10 Sights of Gabicce Mare, Italy

10 Sights of Gabicce Mare, Italy

Gabicce Mare is located on the Adriatic coast, in the province of Pesaro and Urbino. It is a small naturalistic pearl, which stands out for its cliffs and the promontory of Monte San Bartolo overlooking the sea. The mountain is also a nature reserve and there are trails through it overlooking the whole Riviera Romagnola.

Gabicce Mare has hundreds of hotels with all the necessary services, equipped beaches and plenty of entertainment. It is always a good reason to visit it, in summer it is one of the favorite places for beach holidays, in spring and fall it is an ideal place for bike rides thanks to the scenic roads, and in spring it gets even more special charm because of the blooming brome.

1. What to see in and around Gabicce Mare

Beach. The beautiful sandy beach is one of the most equipped on the entire Marche coast, thanks to the excellent services that offer tourists both relaxation and entertainment, and is also suitable for families with children. Although it is a very small town, there are about fifty bathing facilities, all in good condition and full of activities for athletes and children. Most of the beaches also offer free bicycles for their customers and a wristband against loss. There are also free beaches, although they are quite crowded, especially on the high bleachers. In short, it really has everything you could want for a complete vacation.

10 Sights of Gabicce Mare, Italy - Photo 2

1. What to see in and around Gabicce Mare

Kattolik. It is true that Gabicce Mare is in the Marche and Cattolica in Emilia-Romagna, but these are two localities that are located at the ends of their regions, forming a single tourist center. They are connected by a footbridge over a stream that runs between the two countries, so you can cross the border between the two regions even just by walking. Cattolica, like Gabicce, has been awarded the Blue Flag and named the Queen of the Adriatic.

Upon entering the city, you can also admire the architectural beauties such as the Museo della Regina, the Teatro La Regina or the Palazzo del Comune. In the squares are held the typical weekly and seasonal markets, which always attract a lot of people.

10 Sights of Gabicce Mare, Italy - Photo 3

1. What to see in and around Gabicce Mare

Pier . It is a truly impressive place, in addition, it is a symbol that represents the union of Gabicce and Cattolica. Those who walk on it and go beyond the beach can enjoy the breathtaking view from the extreme point, which allows you to see the entire coast from Cattolica to Rimini and beyond.

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1. What to see in and around Gabicce Mare

Mount Gabicce. This place offers moments of silence and relaxation, which is ideal for those who want to get away from the chaos of the beaches for a while. In addition, from here you can enjoy a magnificent panoramic view of the coast below, as well as beautiful and panoramic fish restaurants overlooking Piazza Valbruna. For hikers this is the ideal place, it can be reached on foot or by bike from Gabicce Mare on the way up the mountain.

Wallugola Cove. To relax in comfort, take a trip to Gabicce and visit Vallugola Cove. This beach is small and cozy, you will have the opportunity to rent umbrellas and sun loungers or just sun beds, and there are many bars and fish restaurants near the beach, making this area suitable for a whole day out. It’s not highly recommended for the youngest children, as the seabed is pebbly and steep, but for those who don’t have kids, this is a place to visit. Because of the presence of pebbles, the water here is cleaner than in the rest of the Riviera Romagna.

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1. What to see in and around Gabicce Mare

Monte San Bartolo. The mountain is part of the regional nature park that bears its name and extends from Gabicce Mare to the municipality of Pesaro. We suggest reaching the town of Fiorenzuola di Focara. It has an unpolluted area of almost 1600 hectares on 12 km of coastline and the presence of rocks and caves that are very rare on the western coast of the Adriatic Sea. Inside you can go hiking, you will also encounter migratory birds for which the mountain acts as a landmark, in spring you can see more than 3500 birds of prey of different species, including the honey buzzard, marsh harrier and cuckoo hawk. Park management is always organizing new events and experiences, which you can see on their official website.

