Cotignola is located in the green countryside of the province of Ravenna, along the banks of the river Senio, not far from the Adriatic Sea.
This was the homeland and the feudal lands of mercenary captains, then during Wold War II the town was completely destroyed during the bombing along the river Senio (the front Line). Today, this lively and modern town still safeguards the memory of its ancient magnificence.
Cotignola offers a variety of interesting theatre and art events which mostly take place in summer, in the town centre as well as in the surrounding countryside.
5km from the town, in the countryside on the way to Faenza, tourists can find the agritourism Casale Boschi. This early 19th century rural villa is located in a four-hectare vineyard and has luxury rooms with period furniture.
The landmark of the pretty town centre is the tower of the famous English mercenary captain John Hawkwood; this symbol of the town houses the civic bell, which remained unscathed when the tower was bombed and destroyed by the German army in 1944.
Palazzo Sforza (once declared a “National monument for art and history” in 1892) is definitely worth a visit. The historical residence of the Sforza noble family was destroyed by bombing and then later rebuilt in 1961. However, it still has some of the original features, such as the terracotta coat of arms of the House of Sforza and the portico columns; worth mentioning is also the beautiful memorial stone of Caio Vario (AD 30 - 49). The palace houses the historical archives and Museo Varoli.
Opposite the palace lies Casa-Studio Luigi Varoli, the art museum housing the painting and sculptures of the local artist Luigi Varoli "Righteous among the Nations" (1889 - 1958).
Just outside the town centre there is the church of San Francesco with the oratory of Santa Maria degli Angeli, which was turned into the tomb of the Sforza nobles in 1400. The church was built in the second half of the 14th century in Roman-Gothic style; it houses several 15th century frescos by the Zaganelli brothers and by Gerolamo Marchesi.
The popular feast Sagra della Segavecchia takes place very year in the third week of Lent. It features parades of carnival floats, music bands and costumes; the feast culminates with the bonfire and burning of the "witch".
The Palio of Alberico da Barbiano (end of May) features historical costumes, medieval drummers and flag-wavers and a tug-of-war competition in which the four wards of the town compete against each other.
In July in the Arena delle balle di paglia (The hay bales arena) a series of exciting events spanning from theatre to music and art take place.
Barbiano, the birthplace of Alberico da Barbiano (one of the most important Italian mercenary captains), is 5km from Cotignola, on the way to Lugo. The local beautiful and well-preserved Romanesque parish church is definitively worth a visit.