The municipal territory of Gatteo lies on a rich plain and is encircled by the municipal districts of Cesenatico, Gambettola, Savignano sul Rubicone and San Mauro Pascoli.
It stretches out to the Adriatic Sea, bounded by the rivers Rigossa and the famous Rubicone.
The four fractions of this municipality in the lower Rubicone valley (in the province of Forlì-Cesena) are Gatteo, Sant'Angelo, Fiumicino and Gatteo Mare. Each one of them has its own particular characteristics, not only from a territorial viewpoint, but also concerning their social and economic vocations.
Gatteo, the main town, with its fortified castle, boasts a centuries old tradition as a flourishing crafts and trade center. Today the town hall and the main public services are gathered there.
Its symbol is certainly the fortified castle, which stands in the middle of the town center and whose courtyard is used for the traditional ‘Festa di San Lorenzo’ (St.Lawrence Day festival).
A good time to visit Gatteo is definitely the festival dedicated to the patron saint of the town San Lorenzo, on August 10th, during which you can take the opportunity to discover its small art treasures: the Malatesta Castle, the oratory of San Rocco with votive frescoes and the parish church of San Lorenzo Martire, which houses high quality works by local artists.
The Malatesta Castle
It was built during the 13th century, probably on the site of a preexistent Roman camp.
The castle has an almost square area, a tower and five bulwarks, it is surrounded by a wide moat, originally filled with water, which could be crossed thanks to a drawbridge.
Today the walls, the courtyard and the entrance consisting of a round arch surmounted by a square tower, and the donjon remain visible. On top of the donjon there is the seventeenth-century civic tower.
Oratory and frescoes of San Rocco
The construction of the oratory, of 14th century origin, was dedicated to San Rocco, who, according to popular tradition, had the gift of healing people from the plague.
Inside you can admire numerous votive frescoes dating back to a period between 1484 and 1508. These are paintings related to the plague epidemics in 1435-36 and 1458-61 and represent the most popular saints invoked during the periods of plague and others scenes of the time.
A typical dish of Gatteo are the ‘Cantarelle’ (in the dialect 'Cantarèli'), an old dessert of Romagna. Originally the main ingredients were flour and water. The Cantarèli are then seasoned with olive oil and a pinch of sugar while being cooked directly on a hotplate. Nowadays, maize flour has been added to the main ingredients, to make them softer, together with a bit of milk. The ‘Cantarelle’ can be eaten plain or with jam, honey or spreadable hazelnut cream.
The inhabitants of Gatteo stay in shape, both by working in the fields and taking care of the vegetable gardens, as well as participating in the initiative of the local section of the Avis association "Gatteo Cammina": a weekly evening appointment.
In addition, in Gatteo there is a large, recently built sports facility: the Palasidermec. Over a thousand square meters, equipped with a regular volleyball and basketball court, spaces for various types of sports activities for adults and children, changing rooms for athletes and referees, a medical clinic with an area for the masseur ... in short, everything you need to be able to carry out healthy sports.
Currently there are plans to build a football pitch in the large outdoor green area.
first half of June
During this medieval festival, young and old can stroll inside a camp, learn about the trades of the Middle Ages, admire parades of knights, fencing tournaments, performances of falconers and fire eaters.
Festa di San Lorenzo
9 and 10 August
Traditional appointment with the festival dedicated to the patron of Gatteo. Throughout the historic center: music, comedy shows, entertainment dedicated to children, art exhibitions and fireworks.
All year on Saturday morning.
Free tours of the historic center of Gatteo in Italian, lasting about an hour.
Among the many opportunities, the Malatesta town of Cesena (19 km) is certainly worth a visit, with the old library, declared a UNESCO monument; and Santarcangelo di Romagna (10 km), the city of Ravenna (45 km), a Unesco heritage site; as well as Rimini and its coast (20 km).