Forlì Cesena province Biblioteca Malatestiana library, Emilia Romagna to visit with professional guide

Forlì – Cesena

Forlì Cesena province takes its name from the two most populous towns in the area.

Forum Livii, Forlì’s Roman name

The Romans founded Forlì in the III-II century BC as a castrum by the name of Forum Livii. A region where they provided in the centuriation subdivision, a work that is visible until our time. The town, located along the Via Emilia, lies in a fertile agriculture area of Emilia Romagna region, in the northeast of Italy. Where the rivers Montone and Rabbi that descend from the ridge of the Apennine mountains flow into the plains.

Forlì from the Middle Ages to the unification of Italy

First of all, during the Middle Ages Forlì was the Signory of the Ordelaffi family. As follow, the town goes to the papal hands. Hence it joins the state of Italy with the unification. Only during the fascism period, Forlì began to expand its urban boundaries beyond the medieval perimeter. Thanks also to the status as the capital of the province.

The fascism period

In the detail, an architecture of the fascist origin remarks the city. In fact, it has some clear traces of its history through the presence of different styles and monuments. An example is the main square with the Piazza Saffi. As a result, here the buildings of the fascism period tend to shrink the works of the past. Like the Basilica of San Mercuriale with its Romanesque bell tower and the Garibaldi main street. A road bordered by stately palaces such as the Palazzo Gaddi that dates back to the 18th century. As well as the Palazzo Guarini of the 16th century, and Casa Palmeggiani. In conclusion, Forlì appears as a small city. Only a recent frenzy has in part affected it from its quiet and cordial province life.

The fortress of Ravaldino

The fortress of the town is a great example of how they built the defensive systems during the fifteenth century. Worth a note, this is the century in which the firearms developed, as the artillery. Hence this fortress is a true work of art of a military engineering. The loopholes of the ancient mortars are an example. In fact, they designed them according to the rules of the newly born ballistics science. However, the evolution of the firearms was so rapid that, in the sixteenth century, the fortress was an obsolete structure. As a result, they transformed the fortress into a prison. Worth a note, here Caterina Sforza made a strenuous resistance to the siege of the troops of Duke Valentino (Cesare Borgia) in 1500.


Cesena rises in the heart of Romagna, equidistant from Forlì and Rimini. Historically, it is known especially for the Malatestian Library (true monument to the culture). And as the place of birth of three popes. The Via Emilia across the town, and it has an extremely compact center. In fact, it is well known in the maps for its shape of a “scorpion”, got from the ones of the walls of the 14th and 15th centuries.

From the foundation to the papal government

The foundation of Cesena is lost in time. For sure, it was a prehistoric settlement before becoming the Roman Caesana (III-II century BC). The town then passed on to various hands. From the Exarchate of Ravenna to the Ordelaffi family until the destruction of 1377. Due to the sack of the Bretons sent by the Pope Gregory XI. From here begins the Signory of the Malatesta family which will stay until 1465. After them, we find the long papal government.

Forlì and Cesena are part of the art cities of Emilia Romagna region.

Forlì - Cesena day excursion

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