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1. What to see in and around Gabicce Mare

Gradara. It is a town located inland, 5 km from Gabicce Mare, and it is worth a visit during the trip. In fact, it is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, it has also been awarded the Orange Flag and in 2018 was proclaimed Borgo dei Borghi. It really is worth leaving the seaside life of Gabicce for this truly impressive and distinctive village. The famous and unfortunate love story of Paolo and Francesca, the protagonists of Dante’s Divine Comedy, is linked to its majestic medieval castle.

Cattolica Aquarium. During your trip you can take the opportunity to visit the famous aquarium. A true journey into the underwater world to discover the mysterious depths in more than 100 exhibition tanks where sharks, penguins, turtles, jellyfish and many other creatures swim. With this tour from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic to the Pacific, you will discover many curious and interesting things, such as the history of the planet and its biological evolution, and learn about the species that have survived for millions of years. This is a place not to be missed by those traveling along the Adriatic Coast.

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1. What to see in and around Gabicce Mare

The Colombarone archaeological site. Tucked away in the greenery of the Monte San Bartolo Park, it is a place that contains among the many architectural traces the ruins of a Roman villa and an early Christian basilica. A multimedia video introduces the route with a fascinating reconstruction of the rooms of the villa, the finds found during the exploration are displayed in a small museum, and you relive the history of the excavation, starting with the site identification of Annibale Degli Abbati Olivieri. It is a very interesting place to discover, especially if you are a fan of the genre.

Beach Fiorenzuola di Focara. This beach is a beautiful corner of nature, it is located a few kilometers from Gabicce Mare, and if you want to stay at a different and unique beach, you can reach it. It is characterized by a small medieval village overlooking the sea, about 200 meters high, and a free beach, ideal for lovers of tranquility and ” unequipped ” beaches. From the top of the hill overlooking the sea there are several more or less winding streets leading to the shore. Many young people spend most of their days in summer in this beautiful place, still untouched by mass tourism.

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1. What to see in and around Gabicce Mare

Adriatic coast of Italy – discover the resort of Gabicce and its surroundings. – Gabicce Mare, Italy – travel blog

Gabicce is a picturesque seaside resort located in the San Bartolo National Reserve of the Marche region. It is adjacent to Cattolica, the southernmost resort of Emilia-Romagna, and the nearest airport is the famous Rimini. On your own, you can take a train or bus from the airport to Gabricce.

On the coast go primarily for seaside recreation. In Gabicce Mare are wide sandy beaches with a gradual entry into the water, which is well heated in late spring, and a few places where there are rocky areas with rocky bottom, but here the cleanest and most beautiful water, and the depth of the sea can be seen until day. Beaches, of course, are fully equipped and marked by the European “blue flag”. A picturesque view of the coast of Gabricce Mare opens from the observation deck on the hill of Colle San Bartolo.

The historical sites of the town are in that part of the town which is called Gabicce Monte. Among the monuments are the paved Piazza Valbruna with the ancient 10th century church of San Ermete, some interesting ancient mansions and the ancient port of Vallugola which goes back to ancient times.

The surrounding area can also indulge lovers of antiquity. These are the Royal Museum in Catollica, which can be reached on foot, as the distance is only 2 kilometers, the medieval castle with its own mysterious love story in the town of Gradara, the house-museum of Rossini in his homeland in Pesaro and the magnificent Urbino. You can also go from here to the traditional shopping around Rimini and to the Republic of San Marino, one of the smallest states in the world and the first republic in the history of modern Europe.

Just a half hour drive from Gabicce Mare is the architectural park “Italy in miniature”, the country’s largest amusement park Mirabilandia, the entertainment center Fiabilandia on the shores of Lake Bernardo and Aquafan water park.

So, let’s explore the surroundings.

After walking a couple of kilometers or driving to not get tired and not to waste time, we visit the spa town with its Royal Museum, the Church of St. Apollinarius, the Gallery of the Holy Cross, the Aquarium “Le Navi”, the City Hall with a graceful square, the watchtower of the XV century and go further to Gradara – it is much more interesting. The previously described route to see Catholicism leaves at just a short distance from the bus stop to Gradara.

