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Favorite thing: …. all were here at a point in time.
Leone and Marinius, two Dalmatian stonemansons of Christian belief, came to this region after being haunted by emperor Diocletianus, whom I happened to meet today in Leyle’s Split account. They found work here and helped to rebuild the destroyed Ariminium (Rimini today – yes yet another resort which was famous already ages before the sunbathing masses invaded). They retreated into a secluded life later on – Marinius chose the hill of what is San Marino today, Leone settled on the hill of San Leo.
In the 10th century it was Emperor Otto I, who besieged Italian King Berengar II.
San Francesco was preaching here in 1213. The little Franciscan convent Sant’Igne close by was built in his honour.
Dante was here and San Leo became part of the Divina Commedia, the Purgatorio.
And during the course of time, San Leo was inhabited and ruled by the famous Italian families Medici and Della Rovere….
By now, San Leo is a very lively little community and very much proud of its history and regularly helds interesting events and Medieval festivals. I was amazed how much it has to offer and yes, I will be back for sure.
From San Leo’s website I learned that two festivals are being held soon – so if you are in the region, make sure not to miss them. There are even very exciting videos about these events in the past or their preparation. And even if they are only in Italian, they give a very good view of how much of an important part this all is in the life of the locals:
June 28 – 29, 2008: San Leo incontra Francesco – a Medieval market and spectaculum:
Video San Leo meets San Francesco (9 minutes)
August 23 – 26, 2008: Alchimia - Alchimie – a festival in commemmoration of Cagliostro’s death:
Video Alchimia - Alchimie (10 minutes).
Fondest memory: The tourism website of San Leo is excellent, but also only in Italian. Make sure you don’t skip the intro: the graphic realisation is excellent!
And last but not least: make sure you don’t miss to look at the very much magnificent photos of Brian McMorrow, he has displayed in the Pbase photo galleries.
Updated May 23, 2008
Favorite thing: If you want to visit San Leo, please try and approach it during the day. The landscape is breathtaking!! I cannot comment the approach from the west, as I came from San Marino and I enjoyed every minute of it. On my further way south I took the small winding roads via Urbino.
As you can see in my photos, the landscape is very hilly, the streets are very much winding up and down, in all directions. A paradise for the experienced mountain bikers. All over the region are rocky outcrops, most of them with little castles or fortresses on top. Some even didn’t have a name I think.
Hiking in this region must be fantastic, although it would involve independent hiking with tent and all the stuff. But I think it will be possible to get something to eat at the farms (provided one pays for meals or food). I will try and come back with a tent one day.
The name Montefeltro originates in the famous dynasty of Montefeltro, of which Federico earned fame in context with Urbino and also San Leo.
The views by the way are incredible. In my photos 4 and 5 San Marino is visible on the right and in my original size photos I even can see the Adriatic sea :-)
Updated May 23, 2008