Beyond the Passo della Colla hill pass, still in Tuscany but approaching the lands of Emilia-Romagna, you will find Marradi bathed by the waters
of the Lamone river that leads to Ravenna. And it is precisely this central location between Florence, Faenza and the Adriatic coast that made this town prosper in the past. In fact, travellers to Marradi, arriving by train on the legendary Faenza railway, don’t expect to find an urbanistic structure that is quite unusual in a mountain town: the houses and stately palaces are rather reminiscent of the streets of Florence’s historic centre. This was determined by the noble families such as the Fabroni family from Pistoia or the Torriani family from Milan who, after being exiled here, did not want to renounce the convenience and elegance of the city spaces. The Marradi territory, lush with forests and clear waters, is ideal for those who like to go on outings on foot, by mountain bike or on horseback. We suggest: a family walk from Marradi to the Rocca di Castiglionchio, an old fort from the eleventh century which dominates the panorama of the entire Lamone valley, or the more challenging excursion to the Hermitage of Gamogna, an old monastic complex founded by San Pier Damiani in 1053, accessible via a footpath that starts from Ponte della Valle, Lutirano or from the Passo dell’Eremo hill pass on the provincial road connecting Marradi to San Benedetto in Alpe.
The sixteenth century Palazzo Torriani, now completely restored, is the most obvious proof of this. The interior preserves splendid decorations by Galileo Chini and a canvas by Silvestro Lega. Nearby you will find another Marradi gem: the sixteenth century Teatro degli Animosi theatre. The heart of the historic centre is the enchanting Piazza Le Scalelle square, surrounded by the Town Hall with its airy loggias, the fifteenth century Palazzo Fabroni and the Church of Suffrage. Having crossed the bridge over the river, it is an absolute must to visit the Church of San Lorenzo, where you will find beautiful paintings from the end of the thirteenth century by the ‘Maestro of Marradi’, an anonymous painter who trained alongside Domenico Ghirlandaio around 1475. How can we forget that the poet Dino Campana was born and lived in Marradi, the maestro of the masterpiece “Canti Orfici” (Orphic Songs): at the Cultural Centre dedicated to him you will find the Centro Studi Campaniani (Centre of Campana Studies), an essential reference point for scholars and students from all over the world.
You can’t come to Marradi and not stop for dinner or lunch to taste some of the typical dishes of this slice of Romagna and Tuscany: spinach and ricotta ravioli, tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms, wild boar or enriched with seasonal truffles, cappelletti with stracchino and raveggiolo cheese, grill platters of game or mutton, trifle, tarts, ricotta cake, fried cream and, in Autumn, all of the desserts based on the PGI Mugello chestnut, celebrated here each year with the famous Sagra delle Castagne (Blessing of the Chestnuts). In fact, Marradi is the home of the “good chestnut”: there are many hillsides covered by chestnut trees which, like well tended gardens, interrupt the uniformity of wild vegetation. The love for this plant and the desire to create a project that represents it in all of its forms have led to the creation of the Strada del Marrone del Mugello di Marradi (Road of the Mugello Chestnut of Marradi) which offers tourists a veritable journey around the theme of chestnuts.
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