Santarcangelo di Romagna is an historical medieval town with ancient origins.
The first Roman settlement, Pagus acerbolanus, grew up around the church, known as “Pieve.”
After the Barbarian invasions the town,s centre moved to the top of the main hill called Colle Giove. Around the year 1000, a castle, later called Rocca Malatestiana, was constructed and became the town’s hub.
The building development that began in the 1700’s saw the town expand onto the surrounding plain.
On the 4th February 1948 (M. D. 8/12/42) the prefecture of Forlì awarded Santarcangelo its coat of arms thereby changing the town’s status to City, a title already recognised by Pope Leo XII on 8th August 1828.
In 1948 Santarcangelo was recognised as a City of Art.
It is an extremely popular destination.
The town has several notable historic monuments, namely, “Arco Ganganelli”, the arch in the main square built in honour of Pope Clemente XIV, Piazza Ganganelli, the majestic fortress “Rocca Malatestiana”
the church Chiesa Collegiata,
and the “Grotte Tufacee”, enchanting caves dug out of tufa: these mysterious caves, whose origin is still unknown, form a labyrinth underneath the towns historic centre.
More than anything, Santarcangelo gets its popularity from the extravagant art and talents of its more celebrated citizens, as well as the warmth of the Romagnole welcome, the good food and conviviality.
Artists and prominent intellectuals worth mentioning include Raffaello Baldini, Tonino Guerra, Guido Cagnacci, Augusto Campana, Gioacchino Volpa, Giulio Faini, Fabio De Luigi, Andrea Guerra and Daniele Luttazzi.
The International Theatre Festival is the result of the combination of those talents and the eccentric creativity so typical of the native artists. The festival is a major international exhibition of avant-garde theatre, which has welcomed, amongst others, the famous Mutoid Waste Company, an international group of performers and sculptors of recycled materials.
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