On two calcareous peaks, typical of Valmarecchia, stand the two fortresses of Torriana and Montebello. High on the bare rock and hard fought for their strategic location, they remained impregnable citadels of the seigniory of the Malatesta. Torriana knew then the domination of the Borgia and of the Medici. Some people put the killing of Gianciotto Malatesta, sadly famous for having put an end to the tragic love between his brother Paolo and Francesca da Rimini, in the basement of the fortress. Recently restored the remains of the fortress and of the thirteenth-century guard tower.
Today the commune in the province of Rimini, clung as it is on the impracticable cliff, until 1938 Torriana called “Scorticata”. The name of Montebello, Mount of war from Mons Belli, instead brings us back to centuries of bitter battles. Undamaged in its medieval walls, going beyond the only door to the village you will have the feeling that time has stopped for enchantment. The transformation from a military fortress into elegant building takes place in the fifteenth century with the Counts Guidi di Bagno, still owners. The legend of the ghost of Azzurrina, whitish child mysteriously disappeared in the basement of the fortress, each year attracts thousands of tourists.
From Torriana and Montebello the panoramic view of the beautiful scenery of the surroundings is extraordinary. To protect a landscape so rich in flora, in the many species of wild animals and in its geological peculiarity (the presence of gaseous formations), in 1993 people have created the Oasis of Montebello. Extended over 1200 hectares, it is home to the Natural Observatory of Valmarecchia. Within the Oasis, on a rocky spur, evocative ruins and a Byzantine cylindrical tower rise: it is Saiano.
Its church dedicated to Our Lady, and reachable by foot, has a beautiful bronze portal, realised by Arnaldo Pomodoro. In the first weekend of September, the feast of honey in Torriana will fill you of sweetness. Open all year, the Tavern Restaurant “I Malardot”, in the green of the splendid pine forest of Torriana, will delight you with its cuisine, typical of Romagna.