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Hills that smell like sea. An ancient castle, in the high valley of the River Conca, this was the beginning of the noble line of Montefeltro. Surrounded by peaks that open up into winter skiing areas and finally degrade to the sea, Montecopiolo is a mosaic framed in the nature park of Sasso Simone and Simoncello.

It has ancient origins, fortified in the early Middle Ages (X century). According to tradition the dukes of Urbino originated from this ancient castle.  In 1140 the Castrum Montis Cupioli was assigned to Antonio Carpegna. The castle, which always belonged to the Montefeltro, was a theatre of fierce battles : in 1448 it resisted the assaults of Sigismondo Malatesta and in 1502 it was the refuge of Duke Guidobaldo during the occupation of the duchy by Cesare Borgia.

Under siege by the troops of Giovanni dei Medici in 1522, it suffered, but was never destroyed or abandoned. However, in those years that slow phenomenon of depopulation began which ended with the total abandonment of the manor during the eighteenth century and with the repopulation of the area of ​​Villagrande, which was 925 meters lower.

Geographically, it is very close to the sea and the historic towns of Urbino, San Leo and San Marino, the mountain town is renowned for its naturalistic trails and the abundance of snow in winter.

Villagrande is today a tourist resort ideal for summer and winter holidays. With the rivers of Conca and  Mazzocco there is an equipped lake where it is possible to fish. The landscape is characterised by the alternation of the wooded peaks of Monte Montone, with its fauna park that reaches 1108 meters,  Palazzolo, San Marco and Roccaccia. It also includes the summit of Monte Carpegna, Monte San Marco and Monte Copiolo, home to the archaeological area of ​​the castle.

The area is connected by several ski lifts, located both at the hermitage of Monte Carpegna and in the village of Villagrande. The hermitage also appears on the routes of religious tourism, a place of pilgrimage and spirituality for the presence of the sanctuary Madonna del Faggio

An ancient Franciscan legend tells that when St. Francis found himself passing near Lake Villagrande, he was amazed at the beauty of the landscape and wished to build a convent. However, as the friars had already been involved in building Sant'Igne, the Saint departed and left a special blessing to these places: that the earthquake would never touch them and that they would enjoy everlasting sun.

Stay at Montecopiolo

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