We want the big church or Grande Chiesa in Italian (Grande chiesa). When leaving, be careful, the return bus from Gradara takes a parallel road and stops at the train station.

The buses run about once an hour and take half an hour to get there. Ten minutes of climbing up and you are at the foot of the medieval castle. For fans of early Renaissance history and literature, this place is almost sacred. It is the local tragic and sinful love story of Paolo and Francesca who lived here that inspired the great Dante Alighieri to create the part of his “Divine Comedy” dedicated to the second circle of hell and intended to warn sinners about the retribution for adultery. By the way, with sins and adulteries the castle of Gradara is doing very well in the Middle Ages. It was owned by the famous Malatesta and Sforza, who last rebuilt the castle for the famous Lucrezia Borgia one of her many husbands.

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Even against such a widespread phenomenon in Italy as castles, the local castle in Gradara looks very impressive and worthy of attention. There is a museum showing tourists the architecture and interiors of the Middle Ages and the nascent Renaissance.

The construction of the castle began in the middle of the XII century, when the Grifo family took this area from the Pesaro family, by the way, owners of the town next to Cattolica, and made famous not by its owners, but by the composer Rossini.

It did not end with one conquest – the Middle Ages was not a time of peace and quiet, so the castle repeatedly changed owners, until Giovanni Malatesta reigned here. The Malatesta family settled in Gradara for a long time, the more so because Pope Boniface VIII granted it the right of perpetual possession.

In fact, it was in this family that the tragic love story that inspired Dante played out.

There were two brothers in the Malatesta family. Senior Giovanni was a cripple, in addition, he was also not very attractive. But the second brother Paolo was handsome.

Wishing to stop the feud between neighbors and promote peace, the Malatesta family decided to become related to the neighboring Da Polenta family. The groom from the Malatesta family was to be Giovanni, and the bride was to be the daughter of the da Polenta family, Francesca, who was famous for her beauty. The marriage of a beautiful woman to a crippled and ugly man for political and economic reasons still exists today, but back then, in the era of the infinite dominion of patriarchy and Catholicism, it was a verdict. In order not to embarrass the neighboring family with the “beauties” of the groom, the beautiful Francesca was married by proxy (there was such a thing in the history of mankind), to no less beautiful than she was Paolo. And after the wedding, it was too late to change anything.

One thing the organizers of the fraud did not take into account was that Paolo and Francesca would like each other and find a way to bypass marriage obligations if possible. Lovers, as usual, met in secret until the information about their meetings did not come to Giovanni. After pretending to be away on business, the husband suddenly started knocking on his wife’s locked bedroom. There was a second way out of the room and all would have turned out well if, fleeing from Francesca’s chambers, Paolo had not got caught in his cloak. Giovanni caught up with the fugitive and lunged at his rival brother with a knife. Francesca blocked her lover, taking the fatal blow herself. Unfortunately her sacrifice did not stop the furious Giovanni, who finished Paolo off with a second stroke of his dagger.

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The sad love story of Paolo and Francesca is not a heartwarming fiction, scientists have been able to find documentary evidence of the tragedy. And the locals have never doubted the truth of the local story, they have recounted it from generation to generation, also claiming that at the full moon in the corridors and rooms of the castle the ghost of the unhappy Francesca appears, her soul seeking either solace or lover, or revenge.

In the castle museum you can see recreated interiors of Francesca’s bedroom and the very door through which Paolo tried to escape.

Perhaps neither scholars nor locals were so interested in this story if Dante Alighieri had not heard this tale from Francesca’s nephew Guido da Polenta, in whose house he stayed, and while composing the Divine Comedy, traveling with Virgil through all the circles of hell, in its second circle he did not place a man and woman, not breaking their loving embrace even in the middle of the Hellfire.

The story of Gradara is not limited to the tragedy of love; it also has a remarkable military history.

In 1446 the famous Francesco Sforza unsuccessfully besieged the castle walls for 40 days and retreated before the courage and fortitude of defenders and members of the Malatesta family.

