Verucchio is a beautiful town in the low Valmarecchia, very close to San Marino bordering Le Marche and the historic lands of the Montefeltro. The remarkable natural conformation of Verucchio was of particular importance to the development and history of the town, determining its natural fort-like characteristics since prehistoric times. Verucchio‘s history dates right back to the Iron Age, to the 9th and 6th centuries BC, when there was a large settlement of Villanovan culture; extraordinary finds relating to this settlement can be found in the Museo Civico Archeologico (Civic Archaeological Museum).

In the Middle Ages, the history of Verucchio intertwined with that of the Malatesta. This town was the birthplace, in 1212, of Malatesta da Verucchio, called “Il Centenario” (The Centenary) on account of his longevity (he lived until 1312). He set in motion the political and economic events that were to form the powerful Seigniory of the Malatesta family. The Malatesta family ruled Verucchio between the end of the 12th century and 1462, and the town remained an important one from which they could maintain power over the entire coast of Rimini and over part of Le Marche.

It wasn’t until 1462 when Federico da Montefeltro cleverly succeeded in conquering the impregnable Sasso Fort of Verucchio, ending the Malatesta’s hold over the town. On the central Piazza Malatesta, extended in the 19th century, are various stately homes of the noble families of Verucchio. In the 20th century, the Fort and walls were restored with reference to the drawings and the original parts that were still standing; the Porta del Passarello, one of the gates in the walls of the old castrum at the top of town, was also rebuilt using original materials. Original, instead, is the Porta di Sant’Agostino, a gate on the street of the same name which has remained miraculously intact. The roads and slopes on this hill and in the neighbouring countryside make Verucchio one of the main destinations for cycle tourists and a place found on many cycle trails.

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