Sant'Agata Feltria

Legends and an idyllic setting - with a castle that looks like it has come straight out of a fairytale - make this town between the valleys of the rivers Savio and Marecchia one of the most characteristic in the Montefeltro area, thanks also to its wonderful cultural, natural, spiritual and gastronomic itineraries. The origins of Sant’Agata Feltria date from the pre-Roman period when farmers, shepherds and hunters settled in its forests; they may have been Solonates of central Italic origin.

When in 600 AD a rock came loose from Mount Ercole, one of the most enchanting places in the Marecchia valley, it is said a church was built to St. Agatha around which the urban settlement developed. From the end of the 9th century on, the village belonged to various feudal lords, including the Malatesta, Montefeltro and finally the Fregoso, who gave their name to the 10th-century fortress restored by Francesco di Giorgio Martini in 1474. Under the Fregoso, new buildings were constructed in the old town including the 17th-century Palazzone that houses Angelo Mariani Theatre, one of the oldest in Italy and built entirely in wood. One of the most important Italian composers, Angelo Berardi, was born here and mentions his origins and local maestros in his work.

The opinion of music experts is unanimous; his importance in the history of music is linked to the study of counterpoint, to the critical contribution of musical art and to his compositions. He was born around 1630 during the golden era of the town when it was flourishing and boasted an excellent, age-old music tradition that had already forged composers and “chapel masters”, thanks also to the sensitivity and patronage of the Fregoso family. His fame has lasted over the centuries thanks to his work that consists in thirteen collections of practical music and six theoretical treatises. Sant’Agata is steeped in spirituality with a concentration of mysterious places like sanctuaries and monasteries. There are several places of great historical importance nearby including Petrella Guidi, a fascinating and enchanting fortified village.