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San Leo: Territory


The Montefeltro area is a sub-region scattered between Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany. It covers an extensive tract of land from the hills of the Central Apennines to the Adriatic Coast.

This charming region, so rich in history and natural beauty, counts today 20 municipalities: Belforte all’Isauro, Carpegna, Casteldelci, Frontino, Lunano, Macerata Feltria, Maiolo, Mercatino Conca, Montecerignone, Montecopiolo, Montegrimano, Novafeltria, Pennabilli, Piandimeleto, Pietrarubbia, San Leo, Sant’Agata Feltria, Sassocorvaro, Sassofeltrio, and Talamello. Each municipality still bears the mark of its rich historical past, with mush of its architecture intact and lush, countryside vegetation. The word Montefeltro comes from the Latin Mons Feretr which, in turn, according to some historians, derives from Jupiter Feretrius, the God to whom the temple on the rocky peak of San Leo was dedicated. It is right here in San Leo, between the VI and VII Century, that the parish of Montefeltro was created and the first bishop elected. The parish covered a much wider area at the time than it does today, nevertheless the term Montefeltro is still used to identify the whole district. The exact meaning of the word Montefeltro has been defined as follows in the Statute of the Association for Historical Studies on the Montefeltro area: “The Montefeltro region covers an area going from Monte Aquilone-Fumaiolo, down to Sant’Agata Feltria, following the borders of the ancient Dioceses and including the water basin Uso. Montebello, the rocky peak of San Marino and the valleys of Rivers Conca and Fratte di Sassofeltrio are also part of Montefeltro, which goes as far as Mount Altavellio, Bronzo and, following River Foglia, up to its springs and Mount Aquilone”.
The history of the region has undoubtedly been marked by the clashes between the Malatestas and Montefeltros, by the invasion of the Medicis and the Della Roveres, by the direct control of the Papal States. Since the Middle Ages, with its very specific natural features and charming rocky peaks, the Montefeltro has been a much fought-over area. It was full of castles and natural strongholds thus representing a strategic land for the many families fighting for supremacy in the region. Although the Montefeltro area has always had one Dioceses, a single government was never possible as local communities fought strenuously for their independence. The most famous example of an independence is perhaps the Republic of San Marino. The autonomous government and peculiar geographical structure of the area are one of the reasons why the region’s rocky peaks and gentle hills are dotted with castles and churches. These vestiges of the past give us a clear picture of the political and religious role played by the Montefeltro area in the past.

The official website of Rimini’s Hinterland
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  • How to reach San Leo, in Italy Getting here

    San Leo lies in Rimini's hinterland, in southern Emilia Romagna, on the border of Tuscany, Le Marche Region and the Republic of San Marino.
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