Explore the Marecchia Valley by camper

An itinerary for those who love nature, the outdoors and history

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The Marecchia Valley is a place to explore and savour slowly. This delightful corner of Italy lies between the rolling hills of Emilia Romagna and the majestic Apennines. It is a unique experience that combines nature, culture and tradition.

The landscape is dotted with secluded beautiful spots, picturesque villages and wide open spaces set in a verdant green valley: the perfect destination for nature lovers, history enthusiasts and fans of the outdoor lifestyle.

And what better way to enjoy all that the Marecchia has to offer, than a trip in a camper van? Let’s take a closer look at the sights you can find in this enchanting place.

Amid breathtaking landscapes, medieval villages and folk traditions, the ‘Valmarecchia’ will amaze you.

  • Length
    48 hours
  • Interests
    Art & Culture
  • Target
  • First stop - San Leo San Leo

    “The most beautiful town in Italy? San Leo: a fortress and two churches”. These are the words of Umberto Eco—and when you first see San Leo, you’ll find it hard to disagree.

    The entire town is built on a towering rockface that dominates the Marecchia Valley, a strategic location that was key to the historic and military fortunes of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. 

    An absolute must-see is the impressive fortress. Designed by Francesco di Giorgio Martini, it looks as if it has simply grown out of the rock. It is hard to tell where nature’s masterpiece ends and where the human one begins.

    Inside, you can still see displays of weapons and armour, discover what life was like for soldiers in medieval times and learn the history and legend of the alchemist Cagliostro, a nobleman whose reputation as a healer took him to the principal courts of Europe. You can even see the cell where he was locked up until his death.

    Another notable landmark in San Leo is the Church of St Mary of the Assumption, the oldest religious building in the Montefeltro area. Today, this church, along with the adjacent Duomo and bell tower, is part of what’s known as Romagna’s “field of miracles”.

    Just a few steps on from the parish church is the Cathedral, dedicated to the patron saint, St Leo. It is not known why the people decided to build a new cathedral here in the 12th century, but an inscription tells us the exact date of reconsecration: 1173.

    The austere, quadrangular bell tower is also an impressive sight: climb to the top for the best view of San Leo.

  • Second stop - Montecopiolo Montecopiolo

    After leaving San Leo, you come to the Montefeltro area, heading towards Montecopiolo. This territory is famed for its nature trails and heavy snowfalls in winter—there are several ski lifts here.

    You can still see the remains of two castles: Montecopiolo, with the ruins of the once-imposing walls half- hidden amid the trees, and the Castle of Monte Acuto (now Mount San Marco). 

    Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Municipal Park of Monte Montone: 85 hectares of magical fairy-tale landscapes where the colours change with the seasons. The area is home to 40 species of wild orchid, of which 20 grow in the Monte Montone area.

    There’s also a site for camper vans and a large municipal car park. Parking is free, and there are also paid e-charging points which are always available.

  • Third Stop - Novafeltria and Sant’Agata Feltria Novafeltria

    Half an hour's drive from Montecopiolo is the town of Novafeltria, built as recently as 1907 and now the commercial and industrial heart of the valley.

    The historic centre has two beautiful Art Nouveau buildings: Palazzo Segni, home of the municipal offices, and the community theatre, Teatro Sociale di Novafeltria, built thanks to the contributions of 72 local families and inaugurated in 1925 with Puccini's La Bohème. 

    Nearby, there is also an installation dedicated to Ivan Graziani - the popular singer-songwriter who adopted Novafeltria as his home town—the entrance to the park is marked by a giant pair of red spectacles.

    Another place to visit is Perticara, nestling in the pine forests of Monte Aquilone and famed for once having been an important mining centre.

    Sulphur has been mined here for centuries. In 1917, the industry was at its peak, employing 1,600 men who toiled in 100 km of underground tunnels. Today the mines are closed, but the Sulphur museum keeps alive the memory of the town's industrial past.

  • Fourth stop - Sant'Agata Feltria Sant'Agata Feltria

    From Novafeltria to Sant’Agata Feltria it’s just a short hop. Sant’Agata is a splendidly well-preserved historic village with a fairy-tale atmosphere and some notable buildings.

    Before visiting the town, you can park your camper in the designated area - almost completely free and just outside the town centre.

    Don't miss the chance to see the Rocca Fregoso, restored by Francesco di Giorgio Martini in 1474 and now known as the “Fairytale Fortress”. There is also the Snail Fountain, La Fontana della Chiocciola, a poetic reference to the slowness of the soul and part of the trail I luoghi dell’anima (Places of the Soul) conceived by the poet Tonino Guerra.

    Sant’Agata is also a spiritual destination with a large number of mystical sites, churches and convents. Highlights include the 10th-century Collegiate Church of St Agatha, which has a Baroque aspect thanks to the restoration works of 1776; the Church of St Francis of the Rose (named after a visit by St Francis of Assisi); the Church and Convent of St Jerome, built in 1560 by the Fregoso family; the Capuchin Church and Convent, founded in 1575 by Lucrezia Vitelli Fregoso; the Church and Convent of the Clarissa Nuns and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Consolation, built in 1520 along the ancient road from Perticara to Rimini.

    And don’t forget the “white gold” of Sant’Agata: truffles. Here you will find the Ecomuseo del Tartufo, the only museum of its kind in Emilia-Romagna. Every year, usually on Sundays in October, the town has a truffle fair, which is famous throughout Italy.

Last update 09/12/2023

Information offices

IAT San Leo
Piazza Dante Alighieri, 14 - San Leo (RN)
+ 39 0541 916306 info@sanleo2000.it Opening: all year round
UIT Novafeltria
Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, 2 - Novafeltria (RN)
+ 39 0541 845619 + 39 0541 845620 Opening: all year round
UIT Sant'Agata Feltria
Piazza Garibaldi, 31 - Sant'Agata Feltria (RN)
+ 39 0541 848022 info@prolocosantagatafeltria.com Opening: all year round

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