It is true that in 1463 he returned again under the walls of Gradara. This time he had considerable preferential treatment, for the master of the Malatesta castle was excommunicated for suspicion of murdering his two wives at once (the legend of the blue beard apparently also has its roots in Gradara), and the city was anathematized. So a general fall in spirit, and for a religious medieval man, especially a Catholic, the anathema trial was more terrible than any natural disaster or even death, turned luck away from the defenders of the castle. After the second assault, the Sforza family reigned in Gradara.

The enterprising Giovanni Sforza, following contemporary fashion, transformed the mighty fortress into a magnificent castle. An elegant loggia was built in the courtyard and the staircases became marble. To this castle he brought his second wife, Lucrezia Borgia. To please her eyes the chambers of the young mistress were decorated with frescoes attributed to Giovanni Santi, the father of the famous Raphael, also a native of the area, and the Santi family lived nearby in the beautiful city of Urbino, an architectural marvel that is only an hour and a half drive from Gabicce, where we will go.

The buses that bring you to Gradara actually go through Cattolica on to Pesaro. From Pesaro there is a bus to Urbino.

While waiting for the bus, which also does not go very often, it is time to get to know Pesaro. The center of the city in Italian is very historical and pleasant. In fact, it is even more historic than it seems. It was founded by the Romans before Christ. The main square of the city, Del Popolo, is decorated with the court of Duke Rocca Costanza, built in the XV century. The palace is worthy of attention if only because one of the palace builders was the author of the enigmatic Mona Lisa – Leonardo da Vinci.

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In the Pinacoteca of the city one can find works by Giovanni Bellini and other Renaissance masters. In the cathedral, the ancient mosaic floors have been preserved.

By the way, the cathedral stands on a street named in honor of a native of the city the great composer, author of the opera “The Barber of Seville” by Gioacchino Rossini. Pesaro even opened a conservatory at his bequest, which is still in operation today.

Pesaro makes a pleasant impression, but ahead of it awaits a miracle – the city of Urbino.

An hour by bus through unremarkable terrain and long before entering the city, the fortress of Urbino opens up high in the sky like a fairy tale palace on top of a rock. It stands out against the sky and rises above the surrounding countryside in such a way that you just believe that it is from the pages of fantasy that a magical castle descended into the world.

The bus stops at the foot of the hill. Then you have to walk up and back in time through the narrow cobblestone streets. Here it is a real medieval town. Its quarters are beautifully preserved, with only occasional cars in the streets reminiscent of modernity.

The majestic and beautiful Palazzo Ducale crowns the hilltop and overlooks the city and the countryside. The façade of the palace is adorned with a magnificent work by Torriccini, adding to the fantasy feel.

Historic Urbino is actually a palace, it is impossible to draw a line between it and the city, it is a single architectural and historical complex of the era when the Middle Ages were replaced by the Renaissance. It was here in the Palazzo Ducale at the court of the Duke of Montefeltro that this era actually began.

The beautiful and mysterious Renaissance was, in the truest sense of the word, the Renaissance. Europe began its journey of liberation from the dark, brutal, obscurantist Middle Ages. In fact, we are still freeing ourselves from its effects, only we just don’t realize how deep the dark ages sit within our souls.

If you linger in Urbino until evening, you might witness the fog creeping over the city. At this point, you will be caught up in the true sensation of time travel. In the translucent, quicksilver fog, the already narrow and dark streets will lose their clarity of outline. Sounds will echo and resound more loudly in the darkness, repeatedly reverberating off the stone walls. And the light of the electric lights will begin to dance, to play with shadows and to draw unprecedented figures from the fog, the light and the impending darkness. If someone dares to light a torch or at least a lighter, even stranger things will begin to show their m viewers natural fire. In this moment you will imagine how the flame of torches behaved in an era when there was no other light at night and in the twilight and be penetrated by the fears of medieval man and the mystical spirit of the time.

Urbino will leave an impression that will not fade against the other beauties of Italy. But still very much want to go back down to the warm sea and gentle sun, to the beautiful beach of Gabicce.

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