Novafeltria, known as Mercatino Marecchia until 1941, was made a Municipality independent of that of Talamello in March 1907. Situated along an extensive stretch of the Marecchia, it has naturally developed in modern times into a place of trade and commerce. The original centre of the town is considerably older and dates back to around 950 AD, when a settlement formed around the Chiesa di San Pietro in Culto (Church of San Pietro in Culto) at the time of the evangelization of Montefeltro. A feud of the Malatesta in the Middle Ages, Novafeltria was then ruled by the Conti Segni of Bologna who, in 1660, commissioned the stunning villa which is now the Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall). On the ground floor of the Palazzo is a small gem of the Liberty style: the delightful Caffè Grand’Italia which still has its original furnishings. There are other examples; on the Corso you can admire the magnificent Teatro Sociale, also in an elegant Liberty style in keeping with the Art Deco movement, designed by Francesco Aurelio Tosi and inaugurated on October 3rd 1925 with a performance of Puccini’s La Bohème. Inside, there is still the original ceiling with square stucco decorations in lively pink and green colours. On Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, at the heart of the town, is the Oratorio di Santa Marina (Oratory of Santa Marina) a splendid example of a Romanesque sandstone building dating back to 1191, next to which is a seventeenth century bell gable. At the centre of the Piazza is a fountain designed by Giuseppe Santi Botticelli and built by the stonemason Doddi di Mercatino brothers in 1897. The area extends to the districts of Perticara, Miniera, Secchiano, Uffogliano, Torricella and Sartiano.

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