Sant' Agata Feltria
Sant' Agata Feltria
Situated on the border between the regions of the Marche and Romagna, Sant’Agata has ancient origins and was already inhabited by the Umbrians. Over the centuries it was part of various feuds including those ruled by the Malatesta, Montefeltro and Fregoso families. The latter gave their name to the fortress built around the 10th century and restored by Francesco di Giorgio Martini in 1474.
As well as the above mentioned fortress, which today houses a permanent museum, Sant’Agata has a well preserved old town centre and several complexes of particular historical importance including the monastery, the church of San Girolamo and above all, Angelo Mariani Theatre. Built entirely in wood, it is the oldest theatre in the Marche and one of the oldest in Italy. The entire town is dominated by Mount Ercole and its imposing chestnut wood.
Some surrounding villages also boast important historical-artistic sites including Petrella Guidi, a beautiful and well preserved medieval borough. However, all that remains of the huge castle, which had two separate defensive boundary walls, is a tower. The round arch of the gate probably dates it to the Romanesque period. Inside the castle walls, the church of Saint Apollinare houses a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary.
During the summer, the surrounding area is popular for excursions both on foot and on horseback. For sports enthusiasts and for all those who love the outdoor life there are a number of tennis courts, bowling alleys, stables, a lake for sports fishing and several campsites.
Every year, on Sundays during the month of October, the town hosts an important fair dedicated to delicious white truffles and other agricultural and pastoral products. During this event, which has become one of the most important and most popular in Italy, white truffles, a typical product of this part of the Apennines, are exhibited, celebrated, assessed, sold, cooked and eaten in a variety of different ways. As well as white truffles numerous other local treasures, such as mushrooms, honey, chestnuts, officinal herbs and other agricultural and pastoral products, are celebrated. This event is not only the most delicious opportunity to savour and taste truffle and mushroom dishes but also a great chance for all those who love local handicrafts and antiques thanks to the various events held in connection with the main fair.
In November, in Sant’Agata Feltria it is possible to savour cheese matured in special sandstone ditches that were used in ancient times and have since been reopened. The town is also where the literary prize “Il Pungitopo” is awarded. In December, Sant’Agata becomes the “Christmas village” with a series of cultural events centred on Christmas traditions. In fact, the medieval borough comes to life with the Christmas spirit that is typical of north Europe with bagpipes, Father Christmas’ grotto, elves, sleighs, reindeer and lots of other surprises. To mark the occasion, local restaurants offer special Advent dishes and in the old town centre, a traditional Christmas market is held selling typical local produce, decorations and Nativity scene statues.
Sant'Agata Feltria Pro Loco Association Tourist Information - Piazza Garibaldi, S.Agata Feltria tel and fax 0541/ 848022 - www.santagatainfiera.com
Sant'Agata Feltria Town Hall tel 0541/929613 fax 0541848591 e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
Rocca Fregoso Museum - Salita Fregoso, Sant’Agata F. 0541/916306