Lands of Focara
Monte San Bartolo Park and Fiorenzuola di Focara
The Natural Park of Monte San Bartolo marks the beginning of the coastline’s hilly slopes of the center of Italy, immediately following the well-known beach resorts of the Northern Adriatic sea.
Inside the park rise up small and evocative hostorical residential areas plenty of stories to tell, from where it is possible to enjoy a unique view.
With a total surface of 1600 hectares, the park includes the hilly slope that from Pesaro’s harbour extends until Gabicce Mare, forming the first promontory looking on the Adriatic coastline from North. Founded in 1997, the Park ermerges from the shallow beaches of Romagna and Marche like a wavy sequence of spurs and valleys perched on the sea, punctuated by overhanging cliffs. These cliffs are characterized by geological aspects of great interest. At their bottom, for example, runs a thin beach of gravels and pebbles derived from the demolition and the landslide of the above rock faces. These pebbles, locally named “cogoli”, were used as paving for the old-town centers and for the nearby coastal cities. In addition to the many evocative aspects of nature and wildlife, the Park safeguards cultural assests such as the famous Villa Imperiale. The villa is one of the most beautiful residences of the Renaissance, built in two phases: the most ancient dating back to the second half of 1400 and commissioned by Alessandro Sforza, while the other part has been built by will of Francesco Maria della Rovere. He entrusted the architectural management to Girolamo Genga with the purpose of creating a luxurious meeting place that later became popular among famous writers and artists such as Torquato Tasso and Pietro Bembo. The building, slowly disclosing in the middle of the flora, shows the designer’s will of creating a perfect symbiotic relationship with the surrounding landscape. This is proved by the many paths crossing the woods and connecting Villa Imperiale with the other villas Roveresca. Magnificent example of villa with Italian Garden, Villa Caprile was built from 1640 by the marquis Giovanni Mosca from Bergamo. Created with reception and vacation purposes, Villa Caprile hosted many influent people such as Casanova, Stendhal, Leopardi and in 1797 also Napoleon. In one of the famous gardens are located the praised water games, surprising and entertaining the visitors with unexpected spurts coming out from hedges, vases and monuments. In the locality of Colombarone there is instead the namesake archaeological site preserving the remains of a late-imperial villa datable between II and VI century a.C. On these ruins was conceived the early christian basilica of San Cristoforo ad Aquilam, seat of the historical meeting in 743 between pope Zaccaria and the exarch Eutiche. The archaeological digs continued for the last 25 years brought to light also remains such as mosaics, bracelets, coins, glasses and amphoras. Among the four castles built between X and XIII century - together with Casteldimezzo, Gradara and Granarola - the small medieval hamlet of Fiorenzuola di Focara completes the organic defensive system created to control the Siligata’s crossing on the border between the Malatesta of Rimini and those of Pesaro. Composed by alleys and 1600’s small squares enclosed in the medieval pentagonal wall’s ruins, Fiorenzuola got the specification of Focara in 1889. The latter was presumably due to the ancient presence of fires informing sailors about the position, or because of the presence of small furnaces (“fornacelle”) where clay-bricks and terracottas were cooked. From a urban point of view, the door where is located a plaque with Dante’s words (Hell XXVIII) is considered by the community of great interest. Another relevant element is the Church of S. Andrea with its fine tower bell with clock, documented since XII century.