An itinerary for lovers of literature. A guide to the homes, atmospheres and landscapes that were dear to the authors that described Romagna, the land they lived in and loved.
This is more than just a literary itinerary through the land of Romagna, where the exceptional cultural heritage, the history, traditions and landscapes are also places of remembrance.
Each house museum speaks of a piece of the history of this land through the person who lived there or to whom it is dedicated.
We will set off from Casola Valsenio, an evocative, picturesque hamlet in the Upper Senio Valley in the so-called Romagna-Tuscany area, a delightful oasis surrounded by greenery that is a much loved tourist destination for lovers of architecture and the beauty of nature.
The Italian writer and poet Alfredo Oriani was born here in 1909. The author of novels, controversial political and social works, and art and history essays, he is considered one of the most representative figures of his time.
On the Casola hills stands an unusual building known as "Cardello", where the writer spent most of his life and where he wrote his works.
It was once the old inn of the Valsenio Abbey, and now it is a Museum and a rare and wonderful example of a Romagna stately home of the late ‘800s and early ‘900s.
Its austere charm is highlighted by the wonderful setting of the surrounding park, which houses nearly thirty thousand plants and trees, and which has been declared “an area of considerable public interest” by the Ministry for Cultural and Environmental Heritage.
The internal part of the Cardello was declared a national monument in 1923.
Alfonsine, in the countryside of the Ravenna plains, is situated near the Po River Delta Park.
The nearby valleys and the Nature Reserve attract bird watching and wetland enthusiasts from all over Europe.
Our destination is the birth home of poet Vincenzo Monti considered to be one of the most important poets of the Italian Neoclassical period, who was born in Passetto, in the area of Alfonsine.
The home, which is out of town in an area that was once known as “Ortazzo”, dates back to the mid XVIII century and was commissioned by Fedele Maria Monti, Vincenzo’s father.
Skillfully restored, it has kept its original structure and furnishings; a free audio guide to the four areas of the house, the furnishings and heirlooms that were dear to the poet and narrator is also available.
The building, which looks like a farmhouse on the outside, comprises two floors, and on the walls you can admire numerous memorial plaques.
On the ground floor there is an Information Point for the Delta Park and Alfonsine Nature Reserve.
Olindo Guerini House Museum.
Sant'Alberto is an area of Ravenna that is located on the ancient banks of the Po di Primaro (which the Reno flows through nowadays). The small town near the Comacchio Valleys is surrounded by the unspoilt nature of the Po Delta Park.
The poet and writer Olindo Guerrini lived here for a long time and his memory still lives on, and much loved is the house that Guido Guerrini, the poet’s son wished to donate to the Ravenna Municipality with the understanding that it would become a cultural centre.
The building, in the heart of the town, is laid out on two floors and comprises ten rooms, three of which are taken up by the town library on the ground floor.
Casa Guerrini is an active cultural centre that hosts conferences, exhibitions, courses and workshops. In summer, the internal courtyard turns into an open air cinema.
Forlì with the San Domenico Museums, the Ravaldino Sforza Fortress, the cathedral and the town art gallery is a city of art and culture.
Our visit here, on this tour dedicated to the poets and writers of Romagna, focuses on the Villa Saffi House Museum in the area of San Varano, on the road that leads to Castrocaro Terme.
Aurelio Saffi, who was born in Forlì in 1819, was a patriot, a politician and an Italian scholar.
Villa Saffi, which was originally a Jesuit convent (traces of the chapel are still visible on the façade) was bought by Count Tommaso Saffi, Aurelio’s grandfather, and was mostly employed as a summer residence.
Aurelio Saffi, who resided here for many years, died here on 10th April 1890. His memory and the historical events which he was involved in are recounted by the furnishings, documents, and decorative elements of the villa, which, before Saffi’s time had been a place of meeting for the “Carbonari revolutionaries”.
The rooms are fascinating and rich in historical heirlooms, and the original furnishings are prized and elegant. The well-stocked Library comprises an important collection of rare newspapers, and the evocative park affords shade under scented linden trees.
This city, which once belonged to the Malatesta Dynasty, is a lively town in the heart of Romagna. It is worth visiting for its Malatesta Library, which was commissioned by Novello Malatesta, and which is perfectly preserved to this day. The old town with its large square called Piazza del Popolo, its Fortress and Cathedral is very beautiful.
