In addition to a rich assortment of food and wine to be enjoyed, the Marche region offers beautiful places, rich in art and history, where nourish the spirit. Gradara is one of those magical places where to dive into the past is possible.
Driving along the Highway A14 near Cattolica, you will be surely charmed by a wonderful medieval fortress standing impressively on the hill, the Castle of Gradara, where the tragedy of Paolo and Francesca occurred in 1289, brutally murdered by Giovanni Malatesta, the jealous brother of Paolo and Francesca’s husband.
The charm of the Fort is amazing, both during the day and night with its evocative lighting recalling the sad story that is historically known, therefore, we decided to go to visit it with children.
After having left the motorway (Pesaro or Catholic is the same) and followed the signs for Gradara, we managed to park directly under the city walls.
We were overwhelmed by the grandeur of the fortress and its perfect state of preservation and, for a few minutes in the shade of the walls, we were literally catapulted into another era.
Beyond the arch which leads to the village we found ourselves in the main street going towards the Fortress.
Going up they notice some small restaurants with tables right on the street and the menu in plain sight.
Upon entering the courtyard of the castle, after crossing the drawbridge, we realized that it was worth it. Every corner here has a special charm and you will be enraptured by a magical atmosphere that can make you take a dive into the past, bringing you back to the splendors of the families that have ruled here (Malatesta, Sforza, Della Rovere). The visit to the various rooms takes just under an hour and you pass from the Torture Chamber to the Chapel, through living rooms, bedrooms and other places where one can find paintings and frescoes of some importance. Francesca’s room is particularly striking and in looking at every corner, from the four-poster bed to the fireplace in the opposite wall.
At the end of the visit there is the armory and the boys were amazed from the objects that testify the role that Gradara had, thanks to its strategic location, in the wars to grab the surrounding territories.
Rising along the walkways, which start from the entrance of the village, under the big clock, we walk along a section of the city walls, being able to see up to sea. Finally, we walked through the narrow streets of the village by dwelling on a small workshop of local food and wine … and between all that delicacies there obviously are the cookies of Rinascimento a Tavola: Cuori al cioccolato Cookies, with their aftertaste of rum, Mostazzoli of the Duke Cookies with their delicate scent of cedar, Emmer Wheat Savoury Cookies and many other specialties with their wonderful flavor of the past …