Gradara is a town and comune in the province of Pesaro and Urbino, in the region Marche. It is located 25 km from Rimini and 13 km from Pesaro.

The ancient town is characterized by a double line of medieval walls and by the massive Castle, one of the best preserved in Italy. It is famous as being the location of the episode of Paolo and Francesca described by Dante Alighieri in the V Canto of his Inferno.

The Castle of Gradara

Wonderful medieval structure...

The Castle of Gradara is protected by two walls, the outermost of which extends for almost 800 meters, making the structure very imposing. Particularly striking is the view of the fortress and the underlying historical village in the night.

The castle - now owned by italian State- is one of the most visited monuments in the region and it is the scene of museum, musical and artistic events.

Since ancient times, Gradara was, by geographical position, a crossroads of traffic and heathen. During the medieval period the fortress was one of the main theaters of fighting between militias loyal to the Papacy and troubled noble houses of Marche and Romagna.

Tourism and Events in Gradara

History and Legend...

Gradara (elected from among the hundred most beautiful villages in Italy) is situated on a panoramic hill between Romagna and Marche, near the sea.

The fortress, the walls, the towers and the urban core of the old town is an architectural complex that offers to visitor, from afar, a fascinating and unique view. This is why today Gradara is known as the CAPITAL OF THE MIDDLE AGES: for a long time have determined the privileged scene of those strategies and power plays that determined the course of our history.

The story of the tragic love story between Paolo and Francesca, as told by Dante, Petrarca, Boccaccio and D'Annunzio, has always fascinated poets, musicians and lovers from around the world throughout the centuries. Paul and Francesca inspire ideals of "Seduction in the Castle", an exciting event dedicated to all lovers, that for two nights, in the third weekend in July, will hear desired sighs accompanied by mellow notes of minstrels and the echoes of poetic verses.

In summer, every thursday from mid-June, held a parade through the streets of the historic center of the court of the Malatesta or the costume parade (pages, squires, fire eaters, jugglers, swordsmen, etc.). On Wednesday there is a food and wine evening.

In the third week of July, also held "Siege the Castle", a reenactment of the terrible siege of Gradara in 1446, when Francesco Sforza, with the help of the great Federico da Montefeltro, tried unsuccessfully to conquer the fortress defended by the brave lord of Rimini, Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta. The battle is revived with an impressive pyro-musical show, and later a dark big party, "The night of Fire", fills up the village until late at night with musicians, artists of all kinds and tourists, to celebrate together the successful defense of the fortress.

During the winter, every year, takes place "Christmas Castle" offering Christmas animations starting from 8 of december until 6 of january, when the event concludes with the arrival of the Kings Magi. To celebrate Valentine's day at the castle of Paolo and Francesca, there is "Gradara to love", event for all lovers that takes place every year during the Valentine's day.

Finally, every Wednesday in July and August the restaurateurs of Gradara offer a full menu made with local produce at low cost. This initiative is called "Solsfizio at the castle" and it is dedicated to the promotion and enhancement of the agri-food wealth of our territory.

Part of the description above is taken from the Wikipedia article Gradara with patent CC-BY-SA. The full list of those who have contributed to the drafting of the article is available here.