• 47826 Verucchio RN, Italia
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Between the IX and the VI century B.C. it was the nerve center of the so-called Villanovian civilization, it is said to be of Etruscan origin. Rich finds have been brought to light from the necropolis excavated around the village, today exposed in the Civic Archaeological Museum. The area of the excavations and the Museum are part of the Archaeological Park of Verucchio. The town is also known as the "cradle of the Malatesta family" because it was here that the power of the Malatesta family began, thanks to Giovanni della Penna dei Billi (1150-90), known as the Malatesta. Verucchio, with its mediaeval layout and wealth of historic buildings, lies between two hills once crowned by mighty fortresses: Passerello - the ruins of which now house a convent - and Sasso, now the Malatesta Fortress, one of the best-preserved fortifications of the Seignory, built to dominate the town, the valley and the plain. On the road that descends towards the plain, at the foot of the spur on which the old town rests, there is a Romanesque parish church dating back to the 10th century AD, visible only from the outside. In Villa Verucchio, a hamlet on the plain, there is the Franciscan Convent that tradition says was founded by St. Francis in 1213. In its cloister, a colossal cypress rises majestically, over twenty-five meters high, which would have originated from the beard planted and greened by the Saint himself.

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