Spirit of Romagna
After the beach: treat yourself to a taste of inland Romagna in the town of Sant'Arcangelo
Just a few kilometers from Rimini and the vibrant seaside resorts of the Riviera Romagnola, there's a whole string of ancient villages and towns in which you can experience an authentic slice of life in Romagna.
A trip to Sant'Arcangelo di Romagna
Sant'Arcangelo di Romagna, a stunning little hilltop town is especially enchanting. The town is home to an incredible number of beautifully conserved medieval and Renaissance buildings, the most impressive of which is the Malatestiana fortress.
The town's central Piazza Ganganelli is dominated by the triumphal arch dedicated to Sant'Arcangelo's most famous citizen, Pope Clement XIV.
During the celebrations held in honor of San Martino each November, a giant pair of horns are hung from the arch. Apparently, if the horns move when you pass beneath them, they indicate betrayal. For this reason, the locals call the arch the "arco dei becchi" or "cuckolds' arch"
You'll want to spend at least half a day in this miniature "art city", if you want to visit the Collegiate church, the Paleo-Christian Church of San Michele and the Ethnographic Museum. For the best view of the town, climb up the flight of steps which leads to the crenellated Civic tower.
The printing house
If you have time, make sure you stop off at the Antica Stamperia Artigiana Marchi: an ancient printing house which, continues to produce "tele romagnole", one of the symbols of southern Romagna.
These printed cotton, linen or hemp cloths are created using ancient handmade moulds in peer wood, and colored with rust, according to the ancient technique, which has been handed down from father to son for generations
The subjects used to decorate the cloths are those typically associated with the agricultural world: sheaves of corn, cockerels, bunches of grapes.
Ever since the 1600s, the Antica Stamperia Marchi has been producing the finest printed tablecloths, curtains, lampshades and bed and bath linen
An enormous, 300 year old wood and stone mangle takes pride of place in the heart of the printing house.
No ordinary restaurant
To experience the true spirit of the place, you'll want to stop off at "La Sangiovesa".
This stunning eatery, located inside the walls of the 18th century Palazzo Nadiani, was created by the publisher Maggiani and the poet and screenwriter Tonino Guerra, as modern version of the region's ancient inns.
As they explore the labyrinth of stone walled dining rooms, complete with ancient barrel vaulted ceilings and exposed wooden beams, customers come across fascinating images and artifacts testifying to Sant'Archangelo's rural history
Between bites of tasty piadina and cassone, visitors should be sure to make their way into the bowels of the building, to access the network of underground passageways which spread out beneath the town
At the entrance to the restaurant there is a small shop in which you can purchase typical gastronomic products made in the area, whilst, next door, in "La Dolce Sangiovesa", gourmands can savor the wines, liquors and pastries for which Romagna is rightly famous.