If you have chosen the Adriatic Coast for your holidays you absolutely must visit Gradara Castle.
This is the most visited monument in the Marche region, famous for the tragic love story of Paolo and Francesca, made eternal by Dante's story in the Divine Comedy.
You can visit the interior of the fortress inhabited in medieval times by the powerful families who ruled here: Malatesta, Sforza and Della Rovere.
Inside the walls, at the foot of the fortress you can visit the Ramparts Walk and the romantic paths around the Rocca, up to the Staircase of Love by Elio Fiorucci.
The small town of Gradara is nestled between the first and second walls.
The period of government of the Malatestas was sadly famous for the tragedy of Paolo and Francesca which took place here in September 1289 and described by Dante in his Canto V of the Divine Comedy.
In 1494, just fourteen years old, Lucrezia Borgia, second wife of Giovanni Sforza, arrived. The young girl, always described as perverse and corrupt, was actually a girl with golden hair and blue eyes subjugated by her father: the terrible Pope, Alexander VI Borgia, who forced the young daughter to leave her previous husband and marry new ones for the his shady intrigues.
The spouses who did not want to leave Lucrezia ended up, as we know, being poisoned.
Upon the death of the last heir of the Della Rovere family, several administrations followed, then in the mid-1700s the Marquis Mosca of Pesaro took over. He lovingly took care of the construction and restoration until his death. The fortress then became municipal property and sold to various owners until 1920 when Eng. Umberto Zanvettori from Belluno bought it for three million lire and in his capable hands it was reborn and began to become the fascinating village we know today!
Right at the entrance to the Medieval Village, Osteria La Botte awaits you for an exceptional gastronomic experience, to discover the typical cuisine of the Marche-Romagna area prepared with originality and mastery by chef Alessandro.
Tip: you can reach it by bus or by the nice little train, it is only 5 km from Gabicce Mare.
Don't forget your camera!