Brisighella, the queen of the valley
Stories and secrets carved in plaster
What it is and where it is
It looks like it is nestled in the Lamone Valley, but if you look closely you will find that this ancient village developed by clinging tight ly to the rock, using blocks made of the same chalk as the mountains to make its bond with them even more indissoluble. No, Brisighella does not lie down. Brisighella rests its feet in the valley, but then it climbs the Apennines that surround it, and adorns them with its buildings and its warm, vibrant colors, like the energy of its inhabitants. We are in the Chalk Vein Regional Park, and Brisighella, crowned by the three mountains behind it, is its queen.
Why it is special
Its narrow streets alternate with stairways that climb the mountainside. The imposing facades of the churches encapsulate the strong spirituality of its people. She is a beauty queen and because of this she hides her fortifications by coating them with the charm of her daily life. Thus it is that a stretch of defensive walls becomes the facade of a complex of houses and stores that hide a secret, or that a rampart disappears into the apse of a church. There is little you can do, this place has a charm that no one can resist.
Not to be missed
Precisely because it is beautiful and knows it is beautiful, Brisighella has many weapons to pull out to make anyone who visits fall in love with it. Whether it's the old Via del Borgo, keeper of the memories of the barrocciai who brought chalk to town from the quarries; whether it's the churches adorned with the works that saw so many future cardinals embrace the faith; or the festive games of the medieval days between May and June; not to mention its flavors, olive oil and native artichokes above all, there's just no way you can save yourself from its spell.
A bit of history
The three hills overlooking the village tell us its history. In the 13th century, one of the greatest leaders of Romagna erected a tower on a hill. Around this stronghold, the village developed, gradually descending the slope until it reached the Lamone. On a second rise rises the Rocca di Brisighella, built in 1310 and later remodeled by the Venetians, who maintained dominion over the area until they ceded their Romagna possessions to the Papal State. It is actually a shrine from 1758 that we find on the third hill. It houses a terracotta image of the Virgin that appears to date from the previous century.
The condottiero who erected Brisighella's first fortification tower was Maghinardo Pagani da Susanina. His highly articulated military career led him to juggle Guelphs and Ghibellines. He also fought in Florence and who knows, perhaps he met Dante there. The poet certainly knew him and despised his jockeying between opposing factions, so much so that he placed him in the Divine Comedy. If you look in the XXVII canto of the Inferno, you will not find his name, but the unmistakable description of his coat of arms, a "lïoncel dal nido bianco / che muta parte da la state al verno."
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