The Apennine Mountains
The mountains of Tuscany, Marche and Emilia Romagna offer a rich display of nature, art, history and culinary traditions.
Photos courtesy of Foto di Alberto Moretti
The Apennine Mountains border on the southernmost area of metropolitan Bologna, and traverse the regions of Tuscany and Marche. They are the birthplace of Renaissance artists like Rafael, Michelangelo and Piero della Francesca.
The area is well-known for the white truffles of the Bolognese hills, wild game cuisine, chestnuts and other typical recipes, for example zuccherini montanari (sugar cookies).
To experience the Apennines means embarking on a voyage with a desire to discover natural beauty, architectural and archeological beauty, and the latest town history.
Dante Alighieri, probably Italy’s most famous poet was born in Florence. However during his career he was exiled and walked through the Apennines on his way to Ravenna where his tomb lies today. His path was a cultural, artistic, historical, philosophical and spiritual journey between the old cities of Florence and Ravenna, through the places where the great poet spent much of his life. These places – the rolling landscapes of Romagna, the Guidi castles, the magical corners of the Casentinesi forests and the green Tuscan hills – emerge in the pages of Divine Comedy. And they are still there for wayfarers to discover.
Dante walked through many of Italy’s loveliest and best-known little towns. Brisighella, Portico di Romagna and San Benedetto in Alpe, are set in a delightful stretch of country threaded by rivers and dotted with waterfalls that offer a blissfully refreshing summer dip. As you head towards Tuscany, the cities of Urbino, Sansepolcro and Arezzo will astound you with its treasures of Renaissance art.
Montefeltro is a historical-geographic region in the Marche, which was historically part of Romagna. It gave its name to the Montefeltro family, which ruled in the area during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Montefeltro covers mostly the mountain part of the Province of Pesaro and Urbino (Marche) and the south-western area of the Province of Rimini (Emilia-Romagna). It comprises also two municipalities of the Province of Arezzo, Tuscany, and the Republic of San Marino. During the struggles between papal and imperial followers Guelphs and Ghibellines, the area was constantly prone to war and and many of the hill towns are topped with fortifications and castles that remain today. The fortress at San Leo is a prime example.