Nature, history and poetry at the Sasso Simone and Simoncello Park

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Nestled between the rolling hills of central Italy, the Sasso Simone and Simoncello park covers a protected area of 4,991 hectares dotted with villages and historic centres.

Located on the border of the Marche and Romagna regions, this natural paradise offers a unique experience that satisfies the senses and soul of every visitor. Its beating heart is the two imposing limestone boulders that stand proud in the hilly landscape: Sasso Simone and Simoncello. These strikingly shaped giants are silent witnesses to millennia of geological history, offering hikers and nature lovers an unparalleled opportunity to immerse themselves in the wild and unspoilt beauty of the Apennines.

The area is home to rare plants and animals, and nature manifests itself in all its majesty along with the history, art and poetry of the area.

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

    The tour starts from the village of Pennabilli - Orange Flag of the Italian Touring Club since 2010 - a place rich in nature and culture located in the green Sasso Simone and Simoncello Park, beloved by maestro Tonino Guerra, who called it ‘The Childhood of the World’. It is here that you will find 'The Places of the Soul', a museum with almost all open-air installations that tell, with subtle poetic inventions, the beauty of the area.

    The first leg of the journey takes us along the nature trail dedicated to Tonino Guerra, a route that combines art, nature and many literary suggestions.
    It starts from the walls of the ancient castle of Penna, the birthplace of the Malatesta family, where an oriental-style garden is home to seven enigmatic stone sculptures, described by Guerra as ‘mysterious, opaque mirrors of the mind’. This intimate place, known as the
    'Santuario dei Pensieri', invites reflection. 

    We continue on to the Chiesetta dei Caduti, where the world's smallest museum is located, containing a unique painting inspired by the verses of Tonino Guerra. This work, surrounded by stuffed birds chirping as visitors arrive, represents the ability to turn the impossible into reality.

    From the world of art, we immerse ourselves in nature with a visit to the Musss - Natural History Museum, which permanently exhibits numerous stuffed animals belonging to the various species of flora and fauna found in the park area.
    The trail proceeds towards the small Canaiolo waterfalls, along an easy path through the greenery that touches Mulino Donati and Torrigino, until it reaches the Orto dei Frutti Dimenticati, the first project in Pennabilli commissioned by Tonino Guerra, after his decision to reside in this town.
    It is a small museum of flavours that evokes the taste of certain plants that have now nearly disappeared, such as "biricoccolo" (purple or black apricto) or azarole (a hawthorn variety).
    This garden, more than a display of fruit plants, is intended to be a 'poetic' indication to invite man to return to loving the earth.

  • Second stop - Montecopiolo Montecopiolo

    Nestled between the peaks of the Tuscan-Romagna Apennines, the municipality of Montecopiolo is an authentic natural paradise protected by the Natural Park Authority.
    Here, nature reigns supreme, with a varied wealth of flora and fauna. In the impressive Monte Montone Fauna Park, hundreds of animal and plant species can be spotted, among them numerous varieties of wild orchids of incredible beauty.
    Wild animals find a safe haven in this area, also thanks to several nesting houses scattered throughout the area; with a little care, it is also possible to spot the footprints of the badgers and foxes that inhabit these woods on the ground.

    An almost obligatory stop is at the remains of the Montecopiolo Castle, which is being restored and enhanced in the spectacular setting of Alto Montefeltro. It is an archaeological site dating back to the 11th century located in a strategic position that allows an excellent view of the plain below. The fortress was inhabited until the 18th century and, as excavations have shown, appears to have been the castle of origin of the Montefeltro family.
    To complete this little journey through history, we also recommend a visit to the ancient castle of Monteboaggine, of which the bell tower and some traces of the village and church remain today: from here, you can see the surrounding mountains and valleys as far as the sea. 

    Before reaching the castle, on the right, stop to visit the small cemetery in use until the 1940s and the small chapel adjacent to it.

Last update 16/05/2024

Information offices

IAT Pennabilli
Piazza Garibaldi, 1 - Pennabilli (RN)
+ 39 0541 928659 + 39 0541 928659 Opening: all year round

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