Mercatino Conca

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Mercatino Conca

Land of markets, mills and old cattle fairs. In the gentle nature, marked by the slow flow of the river Conca, the first travellers in the 12th century found shelter along the left bank of the water course.

Named "rapacious" by the Romans for its destructive force, that during the many floods flooded the fields of the valley and dragged away everything in its path, the river Conca in the summer months is dry for long periods, completely absorbed by the rays of the sun.

The village of Mercatino Conca has been known since 1272 under the name of Pian di Castello, so called for its geographical position completely immersed in the valley. A crossroads of ancient trails and mule tracks, destroyed in 1462 by Federico da Montefeltro. But with the Decree issued in 1508 by Guidubaldo I of Montefeltro the town was recognised as a Friday market place for the fairs of Good Friday, Sant'Ubaldo and St Peter. A tradition that has survived for centuries, so that even today, especially in summer, the traditional Friday market fills the town with crazy tourists and cheerfulness.

Mercatino was born mainly for commercial reasons, at the intersection of two major roads from Rimini to Carpegna and from Urbino to San Marino. Historic sources tell of an inn, then the construction of a mill, then another and another, until the creation of the large cattle market in the valley fields.

But its history is also marked by ruinous events. In its past, there have been at least four violent floods, which were attributed according to the scripts of the Roman era to the waters of the river Conca. Today the torrential nature of the water course is still evident, in contrast to the peaceful aspect of the valley.

Only a handful of ruins are left of the ancient market, since the old town was largely replaced by modern buildings. Its important strategic role in the border between the Marche and Romagna regions is witnessed by the imposing six-arch bridge crossing the the Conca River, favouring the links between Urbino and the Republic of San Marino.

Along the waterway there are three old mills, no longer working, but an emblem of a past related to agriculture, river resources and trade.

The old spirit of entrepreneurship has remained intact among its inhabitants. The Conca is like a river with fresh waters, on whose bank one can walk placidly.

Big cattle fairs have created two big markets: the Good Friday Fair and the Sant'Ubaldo Fair, which takes place on the first Sunday after May 16th.  The village festival that is repeated on the first Sunday and the first Monday in August sees the town prepare banquets that offer free spaghetti and sweets along with Romagna music and popular music.

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