San Clemente is situated on a rise between Morciano and Coriano and in a fertile area where some of the finest Sangiovese wine is produced. San Clemente, like the neighbouring San Giovanni in Marignano and Coriano, has been for many centuries now one of the most prosperous towns in the Rimini hinterland. It played an important role in the Middle Ages when it constantly vied for control of the small towns in the valley with the nearby Montefiore Conca and Saludecio, while maintaining vast jurisdiction over the area. Its proximity to the coast and Via Flaminia were also reasons for which the town had to be fortified. There are no precise records, however, relating to the original structure of the Castle. The fortifications were renovated various times over the centuries and, in 1786, a catastrophic earthquake shook the municipality of Rimini and caused serious damage to the Castle and to the town itself. The town authorities have been working on a project for the restoration and renovation of San Clemente since the year 2000. It is now possible to admire large sections of the town walls, restored together with the two pentagonal towers. On the handsome gatehouse tower are an old stone dial of the 18th century and a more recent ceramic one designed by the artist Giò Urbinati of Rimini. Inside the tower, instead, is the delightful winery Porta dei Merli (Piazza Mazzini 16, tel. 0541 980680) which occupies the three storeys of the tower connected by an incredible spiral staircase. It might not be for the claustrophobic, but it is a real treat! Through the beautiful pointed archway of the gatehouse tower is the main square of San Clemente on which stand the Town Hall and the Church of San Clemente, built in 1836 on the site of a 14th century Friars’ Church and designed by Luigi Poletti, who was also behind the design of the Municipal Theatre of Rimini. In the church are a few traces of the former Friars’ Church as well as a beautiful painting of La Sacra Famiglia (The Holy Family) by the eighteenth century artist Giovanni Battista Costa of Rimini. Not far from the town is another interesting religious building: a small hexagonal Cella Rotonda (Round Cell) near the Cemetery of San Clemente.

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