A fortress and a home. A village that seamlessly encloses the elements of the medieval fortress, whose profile overlooks the country and impose on the valley, with features of the Renaissance halls of the Dukes of Urbino.
Monte Cerignone rises at the beginning of the upper valley of the River Conca, scenically perched on a rocky spur in the middle of the valley, at the foot of Monte Faggiola. Two distinct portions mark the territory: on one side the small village lying at the river’s level and on the other side the castle high up on a cliff marked by an imposing wall, paved streets climbing along the hill and the ancient fortress that over the years has exerted its charm on the inhabitants of the whole valley.
A lively town since the time of the Malatesta domination and residence during medieval conflicts, it was also the seat of the “commission”, the judge of the ancient court of Montefeltro. The Malatesta family added an extension to the city wall and carried out consolidation of the fortress which still stands today.
A curious anecdote from documents of the time says that the fort was restored by order of Sigismondo Malatesta using drawings by Leon Battista Alberti. A fact that is not confirmed in the latest studies that have shown, however, that the famous architect was Francesco di Giorgio Martini from Siena who did the restoration by order of Duke Federico di Urbino. The fort, remodelled according to Renaissance canons with elegant environments on three floors, is today one of the few fortresses remaining that once watched over Montefeltro.
Sacred art lovers admire Monte Cerignone for its particular churches: the church of Saint Catherine erected by the Knights of the Order of Malta, the Church of Santa Maria del Soccorso from the 1600’s with its Madonna and the canvases attributed to Bartolomeo Vivarini and the church of San Biagio, which houses a precious Latin cross carried by the crusaders returning from the Holy Land in the 12th century.
The Sanctuary of Santa Maria in Recluso, was born on the ruins of a pagan temple devoted to Juno, perched on the backs of Mount Faggiola. Here, intact for over three hundred years, the remains of Blessed Domenico Spadafora lie. Tradition tells us that the friar towards the end of the fifteenth century retired to Fonte Buona, founded a small convent called "Conventino" along with a few others.
Medieval atmospheres, accompanied along the streets of the town by flag throwers, jugglers and minstrels, resuscitated during the historical reenactment and the egg parade organised on the second weekend of July.