Today’s itinerary leads us to Villa Silvia-Carducci, the eighteenth century villa that in 1874 became the property of Countess Silvia Pasolini Zanelli, who turned it into the salon of Romagna culture. Giosuè Carducci, one of the most distinguished Romagna intellectuals of the time, attended it for many years, enjoying the peaceful surroundings of the park and the mild climate.
And it was precisely here that he was inspired to compose the famous “Ode to the Church of Polenta.”
In Cesena we can also see the Renato Serra House Museum that belonged to the philosopher, writer and intellectual who was born in this town.
The museum is on the first floor of his birth home, and in addition to the Serriani heirlooms and the original furnishings of the era, it houses works by some of the most important Cesena, Romagna and Italian artists of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries.
If you fancy a detour towards Cervia, you can see the home of Grazia Deledda halfway between the old town and the sea.
Why did the writer choose this place? Perhaps due to the wild appearance of the area that reminded her of her island (Sardinia), or maybe because it was close to her writer friends Marino Moretti, Alfredo Panzini, Antonio Baldini and Antonio Beltramelli.
It is a typical early Twentieth Century seaside villa which has kept the original “biscuit colour” mentioned by the author in her short stories.
When she died in 1936, the villa was sold to private individuals, and over the years, it has been used for a variety of purposes. On the house, which is now private property, there is a large plaque commemorating the writer.
A 10 km drive will lead you to nearby Cesenatico and to the House Museum that belonged to Marino Moretti, which stands on the Canal Harbour designed by Leonardo da Vinci. The structure of the house is typical of the area with a layout that stretches along a small internal garden, a characteristic feature of the homes of the seamen on the Adriatic Coast.
In his will, Marino Moretti, a writer of the “Italian Twilight School” left his books and signed papers to the Town Library of Cesenatico. The home was donated to the town by his sister Ines in order to house the writer’s archive in its original surroundings.
In San Mauro Pascoli the tour focuses on Parco Poesia Pascoli – the Pascoli House Museum and the Villa Torlonia Multimedia Museum.
Here the fate of the town and of Giovanni Pascoli and his family are interwoven, and these places are indeed very evocative and full of history.
Along with the birth home, the Casa Pascoli House Museum, Villa Torlonia constitutes the “Parco Poesia Pascoli” which was founded in March 2019 to bring together the places that were dear to the poet.
Giovanni Pascoli’s birth home has been a national monument since 1924 and belongs to the State. This is the place of his peaceful childhood, which was suddenly shattered by the gunshot that killed his father Ruggero Pascoli on 10th August 1867.
The building with its original structure and furnishings houses heirlooms and photographs of the Pascoli family along with manuscripts and documents that recount the life and history of the family and of the poet’s youth.
The multimedia museum inside Villa Torlonia is an immersive experience in Giovanni Pascoli’s poetry: the cellars of the Tower have been turned into multisensory rooms in which sound, words and images surround the visitors.
The interactive installations allow you to explore the places beloved by the poet and to get an in depth look into the historical, artistic and gastronomic aspects, and retrace the special bond that linked Pascoli to the land of Romagna.
In Bellaria Igea Marina, the Alfredo Panzini Red House.
Alfredo Panzini is the writer who very much loved Bellaria and who described the town and its people. Despite the fame he achieved, he never missed a chance to spend time in the peace and quiet of his beloved Red House. His success enabled him to fulfil a youthful aspiration by becoming the owner of various farmhouses in Bellaria and in the countryside surrounding Santarcangelo di Romagna. Panzini was buried in Canonica, near one of these properties, after his death in Rome on 10th April 1939.
The writer spent many years with his family in this villa – which was bought in 1909 – especially in summer, and the home became a meeting place for friends and other authors.
We can still see his renowned bicycle here, his bedroom and bedside cabinets and his armchair. The bathroom is also worth seeing for its refined and clever reinterpretation. And we can visit the study, which is now an exhibition area with his desk with the many drawers and manuscripts. To this day, the building is surrounded by a park filled with Mediterranean vegetation.
The tour has come to an end, and we are pleased to have led you through a part of the history of our Romagna through the stories of its famous people.