mentioned on a plaque which can still be seen, to form a “shield protecting Rimini”. The centre of Montescudo still has many medieval features and you can admire the old walls with their steep stairs, as well as the fourteenth century Civic Tower and the legendary secret passageways connecting the lookout tower with the fort. Quite close to the Tower, near a magnificent viewpoint, is an unusual ice-house. In 1954, during restoration of the walls, 22 medals were found depicting Sigismondo and the Tempio Malatestiano (Temple of the Malatesta). Sigismondo Malatesta also had the medals buried in the walls of other buildings to ensure his memory outlived the already powerful, imposing architecture. The medals can now be found in the City Museum of Rimini. Montescudo dominates a rise dividing the plains of Rimini from the foothills of the Apennines, a border area between the age-old seigniories of the Malatesta and Montefeltro families, which can be admired from various points on the fortified walls of the town. The area stretches between well cultivated hills where there are still many rural traditions and strong ties with the land. One of the most famous products of Montescudo is the potato. The renowned Potato Festival is held on the second Sunday of August every year. The land here yields potatoes that are particularly silky and flavoursome, and astonishing quantities of this valuable tuber are prepared during the festival.

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