A day in Mercato Saraceno: ancient parish churches and DOC wines

Discovering a town in the Savio Valley, rich in history, spirituality, food and wine

Logo CC

Mercato Saraceno, a town on the gentle hills along the Savio Trails: let's discover the historic palazzos, masterpieces of sacred art and parish churches that dot the territory, but also the excellent wines that have elevated Mercato Saraceno to the rank of Wine City, and delicious typical desserts such as Porcospino and the Easter loaf. 

And for the most daring (and trained) bike lovers, a legendary and dreaded hill: the Barbotto hill, the pleasure and pain of amateur and professional cyclists alike.

  • Length
    24 hours
  • Interests
    Art & Culture
  • Target
  • First stop - Sacred Art in the town centre Mercato Saraceno

    Having parked the car in Via Garibaldi, we quickly reach Piazza Mazzini, where we find the parish church of Santa Maria Nuova. Founded by the Augustinians at the end of the 14th century, it houses an organ from the second half of the 18th century, the work of Gaetano Callido (1727-1813).

    In Piazza Gaiani we can visit the Oratory of the Madonna della Vita: built in 1642, it is the local headquarters of the Museum of Sacred Art of the Diocese of Cesena-Sarsina. 

    The museum preserves and exhibits paintings, sculptures, mosaics, sacred ornaments, reliquaries, liturgical furnishings and textiles, dating from the 16th to the 20th century, from the places of worship in the parish territory. 

    Of particular interest is a fresco from the old oratory in Paderno and the original painted furniture from the church.

  • Second stop - Palazzo Dolcini and the parish church of Saints Cosmas and Damian Mercato Saraceno

    Leaving the town centre, in the direction of San Damiano, we find Palazzo Dolcini and its original adjoining garden, home of the War Memorial, at the top of the hill.

    Used as a theatre and also as a cinema, the building was conceived according to Art Nouveau and Art Deco canons, the stylistic hallmark of the designer, architect Ugo Dolcini (1871-1927), which we can find today in many other buildings in the area.

    From here we can reach the parish church of Saints Cosmas and Damian on foot or by car. This stands about 1 kilometer from the town centre and is the oldest church in the area. It was erected around the middle of the 9th century on the remains of an ancient pagan temple from the 1st century AD, dedicated to the worship of the goddess Isis. 

    The interior, mainly Romanesque in style, houses interesting works from the 17th and 18th centuries.

  • Third stop - Wine tasting in the wineries Mercato Saraceno

    Sacred and profane confront each other: in front of the parish church of Cosma and Damiano stands one of seven wine cellars in the country to visit.

    Mercato Saraceno is the largest area of Romagna Sangiovese wine. In this sub-zone, vineyards are predominantly surrounded by woods, a characteristic that is reflected in the olfactory and taste quality of the wines. The conformation of the land makes the Mercato Saraceno sub-zone very different from all the others in Romagna. 

    The characteristic river terraces created by the flow of the Savio river over millennia are present here. Mercato Saraceno wineries produce Sangiovese, the indigenous Famoso grape variety, Albana and Trebbiano. These characteristics have led Mercato Saraceno to be named a Wine City in 2022 by the National Wine City Association.

    The town also hosts the event Passi e parole di vino ("Steps and Words of Wine"), which saw its first edition on 2024: a combination of tastings in the winery, trekking, guided e-bike tours, masterclasses with expert sommeliers, and moments of entertainment and culture.

  • Fourth stop - The parish church of Monte Sorbo Mercato Saraceno

    A sacred destination of great importance for the devotees who pass through this area, the parish church of Monte Sorbo stands with its austere and unchanging beauty. The silence and the surrounding landscape induce meditation and make this parish church a real gem not to be missed.

    A pilgrimage destination through the centuries, the church has also seen the passage of Saint Vicinio and numerous pilgrims who found shelter in the adjoining hospitale on their way to Rome.

    Located 8 kilometres out of the centre of Mercato Saraceno, this evocatiove parish church can be easily reached by car, but the route on foot or by bicycle is easy and pleasant.

  • Fifth stop - the Barbotto hill Mercato Saraceno

    Mercato Saraceno boasts in its territory one of the most daring challenges for cycling enthusiasts: the legendary Barbotto climb

    This is the most challenging stretch of the Granfondo Nove Colli, one of the most renowned international cycle races.

    The route starts immediately uphill, just past Piazza Mazzini in the town centre, and is 5.5 km long, with a difference in altitude of 372 metres and an average gradient of 6.9%, with peaks of 18%.

  • Sixth stop - bonus for the gluttons! Mercato Saraceno

    In winter, the bakeries in Piazza Mazzini offer the town's typical cake: the Porcospino (porcupine). A mixture of butter, sugar, eggs, ladyfingers and toasted almonds, it is so called because its shape resembles the features of the curious animal.

    Another typical Mercato Saraceno cake is the Easter loaf, which rivals that of Sarsina in a heated rivalry that has lasted since time immemorial.

Last update 25/04/2024

Information offices

City Tourism Association of Mercato Saraceno
Piazza Giuseppe Mazzini, 50 - Mercato Saraceno (FC)
+ 39 0547 699711 cultura@comune.mercatosaraceno.it info@comune.mercatosaraceno.it

You may also like...

OFFICIAL TOURIST INFORMATION SITE © 2024 Emilia-Romagna Region Tourism and Commerce Department